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A’s 7, RAys 5 (click image for boxscore)

The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

THE GOOD: Desmond Jennings. Two more hits for Flash, who is now 6-11 and has been on base 11 times in 3 games…Ben Zobrist. Zorilla continues to quietly have a stellar season. A home run and two doubles last night and Zobrist is hitting .276 with 12 home runs, a league-leading 33 doubles, and an outstanding .380 wOBA…Evan Longoria. Dirtbag continues to display a newfound level of patience, walking a career-high 4 times.

THE BAD: The Bullpen. When Jeremy Hellickson left the game in the 6th inning, the Rays were leading 5-2. Three innings later, four relievers combined to give up 5 runs (1 charged to Hellboy) on 6 hits and 3 walks. They did not strike out a batter. The worst might have been JP Howell, who retired the first 2 batters he faced, but then allowed 2 hits and walked a batter. All three of those runners would score and his ERA is now 9.17.

THE TELLING: The Rays are now 7.5 games behind the Yankees in the Wild Card standings…Dirk Hayhurst had an MRI yesterday. No word yet on the results.


  • Adam Russell cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Durham. [The Heater]
  • BJ Upton may be the consolation prize in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes. [Sporting News]
  • The Rays are about to set a record for consecutive starts by pitchers under the age of 30. []


  • Toledo 6, DURHAM 2: Brian Baker gave up 6 runs in 4.1 innings…LF JJ Furmaniak hit his 4th home run and went 2-4.
  • MONTGOMERY: (no games scheduled)
  • Brevard County 8, CHARLOTTE 7: Alex Koronis gave up 5 runs (2 earned) in 5 innings…SS Hak-Ju Lee with another multi-hit game. This time he was 2-5 with his 25th stolen base…C Mark Thomas hit his 10th home run.
  • BOWLING GREEN 4, Peoria 3: George Jensen gave up 1 run in 6 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 2…DH Keith Castillo went 3-4 with his 2nd home run.
  • HUDSON VALLEY 2, Mahoning Valley 0:
  • PRINCETON @ Bluefield: (postponed)




  1. Sarah says:

    Good thing we're not contending, because if we were that bullpen would be making me nuts. Not to lift any blame off their shoulders, but....what's with Hellickson? The Jeremy we all loved was a control guy. Now he's always behind in the count and walks a lot of guys. To make it even more excruciating, when he has men on base his pace slows down to a crawl.

    Alex Cobb's performance on Sunday was what I think of as classic Hellboy. But Jeremy hasn't been that most of this year.

    • ALLEN says:

      I could watch only the first two innings of the 1st Oakland game but could see the crawl in Hellickson's delivery with a runner on. That's in the head, isn't it? He didn't look confident.

      What about Howell? I wouldn't want to give up on him, but shouldn't he work on his rehab in Durham? If he did, perhaps we could be in contention for the wildcard. As a matter of fact, we could send most of the bullpen to Durham/Montgomery to work on their pitching!

      I'm really impresed with Jennings. Go Zobrist! It's great to see Longoria improving. Shoppach got to hits??!!! Wow. Hope is still alive.

  2. bbmern says:

    Howell is a mess! I too wonder why he has not been sent down to work on his problems. Oh yeah...and how about cutting that nasty hair..not a good look. Maybe you'll be able to see your target better! I am glad I watched but two innings as well. I never liked Peralta; I've watched him bag several games for us. I still hold a glimmer of hope for them, but surely not holding my breath. It sure is fun watching Longo come back to his former self and how about the new kid on the block...Jennings! Love how great Zobrist is playing as well, so need to focus on the good for now. This is my team and I love them...good or bad.

    • Beth says:

      I believe this was discussed in an earlier post. JP Howell is out of options, so you can't just send him down. You either have to find a medical reason to put him on the DL (and "really sucks as a pitcher right now" isn't a medical reason) or DFA him and hope he clears waivers.

      • LoLJFH says:

        I think he has that "oblique" strain that seems to be contagious in our dugout. Maybe even a forearm strain. Might have pulled his neck snapping his head around so quickly watching everybody hit his crap all over the yard! 🙂

  3. Tone says:

    Man, they are just not synced up this year. If only they could have gotten five runs during the pitching gems and get 3-hit shut out in these games. Also, how about their follow through with bases loaded and runners in scoring position. Their performance in those situations has become an enjoyable comedy now that they are no longer contending. I hope they don't completely bomb out for the rest of the year as it could be a bad habit to get in going to next season; higher draft pick be-damned.

  4. Tone says:

    There is no hope for 2011 Rays baseball. Toronto is only 2.5 behind and easily capable of passing them since their .500 play is at least consistent. Rays have had a couple small moments when they were on a tear and a lot of longer stretches where they play well below .500.

  5. werD says:

    ok, this season has been fun. i was all for it. they did a GREAT job of climbing out of the 0-6 hle they were in. and theyve shown alot of heart. lets chalk this season up to preparing for a run in 2012. and that starts right now. RE-SIGN KOTCH, SEND HOWELL TO AAA, TRADE FOR AN MLB CATCHER. aaaaaaaaaand GO!!!

  6. Don says:

    Zobrist....MVP, TIme to watch the kids(call ups).. Turn out Fuld, Rugg, johnson,shopp Rodz...I've SEEN ENOUGH!

  7. Gus says:

    The last week plus has been 2007 all over again. Rays lead after 6 innings (I think they led in 90+ games that year after 6), bullpen loses it late.

  8. Gus says:

    Next time Maddon or one of the ESPN idiots whines about the Trop interfering with the integrity of the game because of the roof and the catwalks, we should remember the Oakland Coliseum, where baseball has been played for 44 years and has way more influence on the outcome of the game in one series than the Trop has all season -- I counted 5 balls last night that are foul balls in the seats in the other 29 ballparks that are outs in Oakland. The foul territory (to accomodate the dreaded NFL) there is enormous, bordering on comical.

    Will the Trop have 5 catwalk-influenced (i.e. balls in play that are hitting the catwalk in fair territory) at bats all season?

    I don't like the catwalks (and hate the ridiculous catwalk rule re-instituted in 2011 to seemingly embarass the stadium), but their influence on the games is wildly overstated, and the baseball "purists" are not being intellectualy honest when discussing the shortcomings of the Trop when they cite the catwalks being in play. On the list of ballparks playing quirky and affecting the outcome of the games, Oakland (foul territory), Boston (wall, pole, ladder), Houston (CF Hill, wacky dimensions), Colorado (altitude), Yankee Stadium (RF wind tunnel), Wrigley (balls in Ivy) all have far more influence on the outcome a game to game basis then the Trop and its stupid catwalks.

    • Beth says:

      Oakland's not a great example to use in an argument defending the Trop, because there are all kinds of calls to replace that stadium, too (and contract the A's while we are at it).

      • Gus says:

        But it is the fact that Oakland has collapsed as a City, San Jose has lots of money, and the stadium is 44 years old that drives that Oakland stadium argument, not the way it plays. That is my point.

    • Pablo says:

      I agree with you that the Trop is not the problem. It may not be the prettiest baseball stadium in the world but it was built as a "baseball only" stadium and it does that job very well. The catwalks give the commentators and writers something to talk and write about, which the Rays have not done very much of lately.

      The catwalks have minimal effect on a game at best, no more so than losing a fly ball in the sun, which was a common occurrence when most games were played in the afternoon. Remember when they put lights on the fields and everybody said it would ruin baseball...wrong! The Trop is air conditioned, comfortable, and dry! Anybody who advocates an open air baseball stadium, in the summer, in Florida, has to be out of their mind! I went to a Bucs pre-season game in Tampa, in August, one time...I'll never do that again! I don't know whether anybody noticed the fans, and players, in Kansas City last week, but they didn't look very comfortable, and there wern't that many of them there. If the Rays played in an open air stadium every other game would be rain delayed...or rained out completely. Think of what that would do to a schedule.

      No, the Trop is not the problem, the Rays are the problem...they need to win consistantly. They want our money, in the form of attendance and a new stadium, let them earn it.

      • Beth says:

        I agree with you about the Trop -- it's no architectural jewel, but anyone who claims they can't enjoy a game (watching it or participating in it - that means you Joe Maddon) because of the stadium has some other kind of agenda.

        But the idea that a team had better win every year or no one will go - well, that is a formula for failure. Imagine if Cubs fans acted that way! No team is competitive every year, even the Yankees with their bottomless payroll. Teams need a fan base that will buy tickets, at least some tickets, year in and year out.


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