Evan Longoria

USA Today Sports

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

RAYS (boxscore)

THE GOOD: The biggest moment of the game came in the 8th when Kevin Cash stuck with Kevin Jepsen instead of bring Brad Boxberger in to face the heart of the Red Sox order (remember, the Rays don’t have a closer). Four of the first 5 batters Jepsen faced got on base, including a home run to Mookie Betts and 2 walks. The Red Sox had cut the lead to 4-3 and the bases were loaded. Cash still stayed with Jepsen and he got the next 2 batters to ground out to first base and the lead was preserved…Evan Longoria had 2 home runs and 2 more walks. Longo had gone 26 games without hitting a home run. Some took that as a red flag. But as we discussed on Monday, you could see this explosion coming. All signs seemed to indicate that Longoria was seeing the ball as well as he ever has in his career. At that point, it was just a matter of time before he started squaring pitches up and going deep. He still only has 3 home runs, but Longoria could be in for a monster year…Brad Boxberger is 7-7 in save opportunities, but the Rays don’t have a closer.

THE BAD: This is apparently a real thing for Red Sox fans to be able to paint things like Fenway Park.

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THE TELLING: Alex Cobb was examined by Dr. James Andrews and is expected to speak to the media today…The Rays are 15-13, 2.0 games behind the Yankees and 1.5 games clear of the rest of the division.


  • Jay Jaffe explains why Alex Cobb may be able to pitch through the tear in his elbow and why Tommy John surgery should not be considered the default option. [SI.com]
  • Rocco Baldelli’s decision to become the Rays’ first base coach was not an easy one as he really enjoyed the work he was doing for the Rays before. [ProvidenceJournal]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Dylan Floro threw 6 shutout innings with 4 Ks and no walks in Durham’s 1-0 win. Mikie Mahtook drove in the only run with a single. He also had a double. Nick Franklin went 0-2 with 2 walks…Jaime Schultz bettered Floro by throwing 6.2 shutout innings in Montgomery’s 7-0 win. Daniel Robertson had a single, double, and 3 RBI. Richie Shaffer was 1-5 with his first steal of the year….Charlotte beat Jupiter 3-2 as Willy Adames had 2 singles, a walk, and an RBI…Three players went deep in Bowling Green’s 6-2 win.




  1. Political_Man says:

    You can almost tell when Longoria is seeing the ball well by his stance. Seems like he's more upright and balanced when he's seeing the ball. When his balance is more forward he seems to chase and dive after that low and away slider a lot more.

    I'm just eyeballing it and I'm certainly no hitting expert... Anyone else see that too?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      100%. When things are going well, Longo is out on his front foot a lot and gets fooled by changeups and breaking balls down and away.

  2. Rob says:

    I don't think Cash had a choice really. Boxberger only got up to throw after Jepsen gave up the HR and then two more base runners.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      That's certainly fair. I wasn't really clear. Meant two different things. One, Boxberger could have started the 8th (it was the heart of the order). And considering that it was a 2-run game and a lot of good batters were coming up, Cash probably should have had somebody else ready to go just in case things started to go south. That could have been Boxy or somebody else. Still, it worked, so can't criticize. Was just surprised.

  3. Woodrow744 says:

    Something is becoming very apparent to me about the Rays. Kevin Kiermaier is taking over the leadership/star role on this team. He almost beat out a sacrifice bunt - only the super slo-mo replay confirmed he was out. Anything hit to centerfield and I lean forward in my seat. When he comes to bat, things happen. If he doesn't run himself into a wall somewhere, he should be on the All-Star team this July. Super happy for Longo, but the star on this team…. plays centerfield.

    • Rob says:

      He's definitely the most exciting player on the team. He and Longoria are the two guys who I make sure I am in my seat to watch when they are at the plate. I won't hesitate to go get a beer or a hotdog with anyone else up. I might throw Souza into that mix too as I am still not sure what kind of big leaguer he's going to be, and I want to see more of his play.

    • Gus says:

      Dreamy McHustle is clearly the energy this team needed the last few years.

      On another note: the umpiring when Jepsen was on the mound should get MLB review. It was the worst I can ever remember seeing. Just awful. I give him and Cash credit for not losing it and staying composed. Just glad to get out of Boston. Never easy to win there.

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Let's get one thing clear here, K2 is a HUGE asset, and a really good player, but Evan Longoria is the pulse of the Rays.
      His play at third base has been so good for so long that the casual, or even maniacal, fan forgets just how great it really is.
      As Longo goes, so goes the team.

      K2's energy might make him an emotional leader, but this is Longo's team; no ifs, ands, or buts.

      • Gus says:

        True for now; but if he keeps putting up 30 game stretches of 4 RBI and 1 HR, the "pulse of the Rays" will be flat lining and the team will be in rebuilding mode completely.. Clearly, he is the only potential HOF player on the squad. I'm glad Cork sees a Longo hot streak coming, because it was sure hard to see from my vantage point.

        KK's defense is something else every night. I can't remember a CF ever influencing a game like he does.

      • Dave L says:

        I reserve judgement until a guy is no longer platooned (protected) and plays at least a full season of 145+ games.

        It helps that he has spent more time at the top of the order to make his case going forward.

        His style also would lend itself to injury, so hopefully he's somewhat indestructable. I have a hard time expecting that he can play at this level of intensity and abandon and remain healthy week after week year after year.

        That double to CF the other night on A Jones I would have thought was impossible to accomplish.

        Then in one series after Logan slides head first into third and slides past the bag barely, then KK last night slides past the bag by 18 inches to outdo him in exuberance.

        If he can refine his base stealing skills he could be a terror.

        • Rob says:

          I wish they would make head-first slides illegal. They are just so stupid, and in more ways than one (see Jaso).


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