Now this is what a playoff team should look like. Joe is popping a cold adult beverage he’s so happy.

There were a lot of things to like watching the Rays pound the dreadful Orioles, and not just Todd Kalas shoveling popcorn in his grill.

* The rebirth of Wade Davis. Could the Rays starter in his first full season have turned the corner? Granted, this was the putrid Orioles but this could be a springboard. Davis was nothing short of dominant and in Joe’s eyes, until James “No Game” Shields can prove otherwise, Davis is the Rays No. 4 pitcher, with David Price, Jeff Niemann and Matt Garza being the Rays top three pitchers, in no particular order.

If the Rays are to win the division, as long as Shields continues to struggle, Davis must be better than average. Tonight he showed he can be. Again.

* Aggressive hitting, in particular from B.J. Upton. Joe just goes nuts watching Upton take strike after strike right down the pipe. Upton seemed more aggressive at each plate appearance tonight and that alone could be a major difference in Upton’s offensive production.

* Jason Bartlett. The cool as a cucumber shortstop brought back memories of 2008 the way he attacked Orioles starter Chris Tillman, who Joe doesn’t believe has won a game since the Reagan Administration occupied the White House.

* Hitting with runners in scoring position. Finally. Where was this yesterday against the Yankmees?

* The leather flashed by Sean Rodriguez. With plays like he made tonight, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to see him compete for a Gold Glove at second base in the near future. Is anyone really regretting that Scott Kazmir trade now? Really?

Joe has to temper his excitement over tonight’s win. Again, it’s the Orioles. But playoff teams stomp on bottom feeders like the Orioles and take their lunch money.

Tonight, the Rays did just that.

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12 Comments

  1. Definitely like seeing that performance out of Davis. I've been extremely disappointed with Shields this year as well. I'm still not on the Upton bandwagon and it was just one game. He's showed signs in the past but usually regresses.

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  2. Hosstyle in Tampa says:

    "Davis is the Rays No. 4 pitcher, with David Price, Jeff Niemann and Matt Garza being the Rays top three pitchers, in no particular order." - Joe

    In no particular order, really? As nice as Garza's last start was, he's been far from reliable, Joe.

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  3. JoeRaysFan says:

    So much hate, Mr. zzzz. One can only imagine what you'd write if your beloved Rays were a .500 club. ...It's funny how someone as astute as you would continue to visit a "pathetic" site for six months. Joe hopes to hear from you again.

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    • ac3 says:

      I do gotta say...bj strikes out too much (most of the time swinging) so the aggressiveness at the plate is there (maybe to a fault), it was bartlett's defense that was key in 08, not his bat, so the offensive comparison really does not make sense, and tillman actually won his previous start before tonight...

      not going to be as harsh as zzzzzzz...but the post is flawed

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  4. Preston says:

    I'll say it again. I love the postgame. RI is the Best Rays blog by a longshot

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  5. ac3 says:

    and i agree this is the best rays blog...love checking it everyday

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  6. Kelley says:

    I love this site too and I'm glad that I get to read Joe as well as Cork. Love the taking the lunch money point! That's exactly what the Rays did last night, I agree with you, Joe, and I LOVE it!!

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  7. Eric says:

    Great to see, but I have to pinch myself every time I see the Rays battling the yankees and sox for the AL East.

    Gotta be some damn smart folks running the Rays.

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  8. Gus says:

    The Seinfeld re-run last night was "The Jimmy" episode from 1994 where some character at the gym refers to himself in the 3rd person all the time. Kind of reminded me of why this "Joe" bit is kind of tired.

    You think a guy like BJ who strikes out 150 times a year needs to be more aggressive? He takes those pitches down the middle because he's a complete guess hitter at this point in his life and cannot catch up to MLB heat.

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    • Joe says:

      Gus:

      That's a very good point you make about B.J. being such a guess hitter. Since his shoulder surgery, he doesn't appear to be able to turn on a fastball (changeup, perhsps). Just wish he'd learn to take a fastball to the opposite field since he can't turn on it.

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  9. Don says:

    After 2 out of character games...Pena got his game back...
    0for3 with 3 strike outs (aga the worst pitchers in the league)...Haven't heard from those Pena boozos today?.......

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  10. Don says:

    Oh I forgot.....its easy to take a sissy's "lunch money"...the Rays must of skipped lunch last weekend...
    They get another chance at EOM...then we will see how tough they are.....

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