Speaking calmly and cooly on ESPN Radio this morning, Rangers head man and former fireballer Nolan Ryan said he suspected it would take Rangers hitters two turns around the batting order tonight to get comfortable against Matt Moore.

Make that three turns, and they’re still waiting.

It made so much sense for the Rays to start the young phenom Moore that even the Rangers knew they were in for an early challenge.

But the X-factor was the Rays bats showing up in a big way.

Joe had to laugh. After the 9-0 blowout with two homers from Kelly Shoppach, a reporter asked Shoppach to comment on his rough season at the plate versus how he’s been hitting the last week or so. Shoppach wouldn’t bite and said he’s always confident and if they keep pitching where he’s swinging then he’ll be contributing.

But the reality is Shoppach muscled a low-and-away C. J. Wilson pitch over the wall just to the right of dead center field for the three-run bomb that put the game away in the third inning. That pitch is not one he would have done anything with all season long.

Shoppach routinely tries to pull that ball and whiffs, pulling his hips out and sometimes tossing the bat into the third base stands. But today the Rays got the Shoppach they signed originally, a guy with opposite field power who occasionally will go with a pitch to keep his average acceptable.

If that guy shows up for the rest of the series, and the Rays subsequently remove a black hole from their lineup, then their chances of landing in the ALCS improve dramatically.

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10 Comments

  1. Esteban Yan says:

    Long day, Cork. Their, not "they're". It's okay though. You are the Greek God of Baseball Blogs.

    Go Rays.

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    • Jim Mecir says:

      Shut up, Esteban.

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    • DRR says:

      If you are going to call out someone for their grammar, at least make sure you are paying attention to wrote the post.

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    • Jim Morris says:

      Both of you guys, stop the bickering. Everyone knows I was the best Rays reliever of the late 1990s.

      Anyways, let's all agree that Matt Moore is the best thing since sliced bread and if Kelly Shoppach keeps hitting like Carlton Fisk, the Rays will go to the World Series.

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    • DRR says:

      And, now that I go back and see what you are complaining about, at least make sure that you are right with your correction.

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  2. Bubba Trammell says:

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GO RAYS

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  3. Cork's Dad says:

    There's no their they're.

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