Joe is back with his post-game thoughts…

For the first three innings, it seemed like a broken record, that the Rays couldn’t get a hit if they had a fistful of C-notes in a house of ill repute.

The Rays tied a season-high in the Fruitdome by scoring eight runs (on six hits no less!) in the middle innings to put away the Orioles and recapture first place. The four-run sixth was particularly interesting when the Rays seemed to pepper the left side of the infield for their offense. Smart baserunning exposing a sloppy Baltimore defense added insurance runs.

And those runs were all that stud rookie Matt Moore and relievers Jake McGee and Wade Davis needed.

Aside from the fact Bossman has been the Rays best hitter in recent weeks, how about the pitching of McGee? The guy really seems to have turned the corner and gives the Rays yet another strong arm on its pitching staff.

It just amazes Joe that the Rays, with this putrid offense, are still in first place in the first week of June.

Shows you what superior pitching will do for a team.

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5 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    Upton has been chided many times on here for not realizing his potential, so I wanted to give him some props. He has had hot streaks before, but I see a different player. I don't think his performance this year is just a factor of his athleticism - I think he has a higher baseball IQ than in the past.

    His throw to second base for an out that saved run in Friday's game is testament to that. In years past, he would airmail that throw to home, missing the cutoff man, or he would lob it back into the infield. His AB in the 8th yesterday was excellent. Two years ago, he would never be able to catch up to a 99 MPH fastball to foul it off to allow himself another chance, but he fouled three of them off and worked a walk out of it. And then today, he came through with a 2-run double when the team really needed it.

    Ever since he eliminated that hitch in his swing and started simply picking up his foot and setting it back down, he has been a different batter. His bat is faster and I don't see him making a decision to swing before the ball is ever pitched. He used to do that last year (probably to compensate for the slower bat) and would swing at pitches that were nowhere near the strike zone. His confidence seems to be way up and his head is in the game. Right now, maybe other than Matt Joyce, I wouldn't want anyone else at the plate in a clutch situation.

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    • Dave L says:

      Very good observations Rob. In the past whenever anyone tried to go to the 5-tool moniker for BJ I chuckled and definitely thought his throwing was his weakest tool as he rarely delivered that too often offered airmail to home you aptly described.

      Like you say his arm strength or even accuracy wasnt the weakness, it was the decision making behind it.

      Even this year his HR are down but he's such a better hitter as you note

      His confidence level is at an all time high now. He's accepting his punch outs without getting worked up and arguing. Even that gif that Cork had up for a while with his reaction to Sale being unhittable early in that game was a good healthy evolution for him that sometimes the other guy just beats you and thats ok and nothing to get upset about.

      The only thing that can hold him back from a career year is his health.

      He's a graceful talented but somewhat dleicate player. he gets to as many balls as any outfielder but will never dive or crash to do it which is fine with me, its not a criticism just an observation. Especially at the Trop he knows exactly which balls he can catch on a dead run and which he must simply field and and toss in. Nothing gets by him.

      Early our defense was suspect with him out. Now its suspect with Desmond out. When DJ gets back, Matt anchors right and Ben becomes an almost everyday 4 our defense will be back to what we came to enjoy.

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  2. Joe says:

    Our last game without Desmond and we are still in 1st. Let's see if we can keep it up until we get Evan back now.

    Also, our secret weapon vs lefties, Keppinger would be nice to have back.

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  3. Andy says:

    Not just 1st place, guys, but only 1 game from AL best record (2 games from MLB best)!!! Given our O, that is nothing short of Amazing!!!

    As a past critic of Upton, I agree that he deserves the props he's getting now!!! He not only seems to have raised his baseball IQ, but also appears cognizant to help lead this team w/Longo out. I think that may be what has his head in the game seemingly all of the time!! :)

    I even have to defend his arm. Despite sometimes not using it wisely, he has usually been at or near the top of the AL in outfield assists (I think that's what the broadcast team has said). With him locked in mentally, hopefully he'll get many more - & crucial ones like that DP!!! :D

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  4. don says:

    Rob is mostly right about upton " his confidence is up and His HEAD is now in the (game) right Place to hit a baseball. look at the photo above and forget about his legs, get out any photos or video of upton in the past you will see where his head is even before the ball gets to the plate...no chance....
    Maybe if Upton reads tweets or even this site about his pants maybe he picked up the tip on his head position... in that case he owes me about $10mil from next years contract.

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