Evan Longoria Becoming The Rays RBI Guy Once Again
From 2008 through 2013 Evan Longoria batted .275/.357/.512 and averaged 27 home runs per year. This year he has not been able to deliver the same numbers batting just .259/.331/.397 with just 12 home runs and 30 total extra base hits in 450 plate appearances.
The Rays have righted the ship and are a winning baseball club and he has contributed with his strong defense at third base and his clutch hitting.
Last night he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh against Boston Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa.
Tawzawa jumped ahead with two quick strikes. Longoria fouled off the third pitch and watched two more sail out of the strike zone before fouling off Tazawa’s 2-2 offering. On the sixth pitch of the at-bat Longoria connected on 77 mile per hour curve ball for a double that cleared the bases and gave the Rays and David Price a commanding 6-3 lead.
Longoria has struggled in some facets of his game this season but his bases clearing double raised his average with runners in scoring position to .322 (28 for 87). It was also his second bases clearing double since the All-Star break.
He is beginning to show that extra-base pop again as he has five extra-base hits (four doubles and a home run) in his last six games compared to only two extra base hits in his previous 18 games.
The increase in extra base hits is also resulting in driving runs in as he has 13 RBI in his last 11 games after having only 3 RBI in his previous 12 games.
Although he’s feeling better at the plate and the Rays magic is continuing he is cautiously optimistic. “We’ve won some games and we’ve done some things that kind of remind us I think of what we’re capable of but by no means are we where we want to be.” Longoria said. ” We definitely have to continue to keep ourselves in this thing and keep reminding ourselves on a daily basis that we’ve got a lot of work to do.”