Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Evan Longoria's amazing finish fizzles in final two ALDS games

Evan Longoria looks on after popping out in the eighth inning Tuesday. He was 0-for-7 at Tropicana Field in the ALDS.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Evan Longoria looks on after popping out in the eighth inning Tuesday. He was 0-for-7 at Tropicana Field in the ALDS.

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays third baseman Evan Longoria had entered the past two games at Tropicana Field in a groove offensively, saying he couldn't have felt more comfortable.

After all, his 20 homers after the All-Star break were among the best in the majors, and that included the historic wild-card clinching walkoff blast against the Yankees last week.

But Longoria and the rest of the lineup was shut down by the Rangers in the Rays' past two losses, continuing their perplexing seasonlong struggles at the Trop.

Longoria was 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in Games 3 and 4 of the American League Division Series and his only hit in the final three games was a three-run homer in Game 2.

The three-time All-Star wasn't alone, as the Rays 2-3-4 hitters went a combined 1-for-20 with 11 strikeouts in the past two.

"In the end, it really came down to us offensively not doing anything," Longoria said. "It's tough when, the whole year, we've really struggled to score runs at home. … I don't mind taking the blame for it. I expect to play better in situations like this. But (Tuesday), it just wasn't meant to be."

Longoria and centerfielder B.J. Upton, each of whom had a hot September, continued by going 7-for-17 in Games 1 and 2 in Texas as the Rays racked up 15 runs. But the duo was 0-for-13 with nine strikeouts in the next two, and the team mustered six runs.

"I just didn't hit the ball," Longoria said. "They pitched well. You hear the phrase, 'good pitching beats good hitting' all the time. Well, they made their pitches when they needed to. I don't really feel like there's anything that myself or anybody in this clubhouse has to hang their heads about. We all did our preparation and we all went out there as ready as we could be. Sometimes you get beat."

On Monday, Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis handcuffed the Rays, holding them to one hit through six innings to pick up his fourth postseason victory. Left-hander Matt Harrison followed suit Tuesday, tying a career high with nine strikeouts in just five innings.

"It seems like they were hitting their spots, in and out, up and down," said designated hitter Johnny Damon, who was 1-for-8 the past two games. "They weren't leaving much stuff over the middle of the plate. That's why they were successful and why they've been able to shut us down the past couple games."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

Evan Longoria's amazing finish fizzles in final two ALDS games 10/04/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 9:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs get first new video director in 29 years

    Blogs

    When the Bucs took to the practice field this week to start OTA practices, they did so with a new video director for the first time in 29 years.

    Bucs video director Dave Levy, shown during the 2003 season, worked under nine different head coaches in 29 seasons working for Tampa Bay.
  2. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL

    Blogs

    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

  3. Steven Souza Jr. snaps out of slump as Rays defeat Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — After Tuesday's shutout loss to the Angels, Steven Souza Jr. stood in front of his locker and talked about his need to contribute to the offense.

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre (45) hugs right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) in the dugout after his two run home run in the second inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
  4. Tom Jones: Rays made right move sending Blake Snell to minors

    The Heater

    tom jones' two cents

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Blake Snell’s struggles on the mound were only one of the reasons the Rays sent him to the minors; some other red flags existed. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Ryne Stanek has had his early struggles, but Wednesday he showed his high-octane potential, working around a one-out walk to strike out the mighty Mike Trout (on a 98.4 mph fastball) and legendary Albert Pujols (98.7), both swinging.