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Jason Bartlett Ignites Rays Offense

This is going to be short and sweet as nothing very significant happened in tonight's game besides Jeff Niemann actually pitching beyond the 5th inning. 

We're beginning to run out of superlatives to describe Jason Bartlett's hitting thus far this season.  Coming into tonight's game he had a ridiculous slash line of .370/.407/.563/.970 with 5(!) home runs and 11 steals.  Tonight added to those totals, going 3-3 with a triple and 5 RBI.  Over the past two weeks the slash line improves to an even sillier .386/.417/.682/1.098. 

He's obviously not going to hit .370 all season.  That number will fall back as his .413 BABiP comes tumbling down to earth.  However, I expect Bartlett to keep hitting resonably well.  Bartlett has worked this season on driving the ball more, and it seems to have worked.  His LD% is up nearly 9% over last season while his GB% is almost 14 points lower.  Maddon's goal of moving Bartlett down toward the bottom of the order to act as a second leadoff man has worked out in spades.  Aki Iwamura is normally slotted behind Bartlett and his hitting well himself.  With those two getting on base and Upton showing signs of life, opposing teams are going to have their hands full for the rest of the season.

If you were voting today solely based on numbers and not a players reputation, Jason Bartlett would be the starting shortstop for the American League in the All-Star Game.  I'll leave this Bartlett love fest with a quote I got tonight from Tommy who is away tending to a personal matter; "Dude seriously Bartlett is awesome...wtf."  I think that says it all up to this point.