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Rays Beat Indians 5-2 Behind Crawford's Two Home Runs

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After the first two innings it didn't look like we were going to get much of a start from Wade Davis. As impressive as David Price was a night ago it seemed like Davis was going to be the polar opposite. Through the first two innings Davis hurled 48 pitches, only 26 for strikes, while allowing two home runs and three walks. He was showing the same types of control issues that have been his bugaboo throughout the season. Then innings 3-7 happened.

I hate using cliches like this, but Davis really buckled down from the third inning on. He allowed just three base runners over that time, and while he did also walk three batters, his command of the zone seemed improved. What was impressive about Davis' start was the number of whiffs he generated on his fastball. Of the 42 FourSeam fastballs he threw on the evening five went for swinging strikes (8.33%). That is significantly up from the 5.1% he's averaged on the season.

Obviously, Davis hasn't been the pitcher we expected him to be this season. But it's games like this one that give you hope he can figure things out for the stretch run. Yes, the Indians have a very young offense and while that surely aided Davis in some spots, seeing him regroup and pitch an effective seven innings was a nice sight. If the Rays feel they need to go out and add a starter, or one falls into their laps somehow, then I'm all for it. However, I think Davis can be the serviceable number five starter the Rays need the rest of the way. He obviously wouldn't make any postseason roster if the Rays were to make it, but that's not his job at this point.


Shifting focus to the offense now. It's really fun to watch Carl Crawford play baseball. Like, really really fun. I don't know if there's a more fun player to watch than the Rays' All-Star left fielder. Many people say that us sabermetric inclined folk are sucking the fun out of the game, or that we can't enjoy a game if we're obsessing over the stats and analysis, whatever. While we may take a different view of game than some, I think everyone can come together and appreciate just how fun/exciting/good Crawford is. He added on to his fantastic season tonight, blasting a two run homer in the first inning, then doing it again in a near mirror image in the second. Coming into tonight's game Crawford was tied for second place in WAR with Robinson Cano, was walking at a career best rate (8.2%), hitting for more power than ever (.178ISO), and may pass Carlos Pena for the team lead in :)% by season's end. He's been such a pleasure to watch over these past nine years.

 

-Everytime Carlos Pena hits an opposite field home run an angel gets it's wings.

-It was Crawford's first multi home game since June 25th, 2008 and his first ever at the Trop.

-The Rays are now 7-1 in July and have won six in a row.

-I'm starting to feel bad for Reid Brignac. If he isn't going to start games against right handed pitchers then that turns him into one of the more talented bench players in the league.

-Hey, Seattle, please take whatever it is you were doing last week against the Yankees in New York, bottle it up, pour it down your gullets, and do it again. Thanks in advance.