Evan Longoria hasn’t been himself this series, only coming to life with his bat in the past two games. He has been limited with a strained quad muscles that has been hurting him since the end of the regular season. He sat out the final couple of series and many thought he would be fully healed and ready to run all over the place, this hasn’t been the case so far.
Longoria was quiet early in the series, part of which was Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson dominating everyone, but the other half of the story is his strained quad. It limits how much he can use his lower half to generate power and throws off his swing. Longoria was late on many pitches and failed to get a solid hit. But with an extra day off, the Rays landed in Texas and so did Longoria’s bat. He made better contact and the power swing returned for him.
His defense has also been limited. You can tell by watching him move from third base and running the bases that it is labored. When he charges from third, he is a bit slower than usual and has to rush throws because the timing is not there, making some of his throws to first bases very high and off target. Longoria says he is good to go and the extra day off has helped, but it is clear he is still not 100% yet and may not be until the off season.
Let’s hope that tonight the sore hamstring is not too bad and Longoria as well as the other hitters are able to do enough against Cliff Lee and clinch game 5 of the ALDS.