Welcome to the Playoffs, Evan Longoria

The question that everyone has been asking about the Rays prior to these playoffs is whether or not their young roster can overcome their lack of experience to perform well in their first postseason appearance. Those questions won't go away no matter how they perform in the ALDS, but Evan Longoria went a long ways towards answering them this afternoon when he whacked a home run on the first playoff pitch he saw.

He didn't stop there either; he homered again in the third inning and doubled in a run in the fifth to give him a 3-for-3 day with 3 RBI in his first career postseason game. In case you've somehow forgotten, Longoria's 22 years old and had a total of 881 minor league plate appearances before being called up to the Rays this year. So much for experience, because Longoria is just good.

Maybe Longoria's just too young to understand the pressure, or maybe he's just this good. Some of the other young Rays struggled today (B.J. Upton was 0-for-5 and the team only managed eight non-Longoria hits), but Longoria provided enough offense on his own to help the Rays out of an early 3-1 hole and to a 6-4 Game 1 win. Underestimate the talent of the Rays all you like, but they certainly don't seem to be intimidated.

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