A two-hour-and-four minute rain delay might have taken a win away from Matt Moore, but not from the Tampa Bay Rays. With their 7-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins last night, the Rays jumped into a tie with Texas in the American League Wild Card race. Both the Rangers and Rays stand 1.5 games ahead of Cleveland in the chase for the two wild card slots, and three games ahead of the Yankees. Just 3.5 games back are the Baltimore Orioles and K.C. Royals.
- If the Rays can win eight of their last fifteen games, that would force the Indians to go ten-and-five to jump Tampa Bay for a spot in the post-season. The Yankees would have to go ten-and-three to take a spot from the Rays. Of course, when you get to this part of the season, you truly have to take them “one game at a time” as the saying goes. My guess is that Tampa Bay won’t even look at the magic number needed to take part in the madness of October.
- It will be interesting to see what can happen if Wil Myers and Evan Longoria get hot at the same time. And the farther the season goes, the better the chance that will happen. That being said, over the past ten games, Myers is hitting .333 and Longoria .297. They just haven’t been clicking at the same time.
- My wife noticed Ben Zobrist wasn’t in the lineup last night. Not to worry. Just a day off.
- The bottom of the lineup four-for-seven with three RBIs and five runs scored last night. Sean Rodriguez, Yunel Escobar, and Jose Lobaton did the honors. When a team is struggling to score runs, those runs, when found, often come from the most unusual places.
- Speaking of good things coming from unexpected places, the Rays used six relievers last night to finish of the Twins. Those relievers combined to allow no runs, and three hits, while striking out five and walking one. This is the time of season where bullpen effectiveness is crucial. The Rays have used their arms effectively, and should be fresh for the stretch run.
- David Price, who has lost three in a row will try to extend the Rays’ winning streak to four games this afternoon in Minnesota. Price whiffed nine and allowed just two earned runs in his last outing, a well-pitched loss to Boston.
Last night felt like a West Coast game to me. Even though it started early enough, it lasted five hours and fifteen minutes. Until after midnight. And I’m old. So I didn’t get to see the final result. So, as is always the case in such situations, I looked at my personal scoreboard, a well-used gift from my daughters, Sarah and Hannah. Always great to see the Rays with the big number in the runs column.
Today, I’m headed to Orlando to meet the one and only @PrTwain for a cigar, a beverage or two, and the Rays’ game on TV. Even though it’s a football Sunday, they have guaranteed we can have Tampa Bay on the small screen. That’s OK by me. Their small screen is probably bigger than the one in our bedroom.