The Rays just finished a two game series sweep in the Bronx and are now five games up on the overly priced Yankees. We haven’t faced the Yanks since the beggining of the season and this showed us a real measure of how good the Rays actually are. We hit the ball very well and our starting pitching outdueled what is beleived to be the best rotation in baseball to some. Well not to me of course but to the people who think if you pay them a lot they must be really good. For Example, CC Sabathia makes more than the whole starting Rays rotation. I would rather have our pitching staff over CC anyday.
The Rays are on a six game winning streak and have won 13 out of the last 17 games. I also read we are on ly the 15th team since the early 60′s to win 30 or more out of the first 41 games. That is an unbeleiveable stat. We are in the top 5 run differential in history through this many games and all the other teams in the top 5, ended up going to the World Series. Im not a real big stat guy on if this happens you will end up here but its hard not to think the Rays aren’t going to make it back this year. Just look what A-Rod has to say about us. “We know exactly how good they are,” Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. “They’re that good. And they’re going to be that good all year, because they’re very athletic, they can pitch and they can catch the ball. They have a plus defender at every position. What we have to do is play fundamental baseball and continue to win series.” Well thanks buddy, now get off our nuts and get back on Jeters.
I don’t know if it was the departure of Pat The Bat or what, but I feel this team is finally meshing fully and the DH position is getting more productivity. Another good sign is Carlos Pena may be out of his slump, hitting 2 long balls in the second game to give him 7 for the year. If only he could get that ugly .194 average up, everything would be perfect. The team’s average is .257, 17th in the league. We should get rid of Dioneer and let John Jaso take over full duties behind the plate. Not only does he throw out more runners than Felix The Cat but he is also batting .333 with 14 RBI’s compared to Dioneer’s two. This is just another sign of how Joe Maddon loves to be loyal to garbage players.
As long as our pitching stays phenomenal (AL leading 2.83 ERA) and our hitting keeps producing runs (225, second to the Yankees), you might want to save up money for playoff tickets. Its early to say were going all the way but how can you not think the same thing? This is the same feeling people had when we made it to the series in 08, people thought the Rays would end up falling off but it just did not happen and its not going to happen again this year.
And I almost forgot to say congrats to Ben Zobrist and Jason Bartlett for finally hitting their first homeruns of the year. Its about damn time!!!