Did Thursday Night’s Win Change The Rays’ Playoff Fate?

By Jenna West

Last night’s win was a do or die situation for the Rays. After losing 13 of their previous 17 games, everything was on the line, literally. As Wil Myers‘ eighth inning double fell only six inches inside the right-field line to stay fair, it was the play the Rays needed to win Thursday night’s game and stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Evan Longoria called last night’s victory a “basically must-win game,” when speaking with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

The previous two games in the Rays-Red Sox series felt like desperate attempts, as the Rays were hanging on to their slight lead in the AL Wild Card race. Everyone’s hopes hung on every pitch, every at bat, as though any moment could change the Rays’ future, but they failed twice. However, we know the third time’s a charm.

“We needed it bad,” Myers told Topkin. “We needed a win bad. With the Wild Card getting tight, we needed a win here. We didn’t want to get swept by those guys. And we’ve got to keep winning. We don’t need just one and lose tomorrow.”

Last night’s win has hopefully turned the tide, and we will see if the Rays can keep up this new momentum in their series against the Minnesota Twins. The Rays were predicting they could gain a substantial lead in the standings during their series against Boston, but they struggled before finally winning the last game.

But, Rays fans, let’s not give up hope yet because Joe Maddon and his team hasn’t. If last night’s win showed us anything, it means the Rays are staying true to their style and are about to make September baseball really interesting.