If you were one of the people who guessed the Tampa Bay Rays would be 12 games over .500 with only 24 games remaining in the season, I don’t believe you.
No, I’m not calling you a liar. I just think you might be confused. That would have meant you predicted that the Rays would be 75-63 on September 5. I’d guess you’re one of those people who start the record with losses instead of wins. Sort of like the people who would say the Blue Jays lost zero to four last night.
Today, the Tampa Bay Rays stand one half game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are 76-63. Take that Andrew Friedman. How many more millions of dollars did it take for you to be a half game better than your old team? Many would argue that the similarities aren’t even close, because what the Rays are doing is against, among others, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.
Last Night’s Game – 4-0 Win over the Blue Jays
I’m not big on simple game recaps. But, last night’s win was a perfect example of the 2018 season for the Rays. To earn a shutout using seven pitchers is a testament to the quality of the entire pitching staff. And, it provides further talking points to the defenders of the Opener. Last night’s pitcher usage seemed a little off-script. Ryne Stanek got the first inning. That was to be expected. But, rather than turning the game over to Jalen Beeks for the bulk of the innings, they went to Hunter Wood for two inning before it was Beeks’ turn.
No where do the Rays have a bigger fan in the Opener than the MLB Network’s Brian Kenny. On Twitter, he posted this:
Pitcher after pitcher, lefty and righty, came on a did their jobs. Three hits and two walks while striking out ten. Offensively, they scrapped eight hits and did just enough to score four runs. That’s all it takes. If your pitching isn’t allowing any runs, pushing a few across the plate is good enough.
The Rays are seven back in the AL Wild Card. Most think that hill is too steep to climb. What do you think? I’d lean toward saying it’s impossible, but with this team, I’m not so sure.