The Rays Tank: The final six

Al Messerschmidt

New York, Toronto, Postseason.

"Absolutely. We'll be playing here again this year."

Joe Maddon sees October baseball at the Trop.

Before we jump too far ahead, could the Rays have concocted a more "Rays" way for this final homestand to go?

Six wins, two losses, two hard fought extra innings battles that resulted in W's, all games played against Wild-Card-spot-craving teams, the final four a sweep, walk-offs, full team efforts...

What more could we, or they, have wanted?

Yesterday's walk-off win was the 13th by the team this season, tying a 2011 club record and allowing James Loney to become the 11th different Rays player with a walk-off RBI this year.

For the full postgame recap, including the gruesome GIF of Manny Machado's knee injury, head here.

Last night, with wins each and a loss from the Nationals, the Pirates and the Reds clinched their wild card spots, the final two playoff spots, in the National League.

With the NL is all wrapped up, all eyes will be on the Rays, Indians, Rangers and Royals these next few days.

And they'll continue to stay on the Rays, if Maddon's sixth sense is on point,

But, as he has sensed in past playoff-bound seasons, Maddon is convinced there is now that special hard-to-define, intangible feeling in the dugout that they somehow, some way will find a way to win.

"I don't think we've had this, kind of any time, regarding good feelings, expecting something good to happen and the positive outlook," he said. "Right now it's at its zenith I think."

Links:

- The 2013 season has seen the best fielding percentage of any season in baseball history.

- A look at which teams have tanked and which have turned it around in the last month, allowing them the playoff berth they have today.

- Dreamcrushers. The Rays used to play the spoiler team, and Grantland took a look at the teams who can kill postseason hopes with the games remaining.

- Max Scherzer vs. Chris Sale for the AL Cy Young, and a matter of the quality of the opposition.

- A quick wistful ode to Mariano Rivera from The New Yorker.

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