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The Rays Tank: The Final Off Day

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After today's off day, the Rays have twenty games remaining in the final stretch of the season.

Otto Greule Jr

After today’s rest and relaxation day for the Rays, they will begin their final stretch of the season at home against the Red Sox. As it currently stands, the Rays are seven and a half games behind Boston for the AL East lead. However, with yesterday’s win against the Mariners, paired with some other losses around the AL, the Rays still hold a two game lead on the second Wild Card position over Baltimore and Cleveland, with New York two and a half games back.

Yesterday’s 4-1 victory over the Mariners meant that the Rays avoided a sweep in Seattle, and ended the 3-7 road trip on a good note. For a while, it felt like Seattle was going to defeat Tampa Bay 1-0, but the offense finally lit up in the eighth inning as the Rays scored three runs. The rest of the game was pretty frustrating, with the team leaving 11 men on base. For the recap, head on over to Erik’s post.

Joe Maddon told reporters after the game, "it was the best 3-7 trip in the history of our organization." If you say so, Joe.

Twenty games remain in the season. Eleven at home against the Red Sox, Rangers and Orioles. Nine on the road against the Twins, Yankees and the Blue Jays. The Rays currently boast a 44-26 home record, while they are only 34-38 on the road.

The expected pitching matchups for the Red Sox series are Buchholz-Price, Dempster-Cobb and Peavy-Hellickson. Tuesday will be Clay Buchholz’s first game since June 8th against the Angels. According to the Boston Globe, Buchholz will only throw between 75-80 pitches against the Rays. No word yet on just exactly how much hair goop will be used to "style his locks".

Links:

-For your viewing pleasure, the week’s wildest swings and pitches, as provided by Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs.

-David Schoenfield of ESPN’s The Sweet Spot blog named the Mariners as the "Tank of the Day" after their bullpen failed to hold the lead against the Rays.

-Mariano Rivera blew another save last night, but the Yankees still won on a walk-off wild pitch. Joe Girardi isn’t sure if Derek Jeter will return this season after the Yanks’ shortstop re-injured his bionic ankle.

-Baseball will not return for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

-Matt Harvey will visit Dr. James Andrews this week for a second opinion on his elbow.