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LABOR DAY GAME NOTES

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Richie Shaffer is Starting!

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the loss yesterday, the Rays record fell to 85-55, but they're still 30 games over .500 and they still have a 2.5 game lead over the Red Sox for the division...

That's what would have been written if it were 2008.

Things are looking bleak, a game the Rays needed to win came and went, and they left with a loss. Which put them further back in the wild card chase at eight games back...

That's what would have been written if it were 2011.

Actual present day, the Rays needed a victory yesterday. It seemed liked they'd cruise to victory with Chris Archer delivering an excellent pitching the offense giving him a decent amount of runs to work with. Unfortunately, New York was finally able to get to Archer for five runs (four earned) and took a 6-4 victory.

Right now, there are actually three teams tied for the two wild card spots, with Tampa Bay sitting 4.5 games back, two games under .500. They find themselves needing to pass five different teams to gain access to the post season. Not likely, more improbable, but not impossible. Rays just need to win 25 of their next 29, and they should be good.

Today's Starting Pitchers:

PITCHER W L ERA FIP K% BB% AVG HR G IP
Drew Smyly 2 2 3.11 3.96 26.9% 5.1% .236 7 7 37.2
Randy Wolf 0 3 6.11 4.27 15.8% 6.6% .314 2 3 17.2

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS DETROIT TIGERS
Brandon Guyer - LF Rajai Davis - LF
Mikie Mahtook - RF Ian Kinsler - 2B
Evan Longoria - DH Miguel Cabrera - 1B
Logan Forsythe - 2B J.D. Martinez - RF
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS Nick Castellanos - DH
Richie Shaffer - 3B James McCann - C
James Loney - 1B Dixon Machado - SS
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Andrew Romine - 3B
J.P. Arencibia - C Anthony Gose - CF
Drew Smyly - LHP Randy Wolf - LHP