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Rays tank: We are the champions, my friends

And could be champions again, soon!

It was an off-day for the Rays on the field, but that doesn’t mean it was an off-day for the rest of the baseball world. There was action aplenty.

  • The HV Renegades, the Rays New York-Penn League Class A Short Season affiliate of the Rays, took home their third-ever title on Wednesday night, defeating the Vermont Lake Monsters in a game that took place 15 minutes away from my home. I conveniently figured that out the morning after the game took place…
  • Jake Bauers and Brent Honeywell are doing their best to deliver a Triple-A title to the Rays organization as well, with Honeywell striking out ten and Bauers going 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI in their Game 3 victory. The last couple months have been frustrating at the major league level, but the future is undoubtedly bright.
  • The Cleveland Professional Baseball Team own a piece of MLB history now, as they won their 22nd consecutive game Wednesday night. The team was down to its final strike, down one in the bottom of the ninth, but the magical, effervescent, transcendent, lovely, [every other positive adjective in the world] Francisco Lindor kept them alive with a two-out, two-strike double off the wall, and Jay Bruce walked them off in the bottom of the tenth. Technically they still have five more games to win to top the 1916 New York Giants, but that record is a bit iffy (they were tied through eight for one game, and had to restart the next day) and was so long ago that the sport was entirely different. Cleveland should be proud.
  • Nathan Eovaldi is pitching for Durham in the Triple-A playoffs, and Kevin Cash is hoping for the 27-year-old to be a veteran influence with the Rays next season. There’s likely to be a spot or two open in the Rays rotation next season, and if Eovaldi can stay healthy (clearly a massive “if”), he could be a solid back-end of the rotation arm, or maybe even fire-arming relief pitcher (though the plan is starter to begin the season).
  • The plan for the Rays next season is to go back to their 2015 plan of limiting the number of times starters will make a third time through the opposing lineup. For analytical fans, this is awesome news. Also awesome for fans with eyeballs and/or a brain.

The Rays come home tonight to host the Red Sox, and given that they currently sit 5.5 games back of the second wild card and have five teams between them and the Twins, they basically can’t lose the rest of the way. Here we come, 15-game win streak to end the season!