The Rays embark on a six game road trip this week before meeting up with New York: three at Texas, then four at Toronto. Meanwhile, the Yankees are about to play six games hosting Boston and Baltimore, three a piece.
Tampa Bay has been on quite a hot streak winning 20 of 25 games and cannot let up this week if the Rays want to have a prayer of catching the Yankees or A’s in the wildcard standings. TB took two of three against Oakland, losing one in extras, but they haven’t let up. Oakland is seven games ahead, New York 1.5 beyond that.
It’s still mathematically possible for the Rays to catch one of these two teams so we will continue reminding you of that until it’s done (and FWIW, Oakland is about to host the Angels and Twins this week). New York seems to be secure in keeping one of the Wild Card spots, so it’s possible - just possible enough - they start letting off the gas in September.
Just keep crossing your fingers.
The Rays playoff odds have fallen to 0.1% according to Fangraphs.
- Broadcaster Dewayne Staats has been out with a respiratory infection that saw the excellent Neil Solondz (check his memorable call on Cron’s dinger below) step into the booth on Sunday. Staats is expected to continue to miss time, with Fox Sports broadcaster Rich Hollenberg likely to step in as needed.
- Marc Topkin writes that the Rays have much to be proud of after securing a winning record in the rebuilding year of 2018
- Jake Faria is pitching with a “little bit of rust” (Faria’s words) after walking three in the ninth on Sunday, allowing Oakland to come back with four runs in the frame, nearly tying the score.
- Juan Toribio wrote about the possible return of Jake Bauers bat for The Athletic
- Bauers also flashed some stellar leather yesterday:
- The Rays have a $150 Pledge Pack, with proceeds to benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation, offering fans a 20th Anniversary Coffee Table Book, Fred McGriff & Tino Martinez Double Bobblehead, Kevin Kiermaier STAR WARS Pop Vinyl, Lower Corner Ticket Voucher for 4 Tickets, and a Mystery Autographed Baseball
- B-Pro featured Rays catching prospect Ronaldo Hernandez as a “favorite” prospect story of 2018
- Cardinals 2B Kolton Wong is not happy his brother is still in Durham:
Kolten Wong doesn't mince words about #Rays and their treatment of his younger brother Keon, who is back in Triple-A title game. He calls Tampa Bay a 'bad organization' that doesn't give deserving players a chance: https://t.co/tEFHI5edMk #stlcards #Cardinals #MLB— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) September 17, 2018
- Meanwhile, Rob Refsnyder (remember him?) was this year’s Governor’s Cup MVP in Triple-A, which was awarded to Wong last year.
- Fangraphs on trading for Injured Players (something the Rays do often)
- New resident at Fangraphs, Cat Garcia (@TheBaseballGirl), on the continued well above average performance of Xander Bogaerts
- Hardball Times: Christopher Dale on reseeding the MLB Playoffs
- I particularly enjoyed today’s Short Relief stories at Baseball Prospectus
- Ben Zobrist took his third annual bike around Wrigleyville... in uniform
- And finally, some solid rookie hazing: