- If there is such a thing as an important series when your team is 52-76 and in last place, this is an important series and as important as it gets. The Rays enter this series with one last hope to finish strong and possibly surge past the Horioles into 4th place in the division. The O’s are 4.5 games ahead of the Rays and the two teams have 6 games remaining head-to-head including this 3 game set in Camden Yards. In addition the Rays will send to the mound three pitchers that could possibly make 3/5 of the rotation for years to come. In particular this is a very good opportunity for Jason Hammel to show the club that he can be an effective major league pitcher. Hammel made two starts earlier this season, including one against the Orioles. He has struggled a bit down at Durham going 5-9 with a 4.23 ERA, but is considered one of the better pitching prospects in the Rays’ system.
- While the Rays just took 3 of 4 from the Rangers to all but eliminate Texas from the playoffs, the Orioles enter this series having lost 2 of 3 to the Twins. That came on the heals of taking 4 of 6 from the Yankees and the Jays.
- The Rays Tragic Number is 12 (11 in the division). Good news is, the Rays will not be the first team to be officially eliminated from the playoffs. The Royals have already been eliminated from their division, and their elimination number for the wild card is 5.
- The Rays are 1-15 on the road since the All Star break, and haven’t won a road series since taking 2 of 3 from the Phillies during interleague play in June.