Despite the Rays’ loss today against the Yankees and the Red Sox win at home against the Jays, the Rays were able to lower their magic number to clinch at least a wild card in the American League. That is because the Orioles took down the Twinkies 7-3.
Yes RAYSHEADS, the Magic Number is now 8* to clinch a playoff spot.
Also, David Price made his major league debut today in Yankee stadium against the same team he made his professional debut against in Spring Training.
King David relieved Edwin Jackson in the 3rd inning and immediately made an impression, retiring the side on 7 pitches, including a strike out of Ivan Rodriguez to end the inning. He worked 5.1 innings, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits. He struck out 4 and walked none. He retired the first 6 batters he faced before giving up a solo home run to Derek Jeter.
With Matt Garza announced to be the Wednesday starter on three days rest, the 87 pitches thrown by Price leaves us wondering if the Rays still plan on keeping Price in the bullpen for the immediate future. Price will likely be unavailable to pitch again until Thursday at the earliest. If the Rays do indeed want Price to start one game in the Sept. 23 double-header, he may not be able to make an appearance until that Tuesday. If Price is to go on a full 4-days rest that day, Thursday is also the last day in which he would be available out of the ‘pen. In theory, Price could work an inning or two on Friday or Saturday and just be used for 4-5 innings in the double-header, with Jeff Niemann available in relief. However, that scenario seems unlikely.
Look for Joe Maddon to address this situation in the next day or two.
*The White Sox and the Twins play each other 3 more times. With the White Sox still set to play a double-header today, the most wins the second place team in the Central can have is 94. So technically, the Rays magic number is 7. We could mark off the “guaranteed” loss now or we can do it when it actually happens…We choose the latter.