THE GOOD: Scott Kazmir. Yes he walked 5 batters. Yes he only worked 6 innings. But he did pitch 6, 1-hit shutout innings against a $100 million lineup. Not bad. All over the country last night, Mets fans cried just a little. How much fun would it be to see Kid K shutting down the Mets in the World Series?…Willy Aybar. After making a couple of bad plays at third base, Aybar responded with a big diving stop and throw to first and backed that up with 3 RBI including his 9th home run.

THE BAD: We have pointed this out before but it is worth repeating. The Rays’ rotation is setup so they will not have James Shields or Matt Garza in the Red Sox series. The Rays are going to the playoffs, but it is still better if the Rays win the division so they can face the Central champ in the first round.

THE TELLING: With the Rays win and the Twins loss, the magic number to clinch at least a Wild Card spot is now 15(!)*, with 24 games to go. We know this will trouble some of you, but read our fingertips THE RAYS ARE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS! Even if the Rays finished 10-14, the Twins would have to go 18-4 just to tie. If the Rays split their final 24 (12-12) the Twins would have to win 20 of 22 to force a 1-game playoff. Not going to happen.

* The White Sox and Twins play each other 3 more times, so the second place team in the Central cannot win more than 98 games. So technically the Rays’ magic number is 14. We could choose to knock off the loss now, or we can choose to knock it off when it actually happens. We choose the latter.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • Evan Longoria plans to take swings with a broomstick on Saturday and if all goes well he may try swinging a bat. Still no word when he may take on live batting practice. [Tampa Tribune]
  • But when you got a Willy Aybar, who needs a Dirtbag? [St. Pete Times]
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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    "All over the country last night, Mets fans cried just a little." This is highly exaggerated. I'm very happy to see him succeed, but it's not even upsetting me that he's with another team.

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  2. Basshole says:

    Did you see the hand gesture A-Rod gave after hitting his HR last night? Looked like he saluted the Rays on the field or in the dugout.

    I guess when you hit a bomb like that, you can do whatever you want.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    i guess when you hit 500+ home runs in 9-3 games in the 9th inning...you are allowed to do whatever you want

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  4. Robert Rittner says:

    More nonsense about "stat padding" home runs? You know, of course, that career-wise, including last year, A-Rod's numbers in high leverage situations are better than his overall numbers?

    You realize too, I assume, that a player who puts his team ahead regularly in innings 1-6 by hitting home runs and driving in runs is significantly more valuable than one who gets 5 high profile hits a year in the 9th?

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