If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and try to project what they will do based on what we have learned. Unlike most team blogs, we do not very often tell you what the Tampa Bay Rays should do. However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans.
On the sixth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, SIX months with at least 15 wins…
The Rays 2008 record by month:
The good news is that the Rays were fairly consistent over the first five months. Wait. We take that back. The good news is that those numbers add up to 97-65. But on their way to the AL East crown, the Rays posted a winning record in each month prior to their September swoon in which they had to fight off the Red Sox.
Despite the rough stretches in July and September, the Rays were carried by two hot streaks in May and August. Most teams would be happy with one month of 19 wins. The Rays had two.
Now let’s imagine a scenario in which the Rays could have won just one more game in April and two more games in both July and September. That is five wins over the course of three months, or about one extra win every three weeks. One game in which Dan Wheeler holds a lead. One game in which Gabe Gross comes through in the 4th inning with a runner on second.
15 wins each month guarantees the Rays 90 wins in a season. 15 wins means the Rays only need one 20-win month to reach 95 wins. In every season since 2002, 95 wins has been good enough for at least the Wild Card spot.
If the Rays are going to contend again in 2009 in the toughest division in baseball, they need to play at a consistent level over six months and hope for at least one hot stretch.
On the sixth day of Raysmas, all Rays fans want is SIX months with at least 15 wins and…
FIVE-year extension for Matt Garza [Day 5]
FOUR pitchers with 15 wins [Day 4]
THREE Gold Glove awards [Day 3]
TWO months in triple-A for David Price [Day 2]
ONE impact bat with a bow on top [Day 1]