The Rays are now 4 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and one-half game ahead of the A’s and O’s in the Wild Card. The bad news is that, as we mentioned previously, 4 games is a lot bigger at this time of year than it might seem. And yes, the Rays did it last year, but that was a once in a millennium occurrence, that was more about the Sox collapse than the Rays. The key this season is the 6 games head-to-head with the Yankees. As things stand now, the Rays must win four of those games.
The good news is that the Wild Card race is really down to four teams for two spots. The Angels could still get back into it, but right now it doesn’t look good as they are 4 games behind the O’s and A’s. But holding the top spot in a 4-way battle for 2 spots is a heck of a lot better than being the 7th spot in a 7-way battle, which is what things looked like a few weeks ago.
Other notes: The A’s won the season series with the Rays which could come into play if the two teams tie in the Wild Card standings…Joe Maddon has yet to decide on a starter for Wednesday. The question is whether or not he wants to push Alex Cobb back a day for some extra rest….Jeff Niemann was taken out of his last rehab start after taking a linedrive off the hand. X-rays were negative…Sean Rodriguez homered in his second game with the Durham Bulls. He is 3-6 with a walk and 2 strikeouts in 2 games…Leslie Anderson (.313) and Rich Thompson (.310) are 2nd and 3rd in the IL in batting. The leader is hitting .315…Todd Glaesmann (OF, Single-A) and Henry Wrigley (1B, AAA) lead the Rays’ minor league system with 20 home runs each. No other minor leaguer has more than 14.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The agent for Ryan Brett, one of the three prospects that tested positive for methamphetamine, says Brett accidentally took an Adderall pill, thinking it was a caffeine pill. And this was the only time he has ever done it!
- If you missed it on Saturday, there was some concern that protesters would interrupt the game at the Trop. Nothing happened. [BI Sports]
- Scott Kazmir’s newest teammate is some guy named Roger Clemens. Here is video of his return to the mound on Saturday night. The first batter he faced was a former Rays player. [BI Sports]
- Of course the Rays sound confident that they can catch the Yankees. [TampaBay.com]
- The Rays are playing much better on the road. [TBO.com]
- Jayson Werth caught a flyball with his bare hand. [BI Sports]
- Anybody want to know more about Luke Scott’s political views? [TampaBay.com]
- Looks like Doug Martin will be the starting running back for the Bucs, but both he and LeGarrette Blount are going to see plenty of snaps. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
CHARLOTTE @ St. Lucie. cancelled