The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 6, White Sox 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Still Alive. The Rays have played 159 games and they are still alive. There are just 13 teams that can say that. And 10 of those teams are going to make he playoffs. That may not seem like much consolation right now, but making the playoffs isn’t easy in baseball. And the Rays have now been in contention the last week in four of the last five seasons. That’s impressive…David Price. Hats off to the first 20-game winner in Rays history…BJ Upton. Maybe it was because of his impending free agency. Or maybe this is just another one of his hot stretches. But it is nice to see Bossman go out with a bang. After 2 home runs yesterday, he now has 21 second half home runs. Only Miguel Cabrera (25) has more in the AL. And if he gets 2 more HRs in the final series, he will be the first 30-30 player in Rays history. Actually, Upton is already the only 20-20 (3 times) player in team history.

THE BAD: Elimination Number is 1. The Rays elimination number is now one. That is, if they lose another game, or if the A’s win another game, it is over. The only way in which the Rays can make the playoffs is to sweep the Orioles and hope the Rangers sweep the A’s. And even then, that will only force a tie…Schedule Doesn’t Help. On the one hand, the Orioles are still battling for the division title, so they will play hard. And while it might sound nice that the A’s have to play the Rangers, there is a big reason to worry. If the A’s win the first game, the Rays are eliminated. But if the A’s lose the first game, the Rangers clinch the division. And that means the Rangers will likely have a tripla-A lineup for tomorrow’s game…Numbers Game. You guys know I have been saying this for weeks. Making the playoffs this year was, in some ways, harder than last year. Why? Because it is just too much to hope that 3-4 good teams all start playing losing baseball at the same time. And now we see just how true that was. The Rays are 9-1 in their last 10 and are still 3 games out of a Wild Card spot.

THE TELLING: The Rays are now 88-71 and their chances of making the playoffs have fallen all the way to 1.0% according to CoolStandings.com…Fernando Rodney has tied Dennis Eckersley for lowest ERA ever for a relief pitcher that threw at least 50 innings (0.61).

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Be sure to click the <Read More…> below for a video of Ben Zobrist really using his head.
  • Hey, no pressure Alex Cobb. Just the season on the line. [TBO.com]
  • David Price would vote for himself for AL Cy Young. [TampaBay.com]
  • Reads like a eulogy, but here are the 2012 Rays by the numbers. [TampaBay.com]
  • So the Dodgers got a secret TV deal with MLB and don’t have to share their TV revenue like the rest of the clubs. How did that happen? [BI Sports]
  • Want to know what happened to the Bucs? Joe Bucs Fan has you covered. [JoeBucsFan]

 

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14 Comments

  1. KT says:

    Seattle could have had two of those games against the A’s, and fell on their faces. Bummer.

  2. don says:

    But as our fans would say “its not a sprint its a marathon”
    You think many of those (“its only one game”) loses during the Marathon are now showing up….were behind in the sprint…
    NOW what can you do?….probably go Home…too much for old baseball cliches….not you Dave

  3. John Michael says:

    I don’t think the Rangers will throw out their backups so fast if they win tonight. Best overall record and home field advantage are still on the line for them. There’s a definite chance they’ll be aiming for a sweep if the Yankees keep winning.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Unfortunately most teams consider homefield advantage to be less important than resting players and setting up the rotation. It happens almost every year. And managers are usually honest about it. They’ll say it will be nice if they get homefield, but it is not their priority.

      The one thing the Rays can hope for is that the Rangers will recognize the importance of the games and play hard out of respect. But even then, they are not going to start a top pitcher 3-4 days before the playoffs start.

      • Ken says:

        If the Rangers have a better record than the NYY, then their first playoff game won’t be until Sunday 10/7. They would get an extra day off before the start of the playoffs. Their #1 SP could pitch as late as this Tuesday and still be ready to pitch the first game of the playoffs on Sunday. So as long as their #1 SP is not scheduled to start this Wednesday, they could use their SP’s in any oder they want to get them ready for the playoffs. The Rangers will have 3 days (Thursday thru Saturday) off between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs. So the players will get plenty of rest after they claim home field over the NYY by sweeping the A’s. One can only hope that Tex will use this strategy.

        • Cork Gaines says:

          We’ll see. But that almost never happens. And your definition of “plenty of rest” might differ from the manager and players who have played almost non-stop for 6 months.

    • Dave L says:

      Good point. So we are depending on Boston to go down fighting and keep the heat on. I’m glad its in New York, the Fenway crowd would turn on them quick.

      • KT says:

        Why do we care if Boston keeps the heat on the Yankees?

        • Dave L says:

          If they have to fight they cant rest their starters as much and they are an old team.

          Assuming a miracle happens we want everyone as weak as possible who is still alive right?

          Plus if we are eliminated (99% chance according to Corks trusty fangraphs) well I don’t know about you but i wont be switching to pin stripes.

  4. Dave L says:

    Its been a wild ride but the end is near. The Orioles still think want to win the division so their motivation will be likely greater than ours as they control thier destiny.

    Yes it is a marathon for sure but we just have a little bit too much to overcome it looks like.

    You can’t sprint an entire marathon as you will burnout quickly. The Rays are hot and playing their best basball of the season, so the management did a great job getting us to peak at the end. But we probably came up just a little short.

    Many in this forum had us dead and buried months ago. Well we have one slim chance left and I’m still hoping for a miracle.

  5. Beazy says:

    Choak’land???

  6. Rob says:

    I know some fans wish we had a manager and ownership group that was a little more old school – a manager that doesn’t fiddle with line-ups or play match ups so much and an owner who will spend the big bucks on a monster hitter to stick in the middle of the lineup.

    Maybe a manager like Lou Pinella, who never won more than 70 games with the DRays. Or an ownership group that that takes on $200 million worth of hitters before the trade deadline like the Dodgers did (and then fall way, way out of the division title race). Or a team that spent a ton to put together a lineup that seemed like it could score 7-8 runs a game to overcome no pitching depth like the Red Sox.

    As frustrating as the Rays can be at times to watch, it is hard to argue with results. Since 2008, there have only been three teams to have a winning record during each season: NYY, St. Louis and the Rays. If Philly wins 2 of their last 3, they can be added to the list too. For an organization that never finished higher than 4th, it is an awesome accomplishment to be included in a list like the one above.

    • Allen says:

      Well said, Rob. No matter how these last three games turn out, the Rays organization has reason to be proud.

      If only BJ had come alive earlier in the seaon, if only Joyce had not collapsed over the last month, if only we’d had some hitting from our catchers, if only Longoria had played all year, if only Zobrist had played shortstop all season.

      I am very impressed the Rays are where they are, not just this season, but since 2008, with their weakness in hitting.

      I’m hoping the Rays win all three against the O’s, and the A’s lose all three against the Rangers. Hope is still alive! Go Rays!

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