Can we all just stop expecting the Tampa Bay Rays to just disappear by the end of the season? A team that everyone was saying had to make a move at the deadline to acquire a bat to sure up their weak offense made no such move because they wanted to keep their prospects – and what do they do after the deadline? Go off and sweep the Detroit Tigers while outscoring them 20-10 in the three games.
Last time I wrote about them, New Beast In The AL East, they were in the midst of their longest winning streak of the season so far (7) which was promptly followed by their longest losing streak of the season – also at 7. If there was a good a time as any for a team to fold up and go home it was then. They had squandered a 4 game lead on the division and now were half a game behind the Red Sox. Since then, they have gone 11-5 and once again taken the lead of the division and have given themselves a 3-game cushion.
This team is here to stay and as if their pitching wasn’t solid enough, expect them to call up David Price who was a #1 overall draft pick not too long ago who is tearing up the minor leagues. He is 10-0 in the minors this year with a 1.97 ERA and has a 85/19 K/BB ratio with only 67 hits allowed in 86.2 innings pitched. That’s 8.87 strikeouts every 9 innings by the way and a WHIP of 0.99.
Season Summary 66-44 , Current Rank: 1, GB: up 3.0 Days in First: 48 (as of yesterday) Most Games over .500: 23 (last on July 6) Most Games under .500: 3 (last on April 20) Biggest Lead: 5.0 (last on July 6) Farthest Behind Leader: 5.0 (last on April 22) Longest Winning Streak: 7 (June 29 to July 6) Longest Losing Streak: 7 (July 7 to July 13) Most Runs Allowed: 13 (July 10) Most Runs Scored: 15 (June 25)
All of these stats are from http://www.baseball-reference.com. If you are a baseball fan, this is a must visit site. It really has a ton of stats and is updated daily if not even more frequently that that.
Ever since starting the season 8-11, the Rays have gone a major league best 58-33 with a .637 winning percentage and have allowed the second fewest runs (357) in the Majors since then (Athletics – 352).
I’ll finish off with the same line I used in the previous post… Here is to hoping that the Rays have just as successful of a 2nd half as they did in the first and what a World Series match-up it would be if it was the Rays against the lovable losers in Chicago Cubs. Two franchises marred with losing stretches, on the brink of greatness.