Wednesday, August 6

Who are these guys and what have they done with the "Devil Rays"??

The Rays just continue to hit well, pitch deep into games and most importantly, win. The latest W came in dramatic fashion this afternoon. I checked in on the game earlier and it appeared like tonight would be a great opportunity for the Sox to finally pick up a game on the AL East leading Rays....and then the bottom of the 9th comes and all hell breaks loose. A rbi double and two home runs later (including a 3 run walk off by former Wareham Gatemen and Cape Cod League MVP, Carlos Pena) and the Rays are 10-7 winners. Yes the Rays have a difficult schedule in August and September. Yes they still have a lot of games against the Yanks and Sox in the AL East. But they have a level of young confidence that can not be taught, and at the right levels, is downright scary. I've written them off about 7 separate times this year, but they truly are a factor and as much as we want to talk about the Yankees, it's time we take this team very, very seriously.

Consider these quick facts as you wonder if I'm crazy for thinking the Rays are legitimate or not:

  • Today's win was the Rays' 68th this season; the franchise record is 70 wins.

  • The latest Tampa Bay was in first place prior to this season was April 16, 2004.

  • The Rays are enjoying this success all during a "down" year from Carl Crawford (not to mention he hasn't even played in the last few games due to a sore hamstring).

More and more scary with each passing day....


Joe and Julie said...

Their mixture of youth and confidence is getting more worriesome, right? They just don't look like a team that's going to be intimidated by a pennant race or a playoff series.

Anonymous said...

Tampa will stumble in the end. They're too young to handle the stress of the AL east in August and September, and with Joba on the DL, the Sox will win the division by 5 games.

Derek Vicino said...

I believe the opposite, I think the Rays are too young and too confident at this point to be scared. Winning games like last night's only increases their confidence down the stretch. They (and rightfully so) believe they can play with and beat anyone on anyday, it's a confidence all teams look for at this point in the season. I'd love to think the Sox will easily take the division, but i'm not so sold.

As much as I don't want to look at it, the more the Rays win, the more I start to think about looking at the wildcard standings. I haven't looked yet, but if we get to the end of the month and the Rays are still winning, it's time to think about two teams coming out of the AL East. I'm not saying the Sox can/will only win the wildcard, but I wouldn't be surprised to see both of these teams get into the second season in October.

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