Rays Magic Number at 4 for Division

September 23, 2008 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

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The Rays and David Price pulled the Rays magic number for the AL East down to 4 games with last night’s win. With 7 games left (all away) and Boston having 6 left (all at home), the Rays just need any combination of 4 games going their way. It can be 4 wins or 4 losses for the Red Sox. We can go 1-6 in the last 7 games as long as the Red Sox go 3-3. Either way it is in the Rays hands to take this. Win 4 out of 7 and Boston can go 6-0 the rest of the way and we take the division.

Playoff tickets went on sale today and sadly my name wasn’t drawn for a chance to purchase them but my friend’s was. By the time she logged on all they had were upper deck seats (we needed at least 4 together) but I was happy to take them. I just want to go to the first ever Rays playoff game. What a happy day in the life of a Tampa Bay fan.

******* A few notes from last night’s game:*******

– It was the 12th win against the Orioles for the Rays this season which is the most in any season for the Rays against any opponent.

– It was the Rays 93rd win of the season which is one short of tying the 1991 Atlanta Braves for the most wins by a team following a season in which they had the worst record in the majors.

Carlos Pena‘s 9th bases loaded walk of the season gave him 100 RBI for the season. He is only the 3rd Ray to have two 100 RBI seasons. The other two were Aubrey Huff and Fred McGriff.

*******Links for the Day*******

– Carl Crawford is hoping for a quick return to Rays

– In the same piece this was mentioned: Saturday’s playoff berth-clinching game on Fox had better TV ratings in the Tampa Bay market, 7.6, than the Florida-Tennessee college football game, 7.4. It also mentions this: If the Rays get to the World Series, they will make about 6,000 more seats available by removing the tarps covering the top sections of Tropicana Field’s upper deck. Senior VP Mark Fernandez said Monday that a “cooperative decision” was made with Major League Baseball, though some of the seats are bench style and have semi-obstructed views. The tarps will stay on for the first two rounds, maintaining capacity at 36,048, which the Rays feel “creates a better experience,” Fernandez said. Division series tickets go on sale 9 a.m. Wednesday at raysbaseball.com, Thursday at regular-season outlets.

– Carlos Pena was named AL Player of the Week.

– Pointed out by Marc Lancaster of Rays Report, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune ranked the Rays first in their power rankings but said this: “Matt Garza and Edwin Jackson are most likely to be left out of the playoff rotation.” What? Has he seen the Rays? Has he seen the numbers? Nuff said!

– USA Today has a good piece on Joe Maddon and his unorthodox thinking.

– The Hardball Times has a great piece up about Scott Kazmir and they like his ability and compare him to C.C. Sabathia. That is a great comp becuase Kaz is younger and has a chance for better stuff.

– DRaysBay has the pitch F/X of David Price’s first start.

– Her Rays thinks Dewayne Staats should sport the mohawk for charity and lose the curllet.

– Lastly, Buster Olney over at the 4-letter wrote this about Price and the Rays: “David Price continues to present an intriguing option for the Rays’ staff, as it determines the makeup of Tampa Bay’s playoff roster. He threw 5 1/3 solid innings against the Orioles on Monday, allowing two runs in a no-decision, and more importantly, he had some really good sequences against left-handed hitters; if he’s placed on the Rays’ postseason roster, the lefty would probably be used in middle relief matchups in innings in which lefties are due to bat.

In the fourth inning, Price spun a first-pitch slider for Strike 1 on Aubrey Huff, who has been among the best left-handed hitters in the AL this year. The camera flashed on Jim Hickey, the Rays’ pitching coach, who gave a slight shake of the head, as if to say: Wow. Price threw another slider, and all Huff could do was swing defensively and foul the ball off to the third-base side. And with the count no balls and two strikes, Price pumped a 94 mph armpit-high fastball, and Huff swung weakly. A three-pitch wipeout. When the Rays think of possible matchups against Jim Thome or Justin Morneau or Joe Mauer or Garret Anderson or David Ortiz, this is one of the at-bats the Rays’ staff will talk about.”

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Links for the Day (9/22) Offseason Trade: Fielder for Cain?

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