Just win baby. That seems to the Rays mantra as they play their way through the 60 game season.
It doesn’t seem to matter who goes down with an injury, its the next man up philosophy, and the Rays just keep winning.
Josh Fleming became the first Rays pitcher in history to win his first three consecutive starts as he got the decision in the Rays 5-4 win over the Miami Marlins on Friday night.
Nick Anderson returned from the DL and earned his fourth save of the season as the Rays improved to 27-12. The Rays now have a five and a half-game lead on the second-place New York Yankees, and the Toronto Blue Jays.
That 27-12 mark is the best record in the American League and good for second best in baseball behind the Los Angeles Dodgers 30-10 record.
I predicted in my Rays season preview that the Rays and the Dodgers would meet in the World Series.
The schedule is in the Rays favor as they head down the stretch. After the Marlins series this weekend, the Rays will play Washington, Boston, Washington, Baltimore, the New York Mets, and the Phillies.
The Philadelphia Phillies are the only team above .500 on the schedule that the Rays will play the rest of the season.
The Rays are on pace to win another 14 games this season and finish with a 41-19 record. If this trend holds out, the Rays will have a home-field advantage for the playoffs until the World Series.
As the stretch run heats up, Wily Adames has been one of the Ray’s best offensive player this season. Adames is fifth in the league in hitting with a .311 average with five home runs and 15 runs batted in.
But the Rays offensive player of the year after 39 games has been Brandon Lowe. Lowe leads the Rays in home runs with 10 and leads the team with 27 runs batted in.
Yoshi Tsutsugo is also starting to heat up for the Rays. After a slow start. Tsutsugo is hitting .209 but has six homers and has driven in 18 runs.
The Rays activated one of their starters from the DL as Charlie Morton returned to action this week. Morton pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Wednesday.
There has not been one pitcher that has carried the load for the Rays this season.
From John Curtiss to Tyler Glasnow, Nick Anderson, and Ryan Sheriff, they all have contributed in some way.
It is going to be a fun September in Tampa. A month that could end with the Rays securing home-field advantage and the Lightning playing in the Stanley Cup final.