The Tampa Bay Rays are headed back to the postseason for the second consecutive season. The Rays swept the orioles on Thursday night 3-1 and 10-6 to punch their ticket to the postseason.
The Rays still have some work to do though, as they would like to win the AL East for the first time since 2010.
Many of the national writers predicted a Rays-Dodgers World Series at the beginning of the season.
The Rays took that first step with the sweep in Baltimore.
The Rays are 33-18 and have a 3.5 game on the Yankees with nine games to play. The Rays will finish the weekend in Baltimore before going on to New York to play the Mets in a three-game series.
The Rays wrap up the season at home against the Phillies next weekend.
The Yankees have played much better the last week as they have begun to get their everyday players back healthy. The Yankees are one of the teams that many thought could make the World Series and even win the World Series this season.
If the Rays are going to make a deep playoff run, that will have to do it without Austin Meadows.
As the Rays were celebrating clinching a playoff berth, The team announced that outfielder Austin Meadows was placed on the 10-day DL with a strained left oblique muscle.
Meadows has had a disappointing season beginning with the COVID diagnosis in early July. Meadows missed most of summer camp and didn’t join the big league club till August,
Meadows hit .208 with four homers and drove in 13 runs.
Kevin Cash asked about the injury to Meadows, said the Rays would have to play a lot of baseball for Meadows to join the big league club at any point the rest of the season.
It sounds as if the Rays are not planning on seeing Meadows the rest of the season, including the playoffs.
It has been the weirdest of seasons.
The starting big three of Charlie Morton, Blake Snell, and Tyler Glasnow are 8-4 on the season with an ERA of just under four.
Morton has spent extended time on the DL, and Glasnow and Snell have missed some starts. The Rays have five pitchers that they were counting on to play key roles this season be put on the DL with season-ending injuries.
Jalen Beeks, Chaz Roe, Yonny Chirinos, Andrew Kittredge, and Colin Poche are all out for the season.
And yet here the Rays are. First in the AL East, with John. Curtiss, Sean Gilmartin, Ryan Sheriff, Aaron Slegers, and Ryan Thompson all playing key roles this season to help the Rays get back to the playoffs.
The offense has been a concern most of the season, outside of the 40 plus runs the Rays put on the Red Sox earlier this season at Fenway in a four-game series.
Brandon Lowe has carried this team offensively with 13 homers and driving in 39 runs.
Willy Adames got off to a great start offensively but has cooled off as of late.
It is a great time to be a Tampa sports fans. The Rays will be in the post-season. The Lightning could bring the Stanley Cup back to Tampa.
It doesn’t get much better than that.