A Major League Baseball team just had their second-best month in franchise history, going 21-5. This team also owns the best record in Major League Baseball and have won 16 of their last 17 games.
Name that team. Who would you guess as that team? The Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Diego Padres, maybe the New York Yankees.
You might want to guess again. How about the Tampa Bay Rays. A team and a city that gets crapped on daily by the national media. A city and its sports team that gets no respect nationally.
This is why it is incredibly satisfying to report that the Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in baseball at 35-20 and lead the American League East by two games over the Boston Red Sox.
The Rays are winning, doing the little things well. Combine great pitching with timely hitting, and you get a team that has won 16 of its last 17 games.
Manager Kevin Cash talked about the great ride that the Rays are enjoying right now. “There’s a lot of things going our way. We’d like to think we’re creating some of those things, and guys are taking advantage of opportunities, whether it’s at the plate, off the mound, or defensively. Any time you go on a run like this team has been on, you’ve got to do a lot of things right. And fortunately for us, we are right now.”
The Rays became the first team in 88 years to start a month below .500 (13-14), and finish the month 15 games above .500, at 35-20.
This afternoon at Yankee Stadium, the oldest pitcher in baseball, 41-year-old Rich Hill, pitched shutout ball through five innings before Kevin Cash let the bullpen take over and close out the Yankees as the Rays took game one of the four-game series, 3-1.
The Yankees have now lost six in a row and must figure out how to stop the hottest team in baseball. A team that has dominated the Yankees that last couple of seasons.
Hill must have had some of that Tom Brady magic rub off on him as he has been outstanding so far this season, going 4-2 with a 3.32 ERA.
Hill has gone 3-1 with a 0.78 ERA, the third-lowest ERA in a month for a pitcher 40 years of age or older during May.
Joey Wendle talked about the Rays’ run and said no one is sitting back resting on their laurels. “It’s May, and we know we have four months of the season left, so I don’t think we’re going to rest on our recent successes. I don’t think it’s time to sit back and pat ourselves on the back. I think we’re on the gas pedal right now, and we’re just gonna keep swinging, keep competing.”
The Rays will go for their sixth win in a row tomorrow night in New York as Tyler Glasnow will be going for his fifth win of the season.
Reliever Chaz Roe has been out since early April to begin a rehab assignment at Durham. Roe is scheduled to be back with the Rays in mid to late June.