There is just no quit in these Tampa Bay Rays. After going 5-3 on their current road trip, the Rays returned home last night and took care of business against the Baltimore Orioles 14-2 as Blake Snell continued to make a strong case to win the AL Cy Young award. Snell is now 18-5 on the season and has a chance to break the record for wins by a Rays pitcher.
David Price holds the record with 20 wins, but with 22 games left you would think that Snell would get at least 4 more starts and have a chance to get into the Rays record books.
Ji-Man Choi hit his first career grand slam and was joined in the homer parade by Tommy Pham, Kevin Keirmaier, and the rookie Nick Ciuffo hit his first career home run.
The Rays remain 8 games out of wildcard spot with 22 games to play as the Oakland A’s continue to win just as much as the Rays. In 2008 the Rays were also 8 games out of a wildcard spot with 22 games to play and we all know how that magical season ended. So nothing is impossible.
Improbable? Yes. Impossible? No. The Rays are currently the third best team in the AL in hitting with .257 average, and are also the third best team in pitching with a 3.63 ERA. The Rays had the best ERA in the AL in the month of August.
This Rays team is currently on pace to have the most wins since the 2013 Rays team had 92.
Right after the All-Star break, Baseball America ranked the Rays farm system as the 2nd best in all of baseball. As the season has gone on, the Rays have called up some of those players from Durham and most have stepped in and done a good job in whatever role they have been asked to fill. Nick Ciuffo and Brandon Lowe are just two of those players who come to mind.
Colin Poche, Ronaldo Hernande, Brandon Lowe, and Nate Lowe were the four Rays named to the MLB 2018 pipeline team. Poche the player to be named later picked up in the Steven Souza deal has had a really impressive season at Montgomery and Durham where he compiled a 1.25 ERA, averaged 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings, and held opponents to .174 batting average.
Poche has earned a shot to possibly make this team in 2019. The Rays are going to have some tough decisions to make with the pitchers during training camp of 2019, as the Rays minor league pitching talent is some of the best in MLB.
This has been an enjoyable season to be a Rays fan. It’s always fun when you can develop the young kids at the MLB level and still win games. And that’s exactly what the Rays have done this season.