Rays ready to take control of the American League East
What started as a frustrating homestand turned into a pretty decent homestand, after all. The Rays finished with a sweep of the New York Mets Sunday afternoon to go 4-2 on the homestand.
The Rays are two games behind Boston in the American League East and just a half-game out of a wild card spot with the sweep.
How good was it to see Ji-Man Choi going three for four in his season debut while driving in a run? The Rays activated Choi just as they designated Yoshi Tsutsugo for assignment.
The LA Dodgers have since claimed Tsutsogo.
The Rays got great pitching and timely hitting the last four games of the homestand as they outscored their opponents 31-9.
The Rays hit the road this week to play the Orioles and the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays series will be played in Dunedin right across the bay from St. Petersburg. This will be the final series for the Blue Jays in Dunedin before moving their home games to Buffalo.
The Rays are 23-19, the best they have been all season. However, they have played one of the toughest schedules in the American League to date. Twenty-eight of their games have been against teams with winning records.
The Rays have played six against the Oakland A’s who lead the AL West, three against the Red Sox, nine against the Yankees, and three against the division leaders in the NL East, the New York Mets.
The Rays have also had to battle through many injuries with the pitching staff, especially in the bullpen. Michael Wacha, Diego Castillo, Colin McHugh, and Pete Fairbanks have spent time on the DL.
Chaz Roe, Nick Anderson, Chris Archer, and Chris Mazza are currently on the DL.
Once again, Kevin Cash shows that he is one of the best managers in baseball as he has put the pitchers in the best position to be successful, and we are starting to see positive results.
The Rays are now third in the American League with a 3.55 ERA.
The Rays have also raised their team batting average seven points this week from .219 to .226 as the slumbering has shown some signs of life.
Kevin Cash talked after the Rays sweep about the improvement in the offense. “It is a good sign. I feel like we’re pretty balanced. We’ve got guys who can hit the ball out of the ballpark and drive it to the gaps. We’ve got guys who can make contact, put it in play and get on base at a pretty good clip.”
The Rays have yet to play any games against the Tigers, Twins, and Rangers, three of the worst teams in the league.
The Rays will get their first look at the Orioles Tuesday night at Camden Yards, with Luis Patino getting the start for the Rays.
It looks as if this will be a closely contested division with no one team running away with the title. There are three teams, all within two games of first place in the division. Four teams are up above .500.
The Rays are ready to make a run in the division. The pitching is getting better, and the hitting more consistent.
It’s going to be a fun summer in Tampa.