To say that the Tampa Bay Rays’ backs are against the wall wouldn’t be totally accurate but the thought isn’t far off. Their recent struggles have shrunk their wildcard lead to almost nothing. Still, they do hold a two game lead thanks in large part to their comeback win on Sunday. It was huge; as big as wins get this time of the season. They had their ace-like Matt Moore returning from injury and pitching lights-out, having given up only one run. They had a huge, late-inning comeback that led to their taking advantage of losses by their two closest competitors for the wildcard spot. Now what do they do?
The easiest thing in the world to say is that they need to capitalize on the momentum shift they experienced during that game on Sunday. They have to take the huge shift in luck and move it towards confidence in their next series and the one after that and so on. It is easier to say than to do however because that next series just happens to be against the Boston Red Sox, a team that has run away from the Rays in the A.L. East race.
So, while they might not be able to move from a losing streak, straight to a winning streak, they need to ensure they do not lose three or more in a row. It would be nice if they can pull off a couple of wins in a row here and there as well. Some of it will half to be chalked up to luck and timing as they need to hope the wins of competitors coincide with their own wins for the next 20 games. They can finish the race and head towards the playoffs but to do so they need confidence and moment. If they are going to get those two key ingredients before the end of the season, it has to be right now.