To say the Tampa Bay Rays are not playing well at this time would be like saying that the Titanic was taking on a little water. Whatever “mojo” manager Joe Maddon can come up with to get the Rays out of their 3-8 funk, he better do it soon.
After losing 2-0 to the Boston Red Sox last night in a game where David Price threw a gem, the Rays have to get back in the win column and do it fast. Just like last night, there will be yet another pitcher’s duel set to be played out at Tropicana Field.
The Red Sox will send Ryan Dempster (8-9, 4.79 ERA) to the mound to face the Rays Alex Cobb (8-3, 2.99 ERA) in what has the feel of a playoff game. In many ways, this is a playoff game for Tampa Bay as their hold on the final AL Wild Card spot is measured as much by fingernails as it is by games.
Right now, it looks like Tampa Bay is in a NASCAR race and they will be passed by a group of cars looking to draft their way into the final AL Wild Card Playoff spot. So for “the king of new-age motivation”, Maddon must pull out all the stops to put a halt to the losing ways.
As of this morning, the Rays lead the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians by just 1.5 games, with the New York Yankees two games back and the Kansas City Royals trailing by a mere three games with 19 games to go in the 2013 season.
So the Rays’ season is indeed on the brink, but the good news is that unlike the four teams chasing them, they control their own destiny. As simple as it sounds, the Rays just have to do something that seems to have become an issue with them as of late — win.
If the Rays can just starting playing consistent baseball and winning series, they will be in the 2013 postseason. If not, it will be another season ended too soon for a team too good not to be in the playoffs.