Tampa Bay Rays Use Strong Pitching to Advance to ALDS

By Dan Parzych

One night after the Pittsburgh Pirates won their first playoff game since 1992 after a 6-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds, the Tampa Bay Rays came through with an exciting win on the road against the Cleveland Indians in the AL Wild-Card game.

Just a few days after winning the one-game tiebreaker against the Texas Rangers, the Rays pulled off another thrilling 4-0 win on Wednesday against the Indians to advance in the playoffs for a ALDS matchup against the Boston Red Sox. Pitching has been a key factor for Tampa Bay’s success as of lately as they were one of the hottest teams in baseball to finish out the season and Alex Cobb certainly came through when it mattered the most for the Rays as he pitched 6 2/3 innings without allowing a run to go along with five strikeouts.

While the Rays came through on the winning end, the Indians deserves plenty of credit considering how much this team turned things around when compared to one year ago as Terry Francona did a phenomenal job as his first year as manager in Cleveland. If there’s anything to take away from Wednesday’s game, it would be the Indians have a bright future ahead of them with this type of roster and despite the loss–there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be contenders in 2014.

As for Tampa Bay, it will be interesting to see how they perform in Boston considering all of the recent traveling they’ve had to do during this wild postseason experience. It won’t be easy, but with the two wins they’ve pulled off against the Rangers and Indians this week–anything seems possible at this point.

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