The Tampa Bay Rays find themselves in a tough position heading into Monday night’s Game 3 against the Boston Red Sox in the American League Division Series. Down 2-0, they’re already facing elimination despite having been riding momentum after winning both a play-in game and the Wild Card tilt to get to this point.
There’s no doubt that the Rays are in trouble, as their backs are officially up against the wall. Even more troubling for the Rays isn’t just the fact that they are up for elimination, and could potentially be the only team to be swept out of this year’s playoffs, but that their two best arms have already gone in this series.
Rather than sending out a big gun out of their rotation on Monday, like the Red Sox will be with Clay Buchholz, the Rays will be rolling with Alex Cobb. Cobb was solid in his outing against the Cleveland Indians earlier this week in the Wild Card game, going into the seventh, scattering eight hits and walking just one.
Nonetheless, it’s certainly worrisome if you’re a Tampa Bay fan that the fate of the season rests with the likes of Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson. David Price and Matt Moore have already gone in this series, and neither was anywhere near on their respective game, which may not bode well for the secondary arms.
If the Rays could get career outings from Cobb and Hellickson, it’d not only save their season, but set up one of Moore or Price to get back in there and rebound, perhaps propelling the Rays to the ALCS. At this point, though, things aren’t exactly looking up for Tampa Bay. If they’re going to turn it around, it’s going to be on their secondary arms to get them back into this series.