When last I left you, on Thursday my friends, I told you that the Rays and Orioles series would come down to the pitching. I further offered the observation that the Rays had the better arms and would prevail this weekend.
They did as I most humbly predicted win three of those games with the fourth and final one coming today. As the Rays bring to a close the home version of the 2013 regular season with a 3 p.m. opportunity to sweep Baltimore and very likely end the Birds hopes of returning to the post-season for the second straight years.
As we wake up this morning Tampa Bay is in the top spot in the American League Wild Card race with a 1/2 game lead over the hard charging Cleveland Indians. The Tribe came out of this weekend in control of the final Wild Card Playoff spot.
Only the Rays and Baltimore have seven games left in the regular season while all those in the chase have but six precious games left on the schedule. For those who chase the Rays and the Indians, the pressure is on and the games are rapidly coming to an end in 2013.
This all about the math and the good news, the Rays remain in control in the race to the post-season. Only a very hot Cleveland team, that presently holds down the second and last remaining Wild Card spot, is in the same strong position as the Rays.
A quick look at the schedule for the next two days shows that the Tribe will play host to a slumping White Sox team and then finish the season with four games against the Twins. Meanwhile, down in the Lone Star state, Texas who at 1.5 games behind Cleveland, opens a three game set against the woeful Astros.
The Royals, who are 3.5 games back with six to play on the road tonight out in Seattle. We know that the Yankees, who are 4 games back, have today off before they host the Rays on Tuesday. As for Baltimore, who finds themselves 4.5 games back of Cleveland, after today’s game with the Rays, they will return to Charm City to face a three game set with the Blue Jays.
Over the past ten games only Cleveland (8-2) and Kansas City (6-4) have a winning record while, Baltimore, (4-6) New York, (4-6) and Texas, (3-7) all have losing records. Can any one of those teams go one a six game winning streak? Yes, of course they could but even if they did the Rays could go 3 and 3 and still win at the very least the final Wild Card spot.
The numbers are on the Rays side here and unless they have a total collapse as they close out the season on the road against the Yankees and the the Blue Jays, they will be fine. So repeat after me — THEY CONTROL THEIR OWN DESTINY.
If by some chance that the Rays do not make the post-season they will only have themselves to blame. So, I return to the late great Al Davis who said: “Just win baby!