The answer is a resounding yes. Something magical seems to happen when you put on a Rays uniform.
The Rays are 75-47 and have the best record in the American League and the second-best record in baseball behind the San Francisco Giants.
Over 22,000 showed up at Tropicana Field to see the first place Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles. Oh yeah, that 22,000 was over four games—an average of just over 5,000 per game to see one of the best teams in baseball.
What a shame! The move to Tampa can’t happen soon enough.
The Rays hammered one of the worst teams in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles, as they should have. The Rays have won fifteen out of sixteen against Baltimore this season with three games remaining.
They have managed to stay competitive all season despite a ton of injuries to the pitching staff. But that is about to change.
This weekend, the first-place team in the AL Central, the Chicago White Sox, will be in town for a big three-game series at Tropicana Field. This weekend’s matchup could be a playoff preview.
Shane McClanahan gets better and better every time he takes the mound. In five innings against the Orioles on Thursday afternoon, McClanahan walked one and struck out eight while giving up just one run.
If the playoffs were to start today, it’s safe to say that Shane McClanahan would be the number one starter.
Michael Wacha will start for the Rays on Friday night against the Orioles. This could be Wacha’s last outing for the Rays unless he can deliver a masterpiece.
Wacha has been awful this season, going 2-4 with a 5.91 ERA. When Wacha takes the mound, you just cringe and hope for the best.
Former Tampa Bay Ray Chris Archer could be activated this weekend, which may mean the end of the Michael Wacha era in Tampa.
The Rays are also due to get several pitchers back off the DL in the next couple of weeks. Nick Anderson, Pete Fairbanks, Ryan Thompson, JP Feyereisen, and Chris Archer could all be back for the Rays for the stretch run.
Randy Arozarena has put himself back in contention for the Rookie of the Year conversation. Arozarena has been swinging one of the hottest bats since the end of July. He is hitting .280 with 16 homers and has driven in 54 runs.
Another rookie Wander Franco has been swinging a hot bat. Franco has raised his average to.259 with six homers and 24 runs batted in.
Brandon Lowe seems to have broken out of his slump as he drove in another two runs today with a double and his 29th home run of the season.
Lowe talked about the big series with the White Sox coming up this weekend:
This is going to be kind of what we’re looking at postseason-wise, I feel like. You know the White Sox are going to make it. We feel like we’re going to make it. I think the games are going to be a little bit tougher, it’s going to be a little bit lower-scoring ballgames, but it’s going to be a hard-fought battle for the whole series.
This is the most consistent that the Rays offense has been all season. The Rays are averaging 5.26 runs per game.
Manager Kevin Cash is looking forward to the weekend series as well:
You’d like to feel good about yourself going into a series against Chicago. They’ve played well all year long. They’ve gotten good starting pitching. They added to their bullpen at the deadline. They’ve got a very good bullpen, and their offense is very strong, top to bottom. So we look forward to hopefully carrying some momentum into our three-game weekend series.
After the weekend series with the White Sox, the Rays will take a five-game to Philadelphia to play two against the Phillies. Then it’s on to Baltimore for three against the Orioles next weekend.