Quantcast 2008 Tampa Bay Rays: Rays Win Franchise Best 71st Game
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Rays Win Franchise Best 71st Game

This is not a misprint, the Tampa Bay Rays have won 71 games this year already which is a franchise best. The team who was supposed to finish dead last in this division again and not even be competing for a playoff spot, much less a division title, has taken control of the AL East right now and continues to play solid baseball in the second half of the season. The Rays played the Seattle Mariners this weekend and took 3 of 4 from them, and they probably should have swept them, but red-hot Raul Ibanez hit a walk off home run in the first game of the series and the M’s won a pitching battle 2-1. Tampa Bay Rays merchandise Back to the Rays, Tampa Bay has the major’s best record at home with a record of 45-17, however if you look at their road record it shows that they still have some work to do but they seem to be getting on their feet in time. The Rays are 26-29 on the road this year but so far on this 10 game road trip to the West Coast the Rays are already 3-1 and they still have to go to Oakland for three and then over to Texas for three. With a good showing on the road the Rays could show that they belong at the top of the American League. With playoff positioning right around the corner the Rays need to show that they can win on the road because that is critical when it comes down to September where they will have to go to Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and to Comerica Park to face the Yankees, Red Sox, and Tigers respectively.

Against the Mariners the Rays played very well this weekend. Carlos Pena, BJ Upton, and Carl Crawford led the Rays in hitting over the weekend and didn’t waste strong starts from James Shields (3 ER in 6 IP) and Edwin Jackson (1 ER in 7 IP.) However the Rays did waste a strong start from Andy Sonnanstine in the first game (1 ER in 5+ IP.) Matt Garza didn’t help the Rays at all as he gave up five earned off of ten hits and couldn’t get anything going at all. Luckily the Rays were able to mount a comeback and win the game in 11 innings with a sac fly by Dioner Navarro to win 8-7.

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Big news for the Rays and their fans today as well as Rocco Baldelli returned to action and went 1-4 with an rbi single. The good thing to see was that Rocco was in right field and he looked good defensively and he could run which was a key thing for him. Now the bad news for the Rays, Carl Crawford will be placed on the DL with a finger issue. The bad news is that nobody knows when he will return and what kind of impact the injury will have on him. He injured his right middle finger in the game over the weekend and it could require surgery.


By Andrew Nuscis
Philadelphia Phillies & Tampa Bay Rays Correspondent

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