Photo credit to @RaysBaseball on Twitter.
This is the second article in a new series where What The Sports baseball writer and Tampa Bay Rays fan Alex Murphy describes the trials and tribulations of being a Rays fan.
I don’t know what’s in the coolers on the Rays dugout in Tropicana Field, but somehow, this “tanking year”, this “rebuilding year”, turned into the Rays beginning the month of July with a record above .500.
You and I read that correctly. The Tampa Bay Rays currently are above .500.
All they had to do to get here was practically have a perfect home stand. So, they did.
They went 8-1 on their most recent home stand and won three straight series: three-game sweep v. NYY, two-game sweep v. WSH and three out of four v. HOU.
We both read that correctly again: the Rays, in a nine-game stretch, swept the Yankees, Nationals and won three of four against the Astros.
In that stretch, the Rays beat CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray, Gio Gonzalez, Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton.
Those last four guys all have an ERA of 2.60 or lower.
Nate Eovaldi out-dueled Max Scherzer the only way a pitcher could physically out-duel him. He threw 5 2/3rds no-hit innings
The Rays had to be perfect in every possible way, and somehow, someway, they were.
This is the Rays’ current starting rotation:
- Blake Snell
- Nate Eovaldi
They have a two-man starting rotation. The other three are injured. Correction: the other two because they started out the season with a four-man rotation, including a bullpen day.
Sixty percent of the time, the Rays have to rely on the bullpen.
When I say I don’t know how this team is 42-41, I cannot come up with a logical explanation as to the sequence of events that has transpired to get this team here.
This defies all logic, thought, physics, life and death. I don’t even know if I’m real anymore. The Rays have single-handedly caused me to go into an existential crisis. Everything that I know now about the world and about life is wrong. Nothing makes sense. Not even Russia could do this.
I’m truly at a loss for words, and I couldn’t be any happier than I am right now.
There are still 79 games left to play. The word crazy can’t come close to explaining what’s gonna happen over the next three months.