On Monday night, the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Texas Rangers 5-2 to advance to a Wild Card game with the Cleveland Indians. Tampa Bay battled the last month of the season to secure a spot in the Wild Card game, but were forced to play their 163rd game of the season against the Rangers to decide.
David Price threw a complete game, and only allowed two earned runs in a game where he successfully proved that he could be this team’s playoff ace. The Tampa Bay offense also had a productive night at the right time, giving Price the support that he needed. Evan Longoria lead the way, going 3 for 4 with a two-run homer off Martin Perez in the third inning.
Tampa Bay has been playing must-win baseball for the last week, and are going to need to win one more in order to make it to the ALDS. The Rays play the Indians on Wednesday night, and there is no doubt that both teams are anxiously awaiting its start.
Alex Cobb is going to be starting for the Rays, up against Cleveland’s Danny Salazar. Cobb pitched a gem against the New York Yankees in his last start, closing out a very successful season in which he went 11-3 with a 2.76 ERA.
Tampa Bay has to win just one more game to give themselves a chance to play with the league’s best teams in October. There is no doubt that the young Rays are excited to be in the midst of baseball’s playoff atmosphere, but must remember that they have a long road ahead of them. Even if they do beat Cleveland, the Rays have to pack up and get ready for a five game series with the Boston Red Sox, who not only own the American League’s best record, but who also have veterans that have won World Series titles before.