The Boston Red Sox are among the hottest teams in the American League as we head towards the end of the season. Boston has taken care of all comers all season long and that includes a Tampa Bay Rays team that had hopes they could sneak into the playoffs as a wild-card team.
While the Rays still have an outside shot at making the playoffs, losing two of three at the hands at the Red Sox last week has put quite the crimp in their plans. The team lost two straight to end last weekend. That stretch meant that the Rays had lost seven of nine, after looking like they were going to be able to sneak into the playoffs.
This is the time of year when teams that have glaring weaknesses tend to find it harder to hide them. This was certainly the case for the Rays, who ran into a buzzsaw in the form of the Red Sox. This is also the time of year where teams that cannot overcome little mistakes always tend to have those mistakes show up at the worst possible time.
That is certainly the case with the Rays last Saturday night when they ended up losing to the Red Sox thanks to a balk in the sixth inning of the game. It’s those kinds of losses that not only hurt a team, but can mean the end of the season. The Rays were beating out all comers for the Wild Card when the weekend series against the Red Sox started. The Minnesota Twins have made quite a run as we enter the final two weeks of the regular season. It appears the race for the Wild Card could go right down to the wire, as long as Tampa Bay can right their ship.
With just days left in the regular season, the Rays are finding themselves in a very precarious position. Should they even lose one more game this season, their chance at making the postseason have become something that might be a bit of a pipe dream. Of course, the Rays should feel quite happy they were even sniffing the postseason after the last few seasons.
The Boston Red Sox, on the other hand, have built themselves a bit of a juggernaut. It’s the World Series or bust for the soon-to-be AL East champions. They’ll need to get past the Yankees and Indians to do it though.