Monday, July 27, 2009

RaysSpeak: The Week Ahead

The ridiculous road trip is finally over. After 3 come-from-behind wins in the 8th inning, a perfect game, Garza and Halladay dueling into extra innings, and an 8-run deficit turned victory, the Rays finally come home with a 6-4 record. That's exactly where I said they needed to be - although I didn't expect the Yankees to go 9-1, either. The Rays stand 6.5 behind the Yankees for first, and 4 behind the Red Sox for the Wild Card.

This week the Tampa Bay has a 9-game homestand: 3 against the Yankees, 4 against the Royals, and 2 against the Red Sox. That's 5 potential catch-up games on their home field. I am hoping for at least 6 wins in this stretch - it's the only way they are going to be able to maintain pace. Winning 3 out of 4 at home against Kansas City should be a given - if not, the Rays are too inconsistent to be considered a contender, dealing with a team who has currently lost 10 of 11.

The Yanks will be sending Burnett, Sabathia, and Chamberlain at the Rays this week, while Tampa Bay counters with Shields, Kazmir, and Garza. It's not quite make-or-break time, but it's getting damn close.

[Photo courtesy of the Associated Press via]

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