Rays win one just for the fun of it

by Gary Shelton on September 27, 2020

in general

Kiermaier gunned down another baserunner./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 3 a.m.

They won because, well, that's what they do.

They did not win to secure a place in the playoffs. That's been settled for a long time now (since Sept. 17). They did not win to clinch the American League East. They're wrapped that up, too (since Sept. 23). They did not even win to clinch the overall No. 1 seed. That was settled earlier Saturday.

But the Tampa Bay Rays won because, well, they're used to it. These days, they have nothing at stake but coming out on top of the game. They won a 4-3 game over the Philadelphia Phillies, their 14th one-run game of the year.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

They won because the alternative was losing, and no one seems to like that anymore.

The Rays won their 39th game of the year (20 losses). It was their 11th win in the last 15 games. No wonder they're the top-seeded team in the American League.

"It’s awesome," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "It’s exciting. I’m happy for the guys. We’ll take every accolade. It says something. It's just another step for the guys to appreciate what they've accomplished this season."

The Rays will find out today if they play Toronto (most likely) or the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.

Saturday night, the Ray scored three times in the fifth inning on two-out hits by Mike Zunino, Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames.

Kevin Kiermaier threw Andrew McCutchen out at the plate in the third inning for his sixth assist of the season, which leads all major league center fielders.

Tampa Bay planned in advance to pitch Pete Fairbanks and Diego Castillo an inning each. Fairbanks got the win. Ryan Yarbrough pitched 3 1/3 innings.

The Rays play their final game of the shortened regular season today when they go against the Phillies at 3:10 p.m. Josh Fleming will start for Tampa Bay against the Phillies' Aaron Nola.

Previous post:

Next post: