Rays eliminated from playoffs as their bats fail

by Gary Shelton on September 25, 2018 · 2 comments

in general

Yarbrough lost his sixth game of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

They had been on the critical list for a while. Everyone knew the end was coming.

And still, when it came, it stung.

The Tampa Bay Rays were officially eliminated from the post-season Monday night. They lost a 4-1 game to the New York Yankees -- managing only two hits along the way. It's over. The Oakland A's will proceed to the playoffs instead.

Yes, it seemed, more and more, that that was going to happen. Still, there is a finality when it ends.

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Wendle was disappointed his team was eliminated./JEFFREY S. KING

"I thought we’d be a lot closer than most people have given us credit for and it’s disappointing," said Joey Wendle of the Rays. "Our goal is to make the playoffs so we aren’t happy about that. I think we are going to have a feel coming into next year, spring training that’s going to be a little different. We are going to have a little bit higher expectations for ourselves and this team knows that we can win games against good baseball teams and that’s what we are. We are a good baseball team. It’s definitely exciting for next year and we are going to play hard the last six games of the season and finish strong.”

The Rays, at 87-69, can still win 90 games if they split their final six games. Only two teams have won 90 and failed to make the playoffs (the 2013 Rangers and the 2012 Rays).

They (the A's) are going to the postseason, and we're envious of that," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "They've locked themselves in. No denying that team is very good, and they're going to be good for years to come. So anything that we can do to make a dent, drive a dent into that relationship, these games will benefit us going forward.''

The Rays were in a 1-1 tie after four innings, but their bats failed them.

Pitcher Ryan Yarbrough gave up three earned runs and took his sixth loss of the season (against 15 wins). It was his first loss since July 21.

"I thought Yarbs threw the ball OK," Cash said. "The passed ball didn’t help anything. That was a little bit of a dagger with a guy on first and then we advance him. (Brett) Gardner, a left-hander, he falls behind him 2-0 and finds a hole there to get a hit. I thought Yarbs was fine. We got his pitch count up so he’s built up probably for one more appearance, one more lengthy appearance and we will go from there.”

Wendle said he will remember the way this team scrapped.

“The resiliency," Wendle said. "The ability to compete day in and day out. Coming out of spring, everybody said we are going to lose 100 games and we started out the season 3-13 or whatever it was, it would have been really easy for this team to start to believe that and not one person in the clubhouse did. We continued to fight and put up one of the better second halves in baseball so that’s something we can hang our hat on. It’s not where we want to be, but like I said we will come into spring with a little different mentality.”

The Rays play against the Yankees tonight at 7:10 p.m. Jake Faria will start for Tampa Bay against Luis Severino.

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