The Tampa Bay Rays (30-11) were the first team in the major leagues to win 10 games. They were the first team to win 20 games. And now they are the first team to win 30 games.
The Rays just wrapped up a 2-game sweep of the defending world champions, New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium-- and the question on most people's mind is-- can anyone stop this locomotive? Will the Rays eventually cool off?
Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay brought up an interesting stat during Game 1 of the series. Kay said, "The Rays have such a good record, that if they play .500 baseball the rest of the way, they'll still win 90 games." Very impressive!
And based on what I saw in the two-game set-- barring any unforeseeable circumstances, the Rays look like they'll play WAY ABOVE .500 the rest of the way. At their current pace, they'll win 120 games, but of course, no one expects that to happen. Then again, who knows-- if the Rays keep pitching the way they do (2.83 team ERA, the best, by far, in the American League)-- anything is possible.
And of course, they have Evan Longoria. If Longoria continues his current pace (9 HR, 32 Runs Scored, 37 RBIs, .323 AVG) he may just be the American League MVP.
The Rays (est. 1998) are the newest team in the major leagues. They are a quote, unquote, small market team. They have one of the lowest payrolls in the bigs. And they already have an American League Pennant (2008) under their belt.
So much for the small market theory.
Maybe "Sweet" Lou Piniella (who to his credit, left the foundation of the current team, before jumping ship) should have hung around a little longer-- 'cause the little 'ole Rays are the talk of the baseball world.
Gotta love it!
Photos courtesy of Getty Images