The Tampa Bay Rays are October bound.
After finishing the 2022 regular season with an 86-76 record, they’ll head to Progressive Field to take on the Cleveland Guardians in the Wild Card round.
Game 1 of that series gets underway tomorrow at 12:07 p.m. Eastern Time.
The Rays will send left-hander and Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan to the mound opposite Shane Bieber.
One cause for concern however is that heading into October, the Rays have lost five straight games and will now face a Guardians team that has won seven of their last 10.
After yesterday’s loss, manager Kevin Cash had a simple message for his team as he tried to light a fire under them and get them going in the right direction again.
Cash on #Rays heading into playoffs on 5-game losing streak: “I just told them we can stop sucking, now let's find ways to win games.”
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) October 5, 2022
Cash Relays A Simple Message To The Rays
If not for their skid, then the Rays might have been able to secure the second Wild Card spot in the American League.
Cash clearly realizes that in order for his team to make a deep run into October, there are a few issues that need to be fixed.
Rays fans can only hope that Cash’s comments yesterday will get the team back in the right frame of mind.
The obvious issue for the Rays is that they have anything but momentum heading into the postseason.
When you lose your last five games and then kick off a series with the Guardians, who can throw the kitchen sink at you with Bieber and Triston McKenzie in back-to-back games, the odds certainly are not in your favor.
But if there’s one thing we know about October baseball, it’s that any ballclub can get hot at the right time.
The Rays certainly have the talent on their roster to be able to do that.