The MLB season is getting ready to round its final turn and head into the final stretch. That means the pressure is going to start getting ramped up for some, causing contenders to rise and pretenders to fall. The hottest team at the moment and the team being talked about by many are actually the Tampa Bay Rays, who aren’t even within half a chance of getting into the playoffs. The Rays, who are over .500 and playing good baseball, are on a seven game winning streak currently heading into Sunday and have won eight of their last ten ball games.
Oh, and the last two of those have just so happened to have been against the Boston Red Sox. Yes, the very same Red Sox that are a ridiculous 20.5 games ahead of them. Two losses in a row is hardly anything to panic about, no, but for the Sox it’s a rare sight. Furthermore, this is the first time they will lose a series since late June and early July. It’s long been said that if a team wins series’ that they will prosper, and that is something that they have definitely took to heart.
Those losses, combined with wins for the Yankees, have seen the Bronx Bombers close the gap to the Red Sox to ‘just’ 7 games now. The latest Yankees win, one coming against the struggling Orioles, has also clinched a winning season. This is worth pointing out because it is the 26th season in a row where that can be stated. It’s the second longest streak in MLB history, only trailing themselves by 13 more seasons. That feat was accomplished in the years between 1926 and 1964.
Elsewhere, the Dodgers won but once again saw closer Kenley Jansen struggle. His blown save forced extra innings, and it caused Clayton Kershaw to get a no-decision in the process. The highlight of the day, on a day when Japan lost to South Korea in the Little League World Series, in the Far East might have just been Shohei Ohtani homering off of Justin Verlander. Unfortunately for the Angels, that was not enough to win against the current AL West leading Houston Astros.