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Round two of the first meaningful SkyDome finale since 1996. Maybe it would be a bit more exciting if the Jays were playing for something more than pride themselves, but high-stakes baseball sure beats exhibition games. And I doubt many Toronto fans have compunctions about spoiling the Rays' season just for the hell of it.

The pitching matchup features Chris Archer and J.A. Happ. Archer still runs deep counts but appears to have sworn off walks forever. He's working on a 2.82 ERA since July. On the other hand, this month he's averaging under five innings per start. Maybe he's fading. Basestealers are 16-for-18 off him, too, in 126.1 innings. I'm not sure what there is to say about Happ, other than that it would be nice to see him end this season on a high note. It would be crazy to place much stock in his second-half stats. He could have pitched to a 7 ERA after the comebacker and I still would've given him a mulligan. Then again, I wasn't especially high on him before the accident. The Dome isn't hospitable to lefties who pitch away from contact.

In Arlington, it'll be Garrett Richards and Derek Holland at noon ET; in Minneapolis, Scott Kazmir and Cole De Vries at 1.
Game 161: Rays at Bisons | 13 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Eephus - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#279411) #
With the Rays loss and the Rangers and Indians winning last night, Tampa Bay and Cleveland are now tied in the standings while Texas is a game back. If the season were to finish like this then Tampa would still have home-field in the wildcard game because they have the tiebreaker (head-to head record) against Cleveland. The Blue Jays of course, have the chance now to muck about with that.

If two teams are tied for the second wildcard at the end of the season (quite possible) then it looks like a play-in game on Monday would occur to determine that spot. The winner would then play the first wildcard team on Tuesday.

If three teams are tied for the two wildcards (also extremely possible), well that's when things start getting goofy. "Chaos" as said in another thread.

John Northey - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#279412) #
Love chaos, but surprised MLB doesn't just put in tie breaking rules for all playoff slots at this point.  If 2 teams are tied for that last wild card slot then just use the tie breaker formula - everyone would know ahead of time and could work within it.  Although I certainly don't mind the insanity of the Rays having extra games to play then being drained if they survive that.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#279414) #
Two key non-plays by Lawrie so far today.
John Northey - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#279415) #
I wonder how the other clubs fighting for a playoff slot (Texas & Cleveland) feel about the Buffalo lineup?  Just the first 3 hitters were in the majors as of June 1st, and just Thole up until Pillar was called up in mid-August.  4 guys are September call-ups.  Talk about an ugly lineup.  Yet they won yesterday even with Lind out of the lineup and Kawasaki as the DH (still blows my mind that Kawasaki has been the starting DH 7 times this year).

Of course, it isn't like the Jays have many options.  JPA isn't exactly a good player, DeRosa/Kawasaki/Nickeas aren't that good on offense either (at least DeRosa vs a RHP) and I think Davis is still on paternity leave.  There really isn't much more the Jays could do I guess. The team just lost everyone.

Injured count: 13 players on injured list at, Buehrle & Drabek aren't DL'ed while Lind is listed but also in the lineup today (listed as day-to-day).  Crazy.

FYI: with Kawasaki as the DH the Jays are 4-3 scoring 32 runs or 4.57 a game vs the season total of 4.37.  Go figure.
James W - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#279416) #
It doesn't really matter what Texas and Cleveland think. The team is injured, and they're fielding the best team they can, that's all Texas and Cleveland can ask for.
finch - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#279417) #
As much as I would love the Blue Jays to lose these next two games in order to get a protected top 10 pick, I think it's more important if the Rays don't make the playoffs thus losing out on some playoff revenues. This could be very key in the Rays keeping some of their stars like David Price etc.
AWeb - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#279418) #
The Rays tried to thread the needle by keeping Myers in the minors for 2.5 months. I hope the Jays help them miss the playoffs by a game.  Trying to game the arbitration system by not fielding your best team, to save money 5 years down the would a nice bit of karma if the Jays minor league team eliminated them.

The draft position...meh...the Jays next big star from the draft will be their first in, what, 15-20 years? One extra win this year is probably the extra expected future worth of a higher draft slot. in the 9-12 range. Always beat your divisional rivals first if you can. Especially Tampa, who the Jays haven't won the season series since 2006 (and won't this year either).
CeeBee - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#279419) #
This AAA lineup isn't exactly playing like one..... man the Rays have to be looking over their shoulders about now.
John Northey - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#279420) #
Well, this is one weird weekend.  The Rays are clearly panicking with the quick hook for their starters.  I mean, what the heck is Maddon thinking there?  The Rays are playing like the Jays had been - everything going wrong all at once.  Not that I mind as seeing the Rays have issues vs the Jays is kind of fun for a change.  Plus, what free agent with compensation would the Jays go for anyways?  And as finch points out that missing the playoffs could force the Rays to dump someone due to their tight budget.
Chuck - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#279421) #
As a fan of the Rays, it sure would be nice to see a Rangers' or Indians' opponent show up, as the Jays have done this series. The Indians are about to win their 9th in a row. The Rangers just won their 7th.
smcs - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#279422) #
Of 8 scenarios, 1 ends in chaos, 3 end in a tie necessitating a game 163 and 4 end in the Wild Card game. At worst, Cleveland is in the 3-way tie. At best, they are hosting Tampa Bay on Tuesday, after TAM went from TOR-TEX-CLE, in their 3rd must-win game in 3 days. In 7 of 8 scenarios, CLE are in the Wild Card game, hosting it in 6 of them (If CLE and TAM lose, and TEX win, CLE and TEX would be tied, with TEX holding the tiebreaker).
John Northey - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#279423) #
So for chaos we need the Rays and Rangers to win while Cleveland loses.  Given I cheer on (once Jays are out of it) the Rays and Rangers at times while I always boo Cleveland (at least until they get rid of that logo) lets hope for chaos. 

As to that top 10 draft pick, the Jays need either A) to lose tomorrow or B) for Milwaukee to win vs the Mets tomorrow. Either (thanks to tie breakers) gives the Jays the 10th overall pick and maybe the 9th (Jays lose while Mets win, three way tie for 9/10/11) or 8th (Philly wins tonight and tomorrow while Jays lose tomorrow and Mets win).

greenfrog - Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#279424) #
It's crazy to think that the Jays could knock the Rays out of playoff contention tomorrow. Cleveland has had a terrific season and is now up by a game, while the Rangers are tied with the Rays and have Darvish going tomorrow. What a way to finish the season.

Something tells me we're going to see a good effort from Redmond, and Gibby has a lot of quality relievers he can go to if need be. Should be an interesting game 162 (both at the RC and for scoreboard-watching).
Game 161: Rays at Bisons | 13 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.