Sep 23, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pinch hitter James Loney (21) is congratulated by teammates at home plate after he hit the game winning home run during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rays Series Closest Thing To Playoff Games

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The season wasn’t supposed to end like this.

Back in the offseason when the Toronto Blue Jays had 3 games left there was supposed to be 3 possible scenarios.

Either they’d still be fighting for a playoff spot like the Rays, Indians and Rangers.

Or they’d just miss out on a playoff spot earlier in the week like the Yankees, Royals and Orioles and we could all take some joy out of a good competitive season where the Jays just finished up short.

Or the Jays would have already wrapped up their playoff spot and fans would be arguing about how the Jays should lineup their fearsome rotation between Dickey, Johnson, Morrow and maybe Buehrle, Romero, or Happ depending if the Jays wanted a 4 man rotation during the playoffs.

We weren’t supposed to be wondering if the Jays can tie or pass their 73 win total from last season or whether they’re going to get to 90 losses.

But that’s the situation.

However the last 3 games of the season against the Rays aren’t exactly going to be dull and meaningless as baseball fate has decided to finally throw the Jays a bone with the next closest thing to a playoff race or playoff games.

The Rays hold the top wildcard spot with the Indians 1 game back of them and the Rangers 2 games back of them.

Has a little end of 2011 feeling to it. http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=19789807

If you don’t know what happened and don’t watch that video your baseball fan license will be revoked.

The Rays are on a 7 game winning streak where they just sweeped the Orioles in 4 games and the Yankees in 3 games at Yankee Staidum.

And the Jays are currently running out a Triple A lineup with only Reyes and Kawasaki hitting consistently.

So if you thought the way the Rays usually handle the Jays is to gross for you take you might need to avert your eyes for this series. It wouldn’t be fair if I forgot to leave out that Public Service Announcement. If the Jays don’t pull off a miracle and keep the Rays out of the playoffs the next best case scenario would be to make them the 2nd wildcard team so they have to play the wild card game on the road.

Blue Jays fans know firsthand the Rays have quite the advantage at Tropicana Field where they are 51-30 this year.

The Rays magic number is 1 so it may not take until the end of the weekend for them to get into the playoffs so it could be over after tonight’s game if they win or the Rangers lose. And hey back to back weekend series where a division rival clinches against the Jays. Yay!

Win or lose the Jays are going to have a big say in how the Rays playoffs are going to lineup.

It could even go down in history as something we all remember like the end of 2011.

I’d love to see a Blue Jays commercial where they say come to Rogers Centre this weekend if you’ve never seen a team clinch a playoff berth before.

And if you really really want to stretch for optimism after the Orioles swept the Red Sox at the end of 2011 they “carried that momentum” into a playoff berth in 2012. The Orioles called it there imaginary World Series. (The Orioles also won 17 games that month so it’s definitely not the same thing.)

The Rays playoff hopes are sort of on the line and whether they get home field advantage in the 1 wildcard game is on the definitely on the line.

It’s not the playoffs but as far as regular season games go it’s the next best thing.

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