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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon knows his 1970s TV dramas; Rays in position to make history; Red Sox fans forced to pull for Yankees

Rays at Yankees

When/where: 7:05 tonight; Yankee Stadium, New York

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Starting pitchers:

Rays:

RH Wade Davis (10-9, 4.41)

Yankees:

RH Ivan Nova (15-4, 3.81)

Watch for …

Wading in: Davis has been inconsistent, following his complete-game win over Boston with a loss to Baltimore. He hasn't faced the Yankees this season and is 2-1, 3.84 in four career starts.

Super Nova: Since a rough mid-August start, Nova, a challenger to Jeremy Hellickson for rookie of the year honors, is 3-0, 2.41 over his past five. He is 1-0, 5.17 in three starts vs. the Rays.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Nova

Johnny Damon4-for-4

Matt Joyce1-for-7

Evan Longoria1-for-8

Yankees vs. Davis

Robinson Cano5-for-12, HR

Derek Jeter5-for-13

Alex Rodriguez4-for-12, 2 HR

On deck

Wednesday: at Yankees, 1:05 and 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (15-11, 2.78) and Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.91); Yankees — CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.01) and Phil Hughes (5-5, 6.00)

Thursday: at Yankees, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeff Niemann (11-7, 3.95); Yankees — Bartolo Colon (8-9, 3.81)

1970s TV reference of the day

Joe Maddon was talking after the Boston series about how the Rays' playoff possibilities had become more viable: "You can see the light at the end of the tunnel is absolutely there," he said. "And it's not attached to the head of an incoming train. That's from The Rockford Files, I believe."

History in making?

No team has made the postseason when trailing by nine or more games in September. Only four teams, all NL, have made it when at least four games out with 12 or less to play, as the Rays were:

Team Deficit

'51 Giants 6, with 12 left

'62 Giants 4, with 7

'64 Cards 61/2, with 12

'07 Rockies 41/2, with 11

Strange bedfellows

Red Sox fans are in an unusual position for at least three days: pulling for the Yankees. "They're going to have to if they want a chance at the postseason," said ex-Red Sox and Yankee Johnny Damon. "They do have to root for the Yankees; you can't say that too often."

Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon knows his 1970s TV dramas; Rays in position to make history; Red Sox fans forced to pull for Yankees 09/19/11 [Last modified: Monday, September 19, 2011 8:27pm]
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