TORONTO — Manager Joe Maddon said he hasn’t given any thought to the possible wild-card playoff and tiebreaker scenarios. But others have, including several of his players who discussed the subject among themselves Friday afternoon before the Rays opened the three-game series with the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.
There were 64 possible combinations of wins and losses for the games involving the Rays, Indians and Rangers.
The Rays began Friday night with a one-game lead over the Indians (at Minnesota) and a two-game lead over the Rangers (vs. Los Angeles Angels).
Two wins by the Rays would clinch first place in the wild-card standings and enable the Rays to host Wednesday’s wild-card game.
The Rays hold the tiebreaker with the Indians based on head-to-head records this season (4-2), so they would host the game if they tied for a wild-card spot. The Rangers hold the tiebreaker against the Rays, so a tie would set up a game between those two in Texas.
One of those 64 scenarios has all three finishing with the same record. MLB sorted through that Friday, and the result is the Indians would host the Rays on Monday to determine first place in the wild-card standings. The loser plays the Rangers on Tuesday in Texas to determine second place. The winner of that game goes on the road Wednesday and plays the winner of Monday’s game.
“Our guys are going to think it all the way through, and I don’t have the time to think it all the way through,” Maddon said. “I’m just trying to get through (Friday’s) game, trying to get this right, and if we do that, that stuff will take care of itself.”
Young turns 100
DH Delmon Young hit his 100th career home run Friday, a solo shot in the second inning that gave the Rays a 2-0 lead.
Young, who homered in Thursday’s win at New York, made his third straight start — all against right-handed pitchers.
Part of that is Matt Joyce is playing the outfield with CF Desmond Jennings (left hamstring strain) out of the lineup, and part of that is Young is swinging the bat the best among the DH candidates on the team.
He took a .272 average and a .352 on-base percentage in his first 19 games into Friday’s start.
“I think he’s probably feeling better now than he has all season,” Maddon said. “I think he’s very motivated right now. There’s a lot to like about it. … I feel very fortunate he’s here right now.”
Speaking of Jennings
Jennings was not in the lineup again Friday, and Maddon said Jennings might not return to the field this weekend.
Jennings did have a pinch-hit at-bat Tuesday, and Maddon will try to do that this weekend in an effort to keep Jennings sharp at the plate.
“It would be fine in the sense that he’s going to be well,” Maddon said. “He was so sharp (at the plate) before he got hurt. I’d hate to see him lose that sharpness.”
They said it
3B Evan Longoria on Yankees closer Mariano Rivera retiring with a little gas left in his tank: “The one thing I hope is that he stays retired.”
RF Wil Myers on having to dress like a baby, complete with a diaper, as part of Tuesday’s rookie dress-up night: “It’s one of those things you’ve got to embrace.”
The Rays won their 90th game Thursday, giving them four straight seasons of 90 wins. That’s the longest active streak in the majors, though the Rangers can also win 90 games for a fourth straight season. ... LHP Enny Romero and OF Freddy Gonzalez joined the team Friday in Toronto after taking care of visa issues during the morning in New York.