Despite the second lowest payroll in baseball, forced to play Booster Gold to the Yankees’ Superman and the Red Sox’s Batman in the Justice League East, the Rays have somehow found themselves tied for the AL Wild Card going into the final day of the season. While some have attributed it to luck (good for the Rays, bad for the Red Sox), or just the strange happenings that pop up during a 162 game season, we now know differently.For it is now proven that the hands of Fate, and perhaps Destiny, have reached down and graced this little bat and ball game with their presence.
With the Yankees leading the Rays 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning, Russell Martin came up with the bases loaded and nobody out. Jeremy Hellickson would have been content with a strikeout or even a sacrifice fly, but no, he gathered the mystical and unexpected triple play. It was not even one of the ugly ones where there is a line drive and plenty of confusion on the basepaths. No, this was a 5-4-3 triple play, the kind that only exists in the lyrical poetry of Keats and Yeats. View the highlight here.
People may debate whether Martin should have run through the bag or laid out like he did, but it wouldn’t have mattered. The Powers That Be decided that the Rays were to win this ballgame and so they did. Had Martin attempted to stay on his feet, you would have seen a bizarre gust of wind blow through the domed stadium, knocking him to the ground. At least this way we can all pretend like we have autonomy over our lives.
Jeremy Hellickson exited after the inning, finishing with 3 runs allowed despite handing out five free passes, but thanks to Matt Joyce’s three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, the Rays remain tied for the AL Wild Card.