The final night of "Wednesday Night Baseball" this season features the Tampa Bay Rays against the New York Yankees in a key game in the AL wild-card race (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). Here are five stats our broadcast crew will be talking about today.
1. The Yankees are one loss or one Indians win away from being mathematically eliminated from the postseason as they trail Cleveland by five games with five left to play. If so, it would be just the second time they missed the playoffs in the wild-card era (also 2008).
2. The Rays along with the other top two wild-card contenders, Cleveland and Texas, each won last night to keep pace in the race. They’ve now won five straight and 10 of their last 13 after a 4-13 stretch. Their magic number to clinch a wild-card spot is four, meaning any combination of four Rays wins plus Rangers losses and they’ll be in the postseason for the fourth time in the last six seasons.
Most Games Played
Pitchers Playing For 1 Team in Career
3. Mariano Rivera is expected to retire after this season, so he only has two home games remaining. If this really is Rivera’s swan song, he’s already tied the major league record for most saves by a pitcher in his final season in the majors. Jeff Shaw (2001 Dodgers) and Robb Nen (2002 Giants) each registered 43 saves in his last major league season; no other pitcher saved as many as 40, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
4. Rivera’s 64 saves against the Rays are his second-most against any team (he has 79 against the Orioles) and the most by anyone against the Rays. Rivera had a streak of 33 straight save chances converted against the Rays from 1998 to 2005 and then a 27-save streak from 2005-11. He’s only had two blown saves against them: one in 2005 and one on Opening Day 2012.
5. We could very well be seeing Phil Hughes’s last start in Yankee pinstripes. He’ll be a free agent at the end of the season and has had a below-par season pitching at Yankee Stadium. He’s gone 1-9 with a 6.13 ERA, leaving him one loss shy of matching the Yankees' single-season record for home losses (10 by Andy Hawkins in 1989 and Lefty Gomez in 1935).