Remember how Buck Showalter and his players poo-pooed the notion that they were motivated to beat the Tampa Bay Rays by the desire to play a role in determining who wins the American League playoff spots?
They all insisted that they were just trying to finish strong and were more concerned about themselves than playing the spoiler to the Rays or anybody else. But there has to be a better explanation for how they have risen up to win four of the six games against the contending Rays and Los Angeles Angels.
Maybe it's because they really do want to play the spoiler -- especially this week against the Boston Red Sox. Reserve catcher Craig Tatum let the cat out of the bag after Sunday's 11-2 loss to the Angels.
"It would be nice to go up there [to Boston] and ruin their season,'' Tatum said. "If we can do what we did to the Angels, it would be nice."
They won't have to wait long for their chance. They play a day-night doubleheader today at Fenway Park to kick off a four-game series that figures to be crucial to the Red Sox' wild-card run.