On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Mets 8-5, to improve to 37-20 and, more importantly, clinch the AL East crown for the first time since 2010. Unfortunately, the celebration could not be the same as it would have been in past years with COVID-19 restrictions. “I’m completely dry right now, which I’m not a huge fan of,” center fielder Kevin Kiermaier said with a grin. “But you have to adapt to what we’re asked of.”

Batter Randy Arozarena led the way for the Rays with two home runs while pitcher Tyler Glasnow struck out eight in one of the teams most important games of the season. “At the end of the day, a clinch is a clinch,” said Joey Wendle, who homered in the second. “But to do it on a win – everybody’s kind of riding the high of winning the game along with the division. We didn’t want to see it come down to them losing a game.”

Meanwhile, the Mets are all but eliminated from the playoffs that are set to begin next week. Their odds stand at 1.6%, and they trail the Marlins by three games for the last qualifying spot in the NL East. The loss guaranteed the Mets (25-31) will finish with a sub-.500 record for the ninth time in the last 12 seasons — a total matched or exceeded only by the Chicago White Sox (nine), Miami Marlins (10) and San Diego Padres (10).

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