Hunting for Blue October Is Familiar Situation for the Tampa Bay Rays

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst ISeptember 9, 2012

ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 07:  The Tampa Bay Rays celebrate a walk off home run against the Texas Rangers during the game at Tropicana Field on September 7, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

October is right around the corner.

And, while the sheer competitive stress of the playoff races continues to escalate, the Tampa Bay Rays have, yet again, found themselves right in the thick of it.

Currently in a close third place in the AL East, the Rays now make their final push knowing every game from this point onward counts. If they can manage another September charge, the Tampa Bay squad might just find themselves in the playoffs once again.

However, this year, a new face has joined this massive playoff rush. The Baltimore Orioles have risen out of the dog house of the talented AL East and are battling for the right to play October baseball.

While Tampa Bay hopes that the Orioles will hinder the advances of the usual suspect, the New York Yankees, the Rays will have to make their own charge if they want to yet again break through to the postseason.

Everyone remembers the historic comeback against the Yankees in the last game of the 2011 season. Down 7-0 in the eighth, the Rays came back with a fury, scoring seven runs and forcing extra innings., winning the game in the bottom of the 12th on Evan Longoria's dramatic walk-off home run.

While the Rays will have to put all hands on deck to secure a wild-card spot, the possibility of an AL East title has also become more of a reality in the past month.

Ever since their historic run in 2008, the Rays have been a consistent participant in October. They might just clinch a spot again this season.