Tampa Bay Rays: Defense Is Their Ticket to the Postseason

Jamal WilburgCorrespondent IMay 29, 2011

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 18: Sam Fuld #5 and B.J. Upton #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate B.J. Upton run against the Toronto Blue Jays during MLB action at the Rogers Centre May 18, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

If defense wins championships, the Tampa Bay Rays will be hanging another banner after this season.

The Rays came into Sunday’s game tied with the Philadelphia Phillies for the best fielding percentage (.989) in the majors.

The Rays have yet to commit two errors in a game this season through their first 52 games extending their major league record. The Rays last multi-error game came October 3, 2010 in the regular season finale against the Kansas City Royals.

Since June 22, 2010 the Rays have made only 58 errors over the past 144 games, which are the fewest in the majors over that span.

Even when an error seemed imminent the Rays pulled the play off.

In the seventh inning B.J. Upton made a great catch on a Carlos Santana hit but robbed his teammate Sam Fuld in the process. Fuld was in full stride and in position to make the catch when B.J. came in and took the grab away.

Luckily for Rays, the move didn't result in an error.

The play won’t be talked about for long since in the grand scheme of things since it didn’t impact the outcome of the game and the level of defense the Rays have been playing.

Sunday's game resulted in a 7-0 victory for the Tampa Bay Rays over the Cleveland Indians. The win clinched the series for the Rays and was the second shutout in the series.

The Rays had not won a series in their previous five series.

The Rays do not have a lineup like the Yankees or Red Sox that can hit its way out of trouble. In order for them to stay in the postseason conversation, they will have to maintain this high level of defense for the remainder of this season.