They just ran out of time ...

Rob Neyer

So I guess we all knew the Rays have played really well over the last couple of months. I didn't know how well:

With a 5-0 win in their series opener against the Yankees on Friday night, the Rays accomplished what only three other teams in Major League history -- including the 2004 Tampa Bay club -- have done: come from at least 18 games under and get back even. The '04 Devil Rays were also 18 games under, joining the 1899 Louisville Colonels (22 under) and the 2006 Florida Marlins (20 under).

Granted, this sort of list always annoys me because it's misleading. A more meaningful grouping would be all the teams that had 16-20 games under .500, or 17-19.

Still, it's going to be a small list no matter which slice you take. And while we figured the Rays were a lot better than their early 24-42 record, I certainly didn't see this coming. Not with Matt Moore and Wil Myers out of action.

The Rays' surge is almost certainly too little too late. They might pass the Yankees in the standings this weekend, but that still leaves three other teams to catch in the Wild Card standings.

If nothing else, though, this is a good reminder that the Rays still have a lot of talent and should be back in the saddle next season.