The best Rays game ever?

August 7, 2008 at 2:22 am | Posted in My Cards, Rays | 4 Comments

I worked from home today, meaning that I got to work using my laptop on my couch with my cat sitting next to me. Days like today are much better than going into the office. When I work from home, I’ll occasionally flip on the TV if I need a mental break. If a good baseball game happens to be on, then it might be an extended break.

Anyway, for some reason I didn’t realize that the Rays were playing an afternoon game today until a little bit after 3:00. As soon as I realized it, I turned the game on, and I was discouraged to see the Rays down 6-4 in the 8th inning to the Indians. It got worse in the 9th when the Indians scored another run on a Troy Percival wild pitch to make it 7-4. Being a Rays fan, it’s my natural tendency to quickly give up on my team in these situations. How the heck are the Rays going to be able to beat the Red Sox and Yankees in September if they can’t even beat the freakin’ Indians, I muttered to myself. The Indians are one of the worst teams in the American League this year, but they were 5-1 against the Rays, and it looked like they were about to go 6-1 against them.

Then, the greatest inning ever happened…

Jason Bartlett, one of my personal favorites, led off the bottom of the 9th with a double to left-center field. The next batter was Eric Hinske and he doubled to right field, scoring Bartlett. OK, I thought, now it’s 7-5, which is at least a little more respectable. With Hinske on second, Gabe Gross came to the plate and crushed the ball, hitting a towering home run to right field. This caused me to jump off the couch and run around the living room cheering. My celebration scared my cat and she ran upstairs. What a way to come back! I thought the game would be headed to extra innings…

But there were still no outs. Akinori Iwamura was up next and hit an infield single. Then Ben Zobrist walked. Then Carlos Pena hits another home run, this one to right-center field. Tropicana Field is absolutely electric at this point as the addictive Rays’ Feel the Heat song plays, and Pena runs around the bases. He flips off his helmet before reaching home plate, and then he jumps into a huge group of his teammates who are there waiting for him. Evan Longoria later comes out and douses him with a water bucket as he is interviewed. It was a spectacular moment!

This is just the latest of an incredibly high number of comeback wins by the Rays. There have been so many that I’ve lost track. The last one was on Sunday when Carlos Pena walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th to beat the Tigers. It is amazing that a team that was so accustomed to losing before this year can have the belief and faith in themselves that they can win every game, no matter what the scoreboard shows. As a fan, the comeback wins tend to be the most memorable games, and this one was probably the most dramatic comeback that I’ve ever seen from the Rays. It very well could be the best Rays game ever. I’m very glad that I remembered to turn on the TV this afternoon…

Today’s win was the 68th of the season for the Rays. They won 66 all of last year. They are only two wins away from 70, which was their all-time high during the magic and memorable 70-91 season of 2004.

I can’t wait to see the Rays in person for the first time this year on my birthday, September 8, at Fenway Park in Boston. It’ll be my first game at Fenway Park, and I plan to loudly and proudly support my Rays!

Here are my favorite cards of today’s heroes:

Gabe Gross

Carlos Pena

Carlos Pena



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  1. I don’t know if you saw the game before that on Tuesday were Longoria hits 2 – 350 feet foul home runs and Betancourt still pitches him a fastball which he drills for a 2 Run Home Run.

  2. JBob, I didn’t see the whole game, but I did see that at bat and home run by Longoria. It was amazing. It’s funny, but before this season I used to keep a list of the top 5 or so Rays games per season in my head. But this year there have been so many great games that I can’t keep track of them all! I can’t wait for October!

  3. A game like that is what makes baseball incomparably great.

  4. That game actually made me want to punch small children. I watched the whole game only to watch our sucktacular bullpen blow yet another game.

    I guess it’s somewhat alright because I want the Rays to knock the Yankees out of the playoffs.

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