The Tampa Bay Rays is a renowned American sports baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The team competes in Major League Baseball (MLB) matches as a member of the American League (AL) Eastern Division. From the first days of its appearance, the team considers Tropicana Field as their “home”. In this review, we will look at the 5 most memorable and important matches of the team, which should be reviewed according to experts. The best match reviews can always be viewed at superbetting.com.
March 1998 – the first match
One of the matches that need to be reviewed by all fans of the team is the very first match of the Tampa Bay Rays, which took place on March 31, 1998, against the Detroit Tigers at home stadium, Tropicana Field. Then the match was attended by 45,369 spectators. Wilson Alvarez was honored to make the first serve, and Wade Boggs knocked out the first home run in team history. On that day, the team lost the match, ending the game with a score of 11: 6. In total, the Tampa bay rays won 11 victories in their first 19 games. After that, there was a row of 6 defeats in a row. In total, in the 1998 season, the athletes lost 99 matches.
11 June 2006
Today 2006 will be remembered for the fact that the Tampa bay rays team took part in very rare triple-plays twice. One they made themselves, and the other was made against them.
On June 11, the team played Kansas City – in that game they knocked out the third triple play in Major League Baseball history, the first since 1937. The events took place as follows: first, in one of the rallies, Russell Branjan received a flyout, and his colleague Rocco Baldelli tried to run to second base but did not have time, and Aubrey Huff got out due to not touching third base before running to the house after Branjan’s flight.
The next memorable match took place on September 2 of the same year. Then the team played Seattle and made a unique 2-6-2 triple play at that time, in which the ball never touched the batter’s bat. Pitcher J.P. Howell struck out Raul Ibanez, and then catcher Dioner Navarro passed the ball to shortstop Ben Zobrist, thus preventing Adrian Beltra from stealing second base. At the same time, another player – Jose Lopez – tried to run into the house from third base, but Ben Zobrist got ahead of him and made a throw to the house, where Navarro made the third strike in one rally. It was the first 2-6-2 triple play in Major League Baseball history.
Incredible match October 19, 2008
Before the start of the 2008 sports season, the Tampa bay rays team did not have very good results: for 10 years of its activity, the players never managed to win more than 70 games. At the same time, the team members made 150-1 long-range shots to win the American League pennant.
Six months after the start of the season, the team has moved ahead seriously and showed amazing results – it seems they were on the verge of achieving the impossible and made several certified people in Vegas guaranteed rich. Many experts began betting on the team’s victories, but their confidence was shaken after the Tampa bay rays won three games against Boston at the ALCS, lost the next two matches – including losing the fifth game, in which they once won seven times – to set up the decisive Game Seven at Tropicana Field.
2011 – match No. 162
The start of the 2011 season was the worst in the history of the team. The athletes lost their first 6 matches, but at the end of April, the team still managed to surpass their defeats in the number of victories (there were 15 victories and 12 defeats). Before that, no one could boast of such an achievement.
Before the last day of the regular season, the two teams had an equal chance of qualifying for Wild Card – Tampa and Red Sox. The Tampa Bay Rays surpassed Boston on points with a 12th inning win for the New York Yankees.
This match became very dramatic and exciting – by the 8th inning, the Tampa bay rays were losing 7: 0 to their rivals, and many fans at that time were even disappointed and left the stadium because they did not expect that their favorite team could go to the playoff.
Despite everyone’s surprise, in the 8th inning, the athletes were able to take all the bases. Pinch hitter Sam Fuld got his run, earning his team the first point of the match. Immediately after that pitcher, the Yankees hit the ball into Sean Rodriguez and brought the team another point. The course of the match gradually began to change.
As a result, BJ Upton made a sacrifice fly and made the score 7: 3. After that, Evan Longoria went out to hit and sent the ball over the wall of the left-field, and his two partners, who were at the bases, into the house where he ran himself. Thanks to this, the advantage of the Yankees team over Tempo was minimal. At the bottom of the 9th inning, Reis’s first two batsmen got strikeouts. Dan Johnson came out third, and with the score of 2: 2 in the house, he knocked out a home run, leveling the score. The happy ending of the match came in the 12th inning when Evan Longoria made the winning home run.
At the same time, the Baltimore Orioles beat Boston, and thus the Tampa bay rays got a place in the playoffs.
Read more: When Does Espn Playoff Machine Start?