AS 2008 hit, the Rays were a new team, plump with young talent and were ripe to make their first ever post-season run. They'd be led by a rookie third baseman who was only two years removed from being drafted. Evan Longoria exploded onto the scene, and en route to being name Rookie of the Year, he was voted into the game with the 'Final Vote'.
During the all-star game, for the first time in team history more than one player participated in the game as two other Rays joined Longoria, as Scott Kazmir and Dioner Navarro were also selected to participate. Longoria also became the Rays first ever player to participate in the Homerun Derby, but he finished last in the contest only homering three times.
All three Rays would have a memorable impact, as the game lasted 15 innings. Dioner Navarro was the first player into the game for Tampa Bay and struck out again Edinson Volquez in the 7th. Longoria came up the next inning, and laced a ground-rule double down the left field line, scoring Grady Sizemore to tie the game at three. In the bottom of the 11th, Navarro was thrown out at home trying to score the winning run. Scott Kazmir came in the game to pitch the top of the 15th and he'd pitch a scoreless inning. The AL would walkoff in the bottom half, making Kazmir the winning pitcher. Longoria would only have the one hit in four trips to the plate, and Navarro also had one hit in four trips.
In 2009, Carl Crawford made his third all-star game and he'd be joined by a franchise record, four other players. Evan Longoria was even voted to start the game, being the first ever Tampa Bay player to do so. The team's MVP from the 2008 pennant run, Jason Bartlett was selected, as was Carlos Pena and Ben Zobrist who was having a breakout year for the Rays.
Evan Longoria wouldn't play in the game due to an injury, and Carlos Pena would also not participate in the game, although he did take part in the Homerun Derby. Pena was able to surpass Longoria's three from the past year, but was still eliminated in the first round.
During the game itself, the Rays players didn't do much with the bat with Zobrist striking out in his only plate appearance, and Bartlett grounded out during his lone trip. Crawford managed three trips to the plate and singled his first time up. However, the Rays and actual main highlight of the game came during the bottom of the 7th while the game was tied. Jonathan Papelbon was on the mound and Brad Hawpe was leading off the inning, meanwhile Carl Crawford was patrolling left field.
On the first pitch, Hawpe lifted a deep fly ball to left field. Crawford tracked it back to track and finally to the wall. It looked like it was set to barely clear the wall when at the last moment, Crawford made a leap and snached the ball out of the air robbing Hawpe of the go-ahead HR. The AL would take the lead the next half inning and go on to win, 4-3. For his part in the game, Crawford was awarded the All-Star Game MVP.
In 2010, two Rays players were voted into the game as fans recognized the talents of Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria. Three Rays in total would start the game, as David Price was the named the AL's starting pitcher. One more player from Tampa Bay joined them as Rafael Soriano was also selected.
David Price would pitch two scoreless innings, erasing the only base-runner he allowed on a double play. Evan Longoria doubled in his lone plate appearance, and Carl Crawford went 0-2, but he was able to pull off a stolen base after reaching on a fielder's choice. Rafael Soriano pitched a perfect eighth as well for the AL.
50:00 in is David Price's Start
In 2011, the Rays sent possibly the best 1-2 pitching rotation in the AL to the all-star game as David Price was joined by James Shields at the mid-summer classic. Also joining them was Matt Joyce who had an excellent first half to the season. Price and Shields however didn't play due to various reasons and Matt Joyce went 1-2 in the game, singling in the top of the 9th against Joel Hanrahan.
In 2012, Fernando Rodney had arguably the greatest season for a reliever in history. Heading into the game, Rodney had only allowed earned run in three of the 40 games he appeared in. David Price was also selected, making it his third all-star game selection. Each pitcher threw perfect 1-2-3 innings in the 4th and 9th respectively.
Matt Moore rode a fantastic start in 2013 to the all-star game and he was joined by Ben Zobrist, who didn't participate in the game. Moore was brought into the game in the 5th and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning.
In 2014, the Rays had one lone representative for the first time since 2007 as David Price was the only player selected to be in the game. Price pitched the weekend beforehand so he was ineligible for the game.
Later today, Chris Archer and Brad Boxberger will represent the team, with Archer potentially pitching multiple innings.
The full first half totals for each Rays All-Star from 2008-2015
|Rays First Half Totals in the All-Star Game|
|2008||Scott Kazmir||7-5 / 3.04 ERA / 3.31 FIP / 26.76 K% / 9.11 BB% / 83 IP / 14 G|
|Evan Longoria||.275/.348/.513 / 16 HR / 53 RBI / 6 SB / 23.4 K% / 10.0 BB% / 84 Games|
|Dioner Navarro||.310/.361/.424 / 4 HR / 35 RBI / 0 SB / 10.1 K% / 7.1 BB% / 69 Games|
|2009||Carlos Pena||.228/.364/.527 / 24 HR / 58 RBI / 1 SB / 29.3 K% / 15.8 BB% / 88 Games|
|Ben Zobrist||.297/.414/.598 / 17 HR / 52 RBI / 11 SB / 18.5 K% / 16.5 BB% / 81 Games|
|Jason Bartlett||.347/.393/.536 / 8 HR / 39 RBI / 19 SB / 16.1 K% / 7.0 BB% / 68 Games|
|Carl Crawford||.309/.367/.439 / 8 HR / 39 RBI / 44 SB / 15.0 K% / 7.5 BB% / 88 Games|
|Evan Longoria||.285/.362/.535 / 17 HR / 66 RBI / 2 SB / 21.6 K% / 10.1 BB% / 84 Games|
|2010||Carl Crawford||.321/.380/.521 / 11 HR / 50 RBI / 31 SB / 14.6 K% / 8.4 BB% / 85 Games|
|Evan Longoria||.300/.381/.513 / 13 HR / 61 RBI / 13 SB / 18.0 K% / 11.6 BB% / 87 Games|
|David Price||12-4 / 2.42 ERA / 3.56 FIP / 20.96 K% / 9.01 BB% / 115.1 IP / 17 Games|
|Rafael Soriano||2-0 / 23-24 SVO / 1.60 ERA / 2.84 FIP / 22.65 K% / 5.46 BB% / 33.2 IP / 34 Games|
|2011||David Price||8-7 / 3.70 ERA / 2.96 FIP / 23.85 K% / 4.96 BB% / 129 IP / 19 Games|
|Matt Joyce||.290/.351/.513 / 12 HR / 41 RBI / 5 SB / 20.2 K% / 8.9 BB% / 81 Games|
|James Shields||8-7 / 2.33 ERA / 3.09 FIP / 24.90 K% / 6.18 BB% / 142.2 IP / 19 G|
|2012||David Price||11-4 / 2.82 ERA / 3.45 FIP / 23.28 K% / 8.20 BB% / 111.1 IP / 17 G|
|Fernando Rodney||2-1 / 25-26 SVO / 0.93 ERA / 1.93 FIP / 26.20 K% / 3.44 BB% / 38.2 IP / 40 Games|
|2013||Ben Zobrist||.260/.347/.383 / 6 HR / 48 RBI / 6 SB / 14.6 K% / 10.6 BB% / 92 Games|
|Matt Moore||13-3 / 3.44 ERA / 3.65 FIP / 23.63 K% / 12.04 BB% / 107.1 IP / 19 Games|
|2014||David Price||9-7 / 3.23 ERA / 3.11 FIP / 27.37 K% / 3.50 BB% / 147.2 IP / 20 Games|
|2015||Chris Archer||9-6 / 2.74 ERA / 2.65 FIP / 30.43 K% / 6.21 BB% / 121.2 IP / 19 Games|
|Brad Boxberger||4-5/ 23-25 SVO / 3.25 ERA / 3.80 FIP / 31.16 K% / 11.69 BB% / 36 IP / 40 Games|