GUYS! IT FINALLY HAPPENED! Have you recovered from the excitement yet?
Steven Souza has ended a streak stretching back to the days of Wil Myers, Sean Rodriguez, and Joe Maddon.
I mean, David Price was still on the Rays the last time they had a walk-off HR!
It was truly an incredible moment that seemed to just wipe the frustrations from a weekend of offensive ineptness away as the Rays avoided being swept at the Trop. It was a huge victory, it snapped their two game skid and with an off day today, you don’t have a series sweep to gloom on, but rather a thrilling victory over a very good team.
To recap what actually happened, the Rays finally managed to score against the Brewers after being shutout in the first two games of the series on Friday and Saturday. The way they came about this first run was not very inspiring as Wilson Ramos chopped into a bases loaded double play to scratch across a run.
Chris Archer surrendered a solo homer later in the game to tie things up. The revamped Rays bullpen would work the final three innings of the game, holding the Brewers in check.
Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Steven Souza Jr is leading off against Jacob Barnes, whom had worked the previous night’s game and despite working himself into trouble (two hits as well as a hit batter), managed to keep the Rays scoreless.
The first pitch of the at-bat was a ball, low and away from the plate, an easy take. The Brewers catcher, Manny Pina, hoped the next one wouldn’t be as easy. He set-up, low and away, right on the outside corner, and he wanted the gas. Barnes at times, can reach the triple digits with his fastball, so if located where Pina wanted it, it’s a very tough pitch to hit.
He didn’t locate it where Pina wanted it.
Instead, Barnes brought a 98 MPH fastball right down the heart of the plate. Souza went down and barreled the ball perfect and drilled it, deep into the seats in left-center field, ultimately 444 feet away from home plate giving the Rays their first walk-off home run since May 22nd, 2014.