30 wins down, 60 wins to go. The third entry in the series takes a look back at wins 31 through 45 from the memorable 2018 season.
(31-35) June 12: Rays 4, Blue Jays 1
Wilson Ramos’ home run in the third scored the only necessary runs to defeat the Blue Jays on this day.
(32-35) June 13: Rays 1, Blue Jays 0
Through eight and a half innings of baseball, neither team had scored a run. In the bottom of the ninth, with Mallex Smith on third, Matt Duffy hit the ball perfectly between Gio Urshela at third base and Aledmys Diaz at short to drive in the game-winning run.
(33-38) June 17: Rays 3, Yankees 1
Chaz Roe threw what could be his best slider from the season to strike out Aaron Judge. It was filthy.
(34-39) June 19: Rays 2, Astros 1
Kevin Kiermaier’s defense, as we all know, is really good. It’s so good that his great catches have almost become routine. Let’s appreciate one of his great catches against the Houston Astros.
(35-40) June 22: Rays 2, Yankees 1
Willy Adames’ defense is pretty good, too.
(36-40) June 23: Rays 4, Yankees 0
Speaking of Willy Adames, he also has pretty good opposite-field power.
(37-40) June 24: Rays 7, Yankees 6 (F/12)
What’s better than the go-ahead Yankees home run in the ninth being prevented by a hanging speaker? Jake Bauers walking it off in the bottom of the 12th, completing the sweep of the Yankees.
(38-40) June 25: Rays 11, Nationals 0
[*stefon voice*]: This game had everything. Wilson Ramos hit two home runs, Jake Bauers had four hits, Blake Snell pitched six no-hit innings with 10 K’s, Willy Adames had an RBI walk... but the moment of this game was Kevin Kiermaier’s grand slam.
(39-40) June 26: Rays 1, Nationals 0
The only run in the game came from a Jake Bauers groundout off of Max Scherzer, but in the ninth, this game got cranked up to 11. First baseman Jose Alvarado pitched to three batters before Sergio Romo was summoned to close things out. After Romo got the final out with much excitement and passion, some choice words were exchanged between the teams and the benches cleared.
(40-41) June 29: Rays 3, Astros 2
With the world champions in town, the Rays had a tough task at hand in trying to beat the Astros. The Astros, however, gave the Rays this win, as a throwing error by Houston plated the go-ahead run in the fourth.
(41-41) June 30: Rays 5, Astros 2
With three runs in the first inning scored off of Justin Verlander, the offense started the game on the right foot. Joey Wendle, playing in left field, made sure that his defense was as good as his team’s offense.
(42-41) July 1: Rays 3, Astros 2
In a 2-1 game that was in the bottom of the eighth, the go-ahead home run was hit by, you guessed it, Mallex Smith.
(43-42) July 3: Rays 9, Marlins 6 (F/16)
The longest game on the season, the Rays defeated the Marlins in 16 innings. Vidal Nuno drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 16th before the Rays summoned Jesus Sucre to try and close things out in the bottom half.
(44-44) July 7: Rays 3, Mets 0
Carlos Gomez’ bloop hit to left field in the eighth provided an insurance run, but his base running was the real highlight of that sequence.
(45-44) July 8: Rays 9, Mets 0
Three different Rays hit home runs in this game but Nate Eovaldi’s nine strikeouts and six perfect innings were the big story from this game. Eovaldi even had an RBI single!
After winning the series against the Houston Astros, this Rays team showed that they could hang with the best of ‘em, while also being loads of fun to watch on a nightly basis.
The next installment of 90 wins in 90 GIFs will feature three more walk-offs and the debuts of players acquired before and at the trade deadline.