Heading into the All-Star break and still hovering around .500, this Rays team was exceeding early expectations. With young players coming through in clutch situations, something that didn’t happen in the past few years, this team’s resiliency made Rays games must-watch TV, and wins 46 through 60 showed just that.
(46-44) July 9: Rays 10, Tigers 9 (F/10)
Daniel Robertson’s walk-off base hit against the Tigers wouldn’t be his only clutch moment from the season, but this one is still pretty memorable.
(47-44) July 10: Rays 5, Tigers 2
After a mile-high jump to snag the first out in the inning, Adames had a quality reaction.
(48-44) July 11: Rays 4, Tigers 2
Mallex Smith’s Florida necklace is the coolest bling in baseball. Nick Castellanos couldn’t help but admire the hardware.
(49-46) July 14: Rays 19, Twins 6
Before the swing, during the swing and after the swing, Carlos Gomez just couldn’t lose his smile on this home run.
(50-49) July 22: Rays 6, Marlins 4
In a Sunday afternoon game against the in-state rival, Daniel Robertson came through again, this time with the first walk-off grand slam in Rays history.
(51-49) July 23: Rays 7, Yankees 6
Willy Adames’ heads-up play, in combination with Gary Sanchez’ lack of hustle, sealed the door on this Rays victory.
(52-50) July 25: Rays 3, Yankees 2
Third baseman Sergio Romo recorded the save on this game.
(53-50) July 26: Rays 4, Orioles 3
Making his Major League debut, Michael Perez recorded his first hit in his second at-bat of the game.
(54-53) July 31: Rays 10, Angels 6
Choosing between Daniel Robertson’s RBI hit-by-pitch and Carlos Gomez chasing down his uncontrollable helmet wasn’t easy, but this was just too priceless to not include.
(55-53) August 1: Rays 7, Angels 2
Nothing is better than striking out your first batter in your Rays debut on the mound.
(56-53) August 2: Rays 4, Angels 2
Hunter Wood truly left it all out on the field to make this play on Albert Pujols.
(57-56) August 7: Rays 4, Orioles 3
Willy Adames joined in on the walk-off hitting fun with one of his own, a 434 foot home run against the Orioles.
(58-57) August 9: Rays 5, Orioles 4
Putting the team on his back, Jake Bauers drove in the go-ahead runs with a base hit to right.
(59-57) August 10: Rays 7, Blue Jays 0
Blake Snell worked five perfect innings before being pulled because of an innings limit, but he was as good as a Cy Young candidate could be in an outing.
(60-57) August 11: Rays 3, Blue Jays 1
Carlos Gomez overran a fly ball to left but recovered to make the catch, striking a priceless reaction out of Jose Alvarado.
Clutch was quickly becoming a defining characteristic of this never-give-up team, and these Rays were developing a winning mentality that would keep them in the hunt for the next month.
The next edition of 90 wins in 90 GIFs will highlight wins 61 through 75 and the biggest turning point in the season, which was the conclusion of the 17-win month of August.