We've made it to the final chapter in this six-part saga. After 75 thrilling wins, all that’s left are the final 15. Those final 15 wins, guaranteeing at least a .500 finish and staying in the wild card hunt for as long as the Rays did, were the defining moments of the season.
(76-64) September 7: Rays 14, Orioles 2
Ji-Man Choi hit a grand slam in this one, but Nick Ciuffo’s first career home run was the moment of the game.
(77-64) September 8: Rays 10, Orioles 5
Joey Wendle, master of playing the game the right way, laid down this perfect safety squeeze.
(78-64) September 9: Rays 8, Orioles 3
Carlos Gomez homered and Willy Adames gave us the most wholesome GIF from the season.
(79-64) September 10: Rays 6, Indians 5
In what could be the best moment from the season, Ji-Man Choi ignored the pressure of Cleveland’s closer being in the game and blasted a walk-off two run home run with an epic celebration.
(80-65) September 12: Rays 3, Indians 1
Ji-Man Choi homered off of Carlos Carrasco to plate the go-ahead run in the first inning.
(81-66) September 15: Rays 7, Athletics 5
Jake Bauers secured the 81st win with a three-run home run in the eighth inning, and he topped the homer off with a great bat flip.
(82-66) September 16: Rays 5, Athletics 4
Brandon Lowe’s two-run triple in the seventh inning guaranteed that the Rays would finish over .500 for the first time since 2013.
(83-66) September 17: Rays 3, Rangers 0
It’s not easy to describe Mallex Smith’s jumping catch in foul territory but I can say that it sure looked pretty cool.
(84-66) September 18: Rays 4, Rangers 0
Carlos Gomez’ cat-like reflexes on this bare-handed catch from the dugout had to be seen to be believed.
(85-66) September 19: Rays 9, Rangers 3
Tommy Pham had two home runs in this game but CJ Cron’s fourth inning triple, Cron’s first on the season, was the defining moment of this one.
(86-67) September 21: Rays 11, Blue Jays 3
Austin Meadows recorded his first hit as a Ray with this two-run base hit in Toronto.
(87-68) September 23: Rays 5, Blue Jays 2
This one was pretty easy: Blake Snell’s 11th and final strikeout in his 21st win.
(88-70) September 26: Rays 8, Yankees 7
Safety squeeze! Nick Ciuffo’s perfect bunt plates Willy Adames, increasing the Rays lead in the eighth.
(89-72) September 29: Rays 4, Blue Jays 3
CJ Cron’s 30th home run on the season came in the second to last game, and Cron crushed that ball.
(90-72) September 30: Rays 9, Blue Jays 4
The 90th and final entry in the series: the Rays win on the final day of the season.
90 wins later, this season truly was a success. This Rays team was young, fun, but most importantly, resilient. The kids never let the moment get too big and every chance they got, they approached every game with heart and effort. These 90-win Rays proved many people wrong and made this 20th anniversary 2018 season an unforgettable one.