After the Rays dominated in Game 3 of the ALDS in the first playoff game at Tropicana Field in six years, the narrative was clear: holy hell, a full Tropicana Field is LOUD!
Let’s be honest: It’s easy to forget what this level of attendance feels like. There hadn’t been this many people in the Trop since 2016, and the fans put the team on their back.
Rays manager Kevin Cash was asked after the game what impact Kevin Kiermaier’s home run had on the dugout and the team psyche. If you expected another answer about the team’s momentum, though, you may be pleasantly surprised to know Cash went straight to the impact that home run had on the fans, and just how much they meant to the team:
It was big. The crowd was tremendous. Thank the Bay area fans. It was awesome. That really got it going before the game and then Altuve comes up, does what he does. Doesn’t quiet us down. But for us to, you know, get a lead and, albeit a three-run homer was huge. Then seemed like we kind of fed off that momentum right there for multiple innings. I think we scored in consecutive innings, two or three in a row.
We’re very appreciative of the crowd. I thought that the crowd was outstanding. We saw what the Houston fans did for that club. Feel like ours just did it for ours.
The Rays peeled back the tarps on the 300 level to fit more fans into the stadium, and may have to do so more tonight, as Game 4 will have a start in the evening at 7:07 PM (as opposed to the preposterous 1:00 PM start from yesterday).
Expect it to be the Rays largest crowd of the year, and expect it to get loud!