The Tampa Bay Rays and their fans will always have fond memories of their incredible run to the playoffs in the 2011 Major League season. Tampa, of course, stormed back from a double-digit deficit in the Wild Card standings in the final month of the season to sneak into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season.
For now though, the Rays are forced to accept the fact that their remarkable season has come to an end. The Texas Rangers clinched the American League Championship Series on Tuesday with a 4-3 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field. Credit to Texas for playing as well as they did in the four-game series win. It looked like the Rays were going to carry their momentum over to the postseason after they thrashed Texas, 9-0, in Game 1. It wasn’t meant to be.
Evan Longoria, whose hot bat in the month of September played a big part in Tampa’s late surge, was unable to get it going in the series. He batted just .188 after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Tuesday’s loss. His lone big hit, a three-run homerun in Game 2, came in a losing effort. Nevertheless, as you’ll hear, Longoria knows that his team had been a part of something special that neither he nor his teammates will soon forget.