Comeback vs. Halos reminiscent of Game 162

Comeback vs. Halos reminiscent of Game 162

Comeback vs. Halos reminiscent of Game 162
ANAHEIM -- The fans watching at home Saturday night weren't the only one's thinking that the Rays' come-from-behind victory against the Angels had a similar feel to last season's memorable Game 162, when Tampa Bay beat the Yankees, 8-7, on the final day of the season and clinched the American League Wild Card.

Third baseman Evan Longoria noted, "There were some guys, you know, making mention of it during the game."

Outfielder Sam Fuld was one of those players, and he said "the similarities were pretty amazing."

"I came up with the bases loaded when we were down 8-0 [Saturday night], and 7-0 in Game 162. Then, Longo hitting the home run later in the inning to put us just down by one, then having a pinch-hitter hit a huge home run, Carlos [Pena] and Dan Johnson," Fuld said. "Pretty freaky. I said it at the time, and everyone was like, 'You're right. The similarities are amazing.'"

Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked if the thought crossed his mind that Saturday night's game resembled Game 162.

"It did not," Maddon said. "When it was brought up afterward, I'm like, 'How could I not?' But I was pretty mentally involved in that game last night. I never put it together. Then, of course, Longo's homer, makes sense, big hit by [Ben] Zobrist. ... It was lost on me; I didn't go there mentally."

Maddon might not have locked in to the similarities to Game 162, but he did speak of his team's resolve.

"I think this whole road trip has been kind of awkward," Maddon said. "We've lost two really tough games -- a ninth-inning game [the 3-2 loss in Seattle on Tuesday night], and getting perfected [on Wednesday by Seattle's Felix Hernandez], and still being able to play at this level.

"I think it's a real testament to our guys. And when you want to talk about culture, the one thing I appreciate and respect about the way we do things is that we don't let the previous day bother us in a negative way."

One thing was certain about Saturday night's win, it resonated inside the Rays' clubhouse.

"It was a pretty big game for us, as far as games in August go," Zobrist said. "It's probably the biggest game in August that we've won that I can remember."