For the second straight year, the Rays have lost the ALDS to the Texas Rangers in front of their home crowd. This time it ended in Game 4, with another frustrating loss last night at the same close score of 4-3. So close yet so far, as they say. The Rays just lacked the timely hitting that would of put them in the ALCS both this year and last year. Very bothering to see one player (Adrian Beltre) hit three crucial solo homers in the game and the Rays again coming back late and just falling short.
It's amazing how drastically the mood of Rays Republic changed in just a matter of a week. Evan Longoria hits the biggest homerun in franchise history, and a week later the Rays are knocked out of the playoffs. I was very surprised in the outcome of the series. Not only that the red-hot Rays lost in four games, but also the games they won and lost in the series. The Rays struck first, destroying Texas' ace in Arlington and getting boosts from unexpected sources. Game 2-4 featured the Rays core 3 starters, including two games at the Trop. I don't think anyone would have guessed they would drop all three. Overall, there has been more disappointing days in the franchise's past. In a matter of fact, last year's ALDS was more upsetting considering the regular season the Rays had. With a bad beginning and bad ending, 2011 wasn't such a bad result at all. It will be remembered throughout baseball for many years, just like the magical 2008 run. It was a season of miracles and shock. They may have not went as far as they wanted, but they definitely did something that they should be proud of. And that's knocking out Boston and stunning Red Sox nation. With their $39 million payroll, the Rays did something great dismantling their pompous rivals and miraculously making the playoffs. For how they did this with such passion, I must say it was a great season.
Maybe the Rays just weren't ready to go all the way this year, and the third time wasn't the charm. But with the incredibly bright future they have, nobody can be surprised to see the Rays playing in October next year. The potential pitching staff they have is unmatchable; with Moore, Price, Archer, Hellickson, and hopefully Shields. Today is not a day for Rays fans to hang their heads in disappointment, but rather to remember all the great moments of 2011.