Is this a special Rays season?
It was one of those games we might point at if the Rays turn this into a playoff season.
Yes, a win or loss in April matters as much as a win or loss in September, and certainly as much as a win or loss in July in Oakland.
But it was still one of those games that made you think that maybe, just maybe, this could be a special season.
The Rays rallied with two runs with two outs in the ninth to beat the A’s 4-3. Our baseball top cat, Marc Topkin, captured the late drama. They came out of nowhere, just like that, just like this season.
It ended at nearly 1 in the morning, our time, in case you were not up. I was. Watching TV. I was even keeping score. I’m insane like that sometimes. Had a scorebook and everything. Insane indeed. It's what even the hint of a playoff chase can do to people.
As the Rays came back, it wasn’t lost on me that the Red Sox were in extra innings with the Blue Jays in Boston.
Okay, I’m not trying to turn this into Game 162 in 2011, when the Rays came all the way back to beat the Yankees and clinch the wild card on Evan Longoria’s walk-off while the Red Sox fell off a cliff in Baltimore – the moment of moments in Rays history.
It wasn't 162.
And the Red Sox didn’t even help the narrative much Tuesday, winning in 15 innings.
What I’m saying is that baseball playoff seasons are made of a lot of moments – and Tuesday night in Oakland will qualify if the Rays eventually get in.
Think about it. Think about the elements that came together/
Two outs in the ninth.
A single by catcher Wilson Ramos, brought over in the offseason.
Some baserunning magic from fly guy Mallex Smith, to second on a wild pitch then a daring steal of third, putting him in scoring position.
A run-scoring single to tie it off the bat of Adeiny Hechavarria, who came over in a trade not long ago. For defense.
And the winning run driven in by Shane Peterson, 29, who Tuesday night was lead drummer in Who Are These Guys? He’s a journeyman who had spent only 129 days on the majors before this season.
Throw in three perfect innings of relief from Erasmo Ramirez.
No, this isn’t 2011. It’s July. It isn’t 2013, the Rays' last playoff season – yet.
Shane Peterson isn’t Dan Johnson, but he did just fine in a pinch. We might look back at Tuesday as one of those games that defined a season if this season keeps this up.
We might all be keeping score before you know it.