Sep 27, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays players from left Evan Longoria , Fernando Rodney and Carlos Pena celebrate after the game against the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field. The Rays won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Rays Notes: Longo's Heroics, Fernando Rodney, Joe Maddon, Jose Molina

What a game the Rays played on Thursday! Evan Longoria drilled the go-ahead homer and Fernando Rodney nailed down his Rays-record 46th save! It was the perfect way to celebrate Joe Maddon’s 600th career victory and here was some reaction from the Rays, sportswriters, etc. about everything that transpired.

With three games left against the collapsing White Sox followed by three against one of the teams they’re chasing, the Orioles, whom they now trail by exactly three games, the Rays may yet get that “baseball miracle” I said they would need last week when declaring them “effectively out of the hunt.” — Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated

That’s kind of a joke. Rodney used to pitch for the Tigers but wasn’t that great for them. He closed one year for them, saved 37 games, but with a 4.40 ERA. The Tigers let him walk and he signed with the Angels, where his ERA was 4.32 the past two seasons. He had more walks than strikeouts for them last season. Of course they let him walk. Why wouldn’t they? And now he’s put together one of the great relief seasons in history. How do you explain this? You can’t…..As our pal Jonah Keri said, in reference to Rodney’s infamous post-save celebrations: He is an arrow-firing cyborg. That cyborg is a reason the Rays are still alive. Very much alive. — David Shoenfeld of ESPN’s Sweetspot

“I think we’ve kind of gotten used to the idea of not being able to control things,” Evan Longoria said. “The lack of pressure of playing from behind is more familiar to us. It gives us a little extra drive, determination.” The Rays were answering questions Thursday about last year’s amazing comeback, because Friday is the one-year anniversary of Game 162, and Longoria’s wild-card clinching home run. “I remember crossing the plate, and seeing the unbelievableness, if that’s a word,” he said. “Myriad of emotions,” Maddon said. “Within minutes, going from losing to winning to celebrating.” Now, incredibly, they’re setting up for what could be another crazy finish. — Danny Knobler of CBS

Absolutely unbelievable. It was pandemonium in Rays Nation on Thursday night, and hopefully this is just the start.

In less happy news, Roger Mooney had the scoop that Jose Molina could miss the rest of the Rays’ series with the White Sox with a right quad injury

We’ll close with a quote from Dave Martinez on not getting the Astros’ manager job and a couple of awesome stats about the Rays this year.

Tags: Dave Martinez Evan Longoria Fernando Rodney Joe Maddon Jose Molina Tampa Bay Rays

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