ST. PETERSBURG – David DeJesus’ first postseason was worth the wait.
The 11-year-veteran had never been on a winning team much less a playoff team before he was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays from the Washington Nationals on Aug. 23.
And though the Rays’ stay in the postseason was brief – they were eliminated from the American League Division Series on Tuesday after a 3-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox – it was an experience DeJesus relished.
“It’s one of the best experiences of my life,” said the outfielder, who hit .333 during the series and drove in the Rays’ lone run Tuesday. “You play baseball to get to the postseason, hopefully win a World Series, and this was that step. I got that feel. When you play baseball and you don’t make the postseason, you don’t really know. Now I know. And I want to be here and I want to win the World Series with these guys.”
The 33-year-old DeJesus hit .260 in 35 games with the Rays with 11 RBIs and two home runs.
“They were so welcoming since day one,” DeJesus said. “And I’m honored to be a RayI got to the playoffs, I got to feel what it is to really play the game.
“I like it and I want to try it again.”
NEEDING THE BIG HIT: The Rays were 5-for-28 (.179) with runners in scoring position during the ALDS and hit .152 in the same scenario against the Red Sox during the regular season.
THAT’S A LOT OF ARMS: The Rays set a postseason record Tuesday by using nine pitchers in a nine-inning postseason game. It was the third time a team used nine pitchers in a postseason game, with the others being the Chicago White Sox during the 14-inning Game 3 of the 2005 World Series, and the New York Mets during the 15-inning Game 5 of the 1999 National League Championship Series.
The Rays also issued eight walks, second most all-time in a postseason game.
MEMORABLE YUNEL: Shortstop Yunel Escobar became the first Ray to ever have three straight multi-hit games in the postseason. He hit .467 in the series and scored the Rays’ only run Tuesday.
OUCH!: Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino was hit by a pitch four time during the series, the most ever for a single batter in a Division Series and the most by a Red Sox player in a single postseason.
“People say I crowd the plate. Hey, it is what it is,” Victorino said. “And I know those guys aren’t doing it for any apparent reason. They’re trying to make their pitches and execute their pitches. So be it that I’m getting hit. It’s one of those things.”
UP NEXT: The Red Sox host either the Oakland Athletics or Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday.