ST. PETERSBURG -- Dan Johnson's walk-off home run in the Rays' 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Saturday night remained on the minds of many inside the Rays' clubhouse on Sunday.
"That was legit," Carlos Pena said. "That was awesome and for that to be him, that was even better. One, because everyone here holds him very, you know, dearly. We love him. So we were very happy for him. But what does it mean for us? That was a huge hit."
Some joked that Johnson's success against the Red Sox would bring the addition of an expletive to his name among Boston fans as successes by Bucky Dent and Aaron Boone did. Pena believes that will happen.
"Yeah, no doubt about it," Pena said. "That hurt, you know?"
Matt Joyce and Johnson were teammates at Triple-A Durham for much of the season, leaving Joyce to note, "Oh man, I was so pumped for him."
"With the kind of power he has, and the hitter he is, I told him it took him long enough to do it," Joyce said. "But I guess he was just waiting for the right time."
Lance Cormier and the rest of the bullpen had a good view of the blast and heard a premonition prior to Johnson coming through.
"The coolest part was at the beginning of the inning, [bullpen catcher Scott] Cursi keeps a chart and finally he hands the chart to [John] Jaso and goes, 'Just write that down as Jack Johnson,' like Johnson is going to jack it," Cormier said. "Jaso was like, 'What?' And Cursi says, 'That's Jack Johnson as in game-winner.' Then, blam."
Once the ball cleared the fence, the bullpen charged.
"When that happens, we grab our gloves and take off as fast as we can so we can try and get to the plate before him," Cormier said. "His home run trot, we're going to have to work on getting him to slow down a little bit so the bullpen can make it there. You want to be there right when he hits the plate, and we were just a little bit behind. It was very good, a very fun way to win a game."