Ace lefty Blake Snell on what made the 2018 Rays special

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Tampa Bay Rays ace left-hander Blake Snell delves into the 2018 season, from the rough start to the campaign to what made the second half so spectacular.

- We knew we were good, but it's tough when you start off against Boston, New York, Boston, and you've got to face them so many times. It's going to be tough. You really don't know. If you win a lot, you know what you have. You have something special. If you lose a lot, you really can't determine anything off of that. So we knew we had a tough start, and it was tougher than we expected, just off of the record.

But once we started believing, we started playing other teams, started believing, getting some momentum going, started winning series, and then, the second half, we really took off. And it was fun to be in the clubhouse. It was fun to see the guys performing at such a high level every day. And no, we really made a good push, and we fell short, but I think that's going to make everyone hungry and more focused going into spring, and I'm excited for it.

I mean the whole bullpen, what they've brought. And then Willy J-- I mean, everyone's young. So the whole team really has brought so much in their own unique way, which is awesome. Because here, everyone's themselves. There's no-- we want everyone to perform at such a high level, and the only way we know that they can do that is by being true to who they are. So I think that's what's been so unique about this team, is everyone is genuinely who they are. And it makes them play at a way better level, and it just makes it fun for everyone, because it works with this group so well.