The Rays manager pulled a chair alongside Jake McGee's locker after Saturday's brutal loss and told McGee he was still his guy. Then Maddon walked a few feet to the right, sat down with Joel Peralta and said the same thing.
Peralta and McGee coauthored the seventh-inning meltdown Saturday, one in which a two-run lead became a two-run deficit and what looked like a win became a loss.
"We are not going to the playoffs this year without either one of those two guys performing like they can," Maddon said before Sunday's game. "So I just wanted to make sure that they are fine, really encouraged them to drop it and move on, because we might need both of them today."
Wouldn't you know it? Maddon needed McGee and Peralta on Sunday in nearly the exact same situations, and both came through as the Rays beat the Yankees 3-1 to salvage the final game of a 3-4 road trip.
"It was great to see them bounce back like that," Maddon said.
After six solid innings by rookie right-hander Chris Archer and a two-run single by James Loney off left-hander Boone Logan in the top of the seventh, Maddon called for McGee to protect the 3-1 lead.
How fitting that McGee's first batter was David Adams, the same David Adams he walked Saturday with the bases loaded.
"It kind of matched up perfect," McGee said. "We took the lead. Just get right back out there within 24 hours is kind of good rather than sit for a couple of days, especially facing Adams right away, it's good to go and do well."
McGee struck out Adams. Up next was Vernon Wells, whose bases-clearing double was the crushing moment in Saturday's loss.
McGee got Wells to fly out to left field. He allowed a two-out hit but moved the game along to the eighth inning with the two-run lead intact. That offered Peralta a chance to redeem himself.
And, like he had Saturday, Peralta began his outing facing Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay.
On Saturday, that sequence went walk, fly ball to left, double as the inning spun out of control.
On Sunday, it was fly ball to center, fly ball to center, fly ball to center.
"Thanks to Joe to put me back out there," Peralta said. "That means a lot to me. He still has confidence in me."
All that remained was for Fernando Rodney to take care of the ninth, and he did, striking out the side in order for his 15th save.
Archer earned his second win of the season after allowing a run on six hits. It was a decidedly different outing than his previous two, one in which Archer dictated the tempo.
"Much better," Archer said. "It was kind of like this: My mind was working slow but I was keeping the pace of the game pretty fast. It's weird. My dad texted me before the game, 'Work fast but stay under control.'
"And then (catcher Jose) Molina after the second inning said pretty much the same thing. He said, 'Hey I like that you're working fast.' It was just cool for multiple sources to say that and for me to do that and be successful."
It was the kind of game Rays fans are used to seeing over the years — good pitching, just enough offense and a shutdown job by the bullpen.
Both McGee and Peralta said they didn't lose confidence in themselves after Saturday's loss, but admitted the postgame chips and salsa talk with Maddon didn't hurt.
"Definitely," Peralta said. "He helped me before. Last year when it was struggling he'd come to me and lift me, and yesterday he did the same thing. He came here and told me he believes in me. He actually gave me some advice, slow down a little bit, breathe on the mound, and that's what I did."
McGee said he believed he would have pitched just as well Sunday.
"More than likely," he said. "But it's always good when the manager talks to you and let's you know he still trusts you."
Maddon said he just might keep some chips and salsa around for future pep talks. He wouldn't mind the ones served in the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, calling them "outstanding."
"They were pretty good chips and salsa," McGee said.
Archer, Loney lead Rays past Yankeees