TONIGHT’S STARTERS: The Astros will start RHP
José Urquidy tonight, who started both Game 2s for
the Astros this postseason, tossing 4.1 innings in each
outing…he last pitched on Oct. 7 vs. OAK, allowing four
runs on five hits, but did not factor into the decision…
Urquidy will be opposed by LHP Ryan Yarbrough,
who made his only postseason appearance this year
as the bulk pitcher for the Rays in Game 4 of the ALDS
at NYY, tossing 5.0 innings and allowing two runs on
six hits…both starters pitched in relief in their 2019
ALDS against each other, with Urquidy tossing 1.2
scoreless in one appearance and Yarbrough tossing
3.0 scoreless frames across three appearances.
Urquidy has been solid in the postseason in his brief career, posting a
1-0 record and a 2.89 ERA (6ER/18.2IP) in six games
(three starts)…he had his biggest postseason moment
in Game 4 of the 2019 World Series at WSH, earning
the win after tossing 5.0 shutout frames, allowing just
two hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
Yarbrough will be making the first start of his postseason career…is 1-0 with a
2.25 ERA (8-IP, 2-ER) in four career postseason apps, all in relief…made three scoreless apps in last season’s ALDS vs. HOU, appearing in Game 2 (1 IP), Game 4 (2 IP) and Game 5 (1 BF)…recorded the win in a bullpen game in Game 4, stranding an inherited runner with a Josh Reddick lineout to end the 2nd…pitched a perfect 3rd, then went single, flyout, double in the 4th and was replaced…was the beneficiary of a well-executed relay on a Yordan Alvarez double, with an 8-6-2 putout of Jose Altuve.
— Becomes the second non-opener in franchise history to start a postseason
game after previously making his Rays postseason debut in relief…joins David Price, who pitched out of the bullpen during the 2008 postseason
BY THE NUMBERS—In postseason history, teams leading 2-0 in a bestof-seven series have gone on to win the series 72 of 85 times (84.7 pct.),
according to MLB.com…the Rays have taken a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven
series for the first time in club history…once they held a 2-0 lead in a
best-of-five series: the 2008 Division Series vs. CWS (led 2-0, won 3-1)…
the Rays swept their Wild Card Series over the Blue Jays and defeated
the Yankees in a decisive Game 5 of the Division Series to advance to the
League Championship Series for the second time in club history (2008).
— The Rays have won five of their last six postseason games since
losing Game 1 to the Yankees…the Rays are 23-22 all-time in the
postseason, 7-2 in 2020 and 9-3 since Game 3 of the 2019 ALDS.
— Combining regular season and postseason, the Rays have only lost
once in their last 18 series since Aug 4, going 13-1-4 in series play.
— Over the last two postseasons, the Rays are 1-3 when facing HOU/
NYY Gerrit Cole and 9-2 when facing any other starting pitcher.
CLOSE SHAVES—Between the regular season and postseason, 38 of the
Rays’ 69 games (55.1 pct.) have been decided by 2 runs (or fewer)…the
Rays are 28-10 (.737) in them, going 5-0 in the postseason in addition to a
majors-best 23-10 (.697) in the regular season…the Rays are 16-5 (.762) in
1-run games, including 2-0 this postseason and 15-3 (.833) since Aug 7.
Ê Combining regular season and postseason, the Rays have a major-league-record 13 different pitchers with a save and are 34-1, 31-0
and 38-0 when leading after 6, 7 and 8 innings, respectively.
— Since July 28, 2019, the Rays have won 61 straight games when
leading after 7 innings, the longest active streak in the majors.
ABOUT THE OFFENCE—In Game 2 vs. HOU, the Rays became the second
team in major league history to win a postseason game with 13 SO (or
more) and 0 BB, joining the Reds in Game 1 of the 1973 NLCS vs. NYM…
that Reds team won, 2-1, on a Johnny Bench walk-off homer off Mets
starter Tom Seaver, and their lineup also included Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez and Ken Griffey…in Game 2, the Rays were outhit, 10-
4, and became the first team to win a postseason game while allowing
double-digit hits and recording 4 hits (or fewer) since the Giants in Game
4 of the 2002 NLCS vs. STL (Giants won 4-3 despite being outhit, 12-4).
— The Rays have been outhit, 19-10, this series…according to the Elias
Sports Bureau, the Rays are the eighth team to be outhit in each of
the first 2 games of a postseason series and win both, done most recently by the Cardinals in the 2013 NLCS…the Rays are the second
team to be outhit by three (or more) in each of the first 2 games of
a playoff series, both wins, following the 2005 Cardinals (NLDS).
— Game 2 was the first time the Rays won a postseason game when
being outhit by six (or more)…the last team to do that was the Blue
Jays in Game 2 of the 2016 ALDS vs. TEX (won 5-3, outhit 13-6).
— Game 2 was the third time the Rays won a postseason game on
4 hits (or fewer) and the previous occurrences all came in 2020:
Game 5 of the Division Series and Game 1 of the Wild Card Series.
— The Rays have 3 wins this postseason when striking out 13 times
(or more), the most for a team in a single postseason in major league
history…prior to this season, the Rays had never won a postseason
game on 13 SO (or more)…all three of these wins have come in succession: Game 5 vs. NYY, Game 1 vs. HOU and Game 2 vs. HOU.
— The Rays are 5-0 in the postseason when scoring first, after going a
major-league-best 25-6 (.806) when doing so in the regular season.
— The Rays are batting .182 (8-for-44) with RISP this postseason, including .100 (2-for-20) in the last 4 games (since ALDS Game 4).
RAYS vs. ASTROS—The series opener was the first game between these
two clubs since Oct 10, 2019, when the Astros ended the Rays season in
Game 5 of the Division Series…the Rays-Astros and Dodgers-Braves series mark the first time there has been a League Championship Series
between teams that did not face each other in the regular season…this
series represents the largest difference in winning pct. between teams
meeting in League Championship Series history…the Rays went an AL-best 40-20 (.667) in the regular season, while the Astros were the No. 6
seed with the 8th-best record at 29-31 (.483)…the largest difference prior
to this series was in 1998 between the Yankees (.704) and Indians (.549).
— In the regular season, the Rays went 21-9 (.700) against teams that
finished .500 or better, best in the majors…the Astros went 4-13.
— The Rays have not lost a season series to the Astros since 2008, going 8-0-1 since…the Rays went 4-3 in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and the
Astros finished with 101, 103 and 107 wins in those seasons…according to Stats LLC, the Rays were the first team in major league
history to win the season series in three straight years against an
opponent who finished with 100 wins in each of those seasons.
— According to Stats LLC, this is the fifth time two teams have met
in the League Championship Series a season after meeting in the
Division Series (all occurring in the AL)…in three of the other four
times, the team that lost the ALDS won the next season’s ALCS.