LOS ANGELES DODGERS (43-17, 6-3) vs. Atlanta Braves (35-25, 8-1)
RHP Dustin May (1-0, 0.00) vs. LHP A.J. Minter (1-0, 3.86)
Friday, October 16, 2020 | 8:08 p.m. CT | Globe Life Field | Arlington, TX
National League Championship Series – Game 5
TV: FS1 | Radio: AM 570 (Eng.); 1020 AM (Span.), ESPN Radio.

ONE AT A TIME: The Dodgers lost Game 4 of the NLCS last
night, 10-2, and are now trailing in their best-of-seven series, 3-1,
with Game 5 on tap tonight at 8:08 p.m. CT in Arlington, TX. Los
Angeles is playing in its fifth National League Championship Series
in the last eight years and fourth in the last five seasons. The Dodgers
and Braves had never met in a Postseason series with a World Series
berth on the line, but have met three previous times, all in the NLDS
(1996, 2013 and 2018). Los Angeles beat the Braves 3-1 in both the
2013 and 2018 NLDS. Atlanta swept the Dodgers in the 1996 NLDS.
The Dodgers need three consecutive wins to move into the
World Series for the third time in the last four seasons.
Despite the fact the club only played 60 regular season
games, Los Angeles had a winning streak of three contests
or more on seven different occasions this year. For good
measure, they tacked on another in the Postseason, winning
five consecutive games against the Brewers and Padres to
advance to the NLCS.
Since 1969, when the League Championship Series was
introduced to Major League Baseball, the Dodgers have
appeared in the LCS 14 times, which is tied with the
Cardinals for the most in the National League. The Dodgers
and Braves (11) are two of seven franchises that have
appeared in the LCS 10+ times.
PARTY LIKE IT’S 1981: In 1981, the Dodgers roared back from
down 0-2 and won three consecutive games twice, downing Houston
in the Division Series, 3-2 and the Yankees in the Fall Classic, 4-2.
SEAGER STRONG: Dodger shortstop Corey Seager went 0-for-4
last night and is now hitting .324 (11-for-34) this Postseason with
three homers and a league-leading 11 RBI. His 1.106 OPS ranks
eighth among all playoff performers with at least 20 AB. In Game 3
of the NLCS, Seager became the second player in Postseason history
to collect an RBI in five consecutive at-bats (last two of Game 2 and
first three of Game 3), joining Carlos Beltran (2004). On
Wednesday, it was announced that Seager was one of seven National
League finalists for the Hank Aaron Award, given to the most
outstanding regular season offensive performer in each league.
POSTSEASON POWER: The Dodgers hit a Postseason franchise
record five home runs in Game 3 of the NLCS with five different
players turning the trick. Among the homers was a grand slam by
Max Muncy and a three-run shot by Joc Pederson, who are now
both tied for fourth all-time on the Dodgers’ Postseason home run
list. The list: Duke Snider (11), Steve Garvey (10), Justin Turner
(9), Muncy (8), Pederson (8), Kiké Hernández (7) and Adrían
González (7).
EIGHT’S NOT ENOUGH: The Dodgers went 43-17 in the 60-
game season to win their record eighth straight NL West title with
the best record in the Majors. The club’s .717 winning percentage
was the best in franchise history and marked the seventh time in club
history that the Dodgers posted the Majors’ best mark (last: 2017).
The Dodgers won a division title for the eighth straight year,
something only two other franchises have accomplished:
MLB All-Time – Most Consecutive Division Titles
Braves, 1991-2005 14
Yankees, 1998-2006 9
Dodgers, 2013-2020 8 (active streak)
Source: Stats, LLC
The Dodgers reached the World Series in each of their six
previous seasons with the best record in the Majors:
Dodgers Finishing w/MLB’s Best Record, All-time
1949 Brooklyn Dodgers (tied) 97-57 (.630) Lost WS (4-1 NYY)
1952 Brooklyn Dodgers 96-57 (.627) Lost WS (4-3 NYY)
1953 Brooklyn Dodgers 105-49 (.682) Lost WS (4-2 NYY)
1955 Brooklyn Dodgers 98-55 (.641) Won WS (4-3 vs NYY)
1974 Los Angeles Dodgers 102-60 (.630) Lost WS (4-1 Oak)
2017 Los Angeles Dodgers 104-58 (.642) Lost WS (4-3 Hou)

Game 5 Starter – RHP Dustin May: 1-0, 0.00 ERA in 3 G (1 GS)
2020 Postseason:

Tossed 1.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen Monday night against the Braves, striking out two batters and relinquishing one walk on 21 pitches, 14 of those pitches being strikes Started Game 3 of the Division Series on Thursday night, delivering a scoreless inning with one strikeout and one walk over 16 pitches
Earned his first postseason win in Game 1 of the Division Series against the Padres after firing 2.0 scoreless frames without allowing a hit or walk…retired all six batters he faced and struck out three on 27 pitches
2020 Regular Season:
Ranked amongst National League leaders (min. 50.0 IP) in ERA (2.57, 8th), opponents’ batting average (.220, T-13th), and WHIP (1.09, T-12th)
In 12 appearances (ten starts) this season, the Texas native earned a 3-1 record with a 2.57 ERA (16 ER/56.0 IP) paired with 44 strikeouts and 16 issued walks…also posted a 1.09 WHIP and produced three quality starts
Pitched out of the ‘pen twice this season (9/16 at San Diego, 9/27 vs. Los Angeles (AL)), earning a win and averaging a 0.96 ERA (1 ER/9.1 IP)…kept opposing hitters to a .161 batting average (5-for31) while recording 11 punchouts.
Has not allowed more than two earned runs in a game this season and in his Dodger career, has not allowed more than three earned runs in his 14 starts…according to STATS LLC, that streak is the longest in Dodger history for a pitcher who has not allowed three or more runs.
Has been effective against batters on both sides of the plate, limiting right-handed batters to a .198 average (21-for-106) and lefties to a .242 mark (24-for-99).
Became the first Dodger rookie to start an Opening Day since Fernando Valenzuela replaced an injured Jerry Reuss in 1981…joined Valenzuela, Hal Gregg and Henry Schmidt as the only Dodger rookies to make an Opening Day start….tossed 4.1 innings in a no-decision start on July 23 against the Giants
Career vs. Atlanta:
Has pitched against the Braves twice during his time in the Major Leagues, appearing out of the ‘pen on August 18, 2019 and throwing 2.0 innings as he allowed four earned runs on three hits…of the nine batters he faced, he walked one without recording a strikeout as he recorded the loss…also faced Atlanta in Game 1 of the NLCS, delivering 1.2 scoreless innings as he struck out two on 21 pitches
Career Postseason:
Owns a 1-0 career postseason record over five games (one start) with a 1.13 ERA (1 ER/8.0 IP) and 0.88 WHIP…has allowed four hits and three walks while striking out seven…has limited the opposition to a .167 average
Appeared in Game 1 of the Division Series out of the ‘pen and later started Game 3, pitching a combined 3.0 scoreless innings, giving up just one walk and striking out four without allowing a hit…earned his first postseason win in Game 1…was named to his second Major League postseason roster this year
In 2019, the Texas native threw in both Game 2 and Game 4 of the Divisional Series against Washington, tossing a combined 3.1 innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits with one strikeout and one walk on 47 pitches…Los Angeles unfortunately lost both of those games

TONIGHT’S GAME: The Braves and Dodgers
continue their best-of-seven National League
Championship Series tonight with their fifth meeting
of the season…The 2020 NLCS marks the fourth
postseason series between the two clubs.
• Atlanta and Los Angeles did not play during the
regular season, and last met in 2019…The Braves
went 2-4 in six games against the Dodgers last
season, getting swept at Dodger Stadium and
winning two-of-three in Atlanta.
• The Braves’ series win against the Dodgers last
season was their first since also taking two-of-three
from Los Angeles in 2015…In 34 games between
the clubs since the start of 2016, including the
postseason, Atlanta is 12-22 (.353) vs. Los Angeles.
• The Braves and Dodgers have met three times
in postseason play, all of which have come in the
Division Series…Atlanta swept Los Angeles in the
1996 NLDS, while Los Angeles has won each of the
last two series, in 2013 and 2018, 3-1.
• LHP A.J. Minter is set to make the first start of his
career, and his sixth career postseason appearance…
The 6-foot-0, 215-pound native of Tyler, TX has
pitched in three games this postseason, going 1-0
with a 3.86 ERA (1 ER/2.1 IP)…In three career
games against the Dodgers, he has allowed three
earned runs in 2.2 innings without a decision.
• RHP Dustin May makes his second start and sixth
career appearance in the postseason..The 6-foot-6,
180-pound native of Justin, TX has yet to allow
a run this postseason, going 1-0 over 4.2 innings
between three appearances..
SERIES LEAD: Atlanta beat Los Angeles, 5-1, in
Game 1 of this series on Monday night, before an 8-7
win on Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
• The Braves have previously gone 2-0 in a
postseason series 14 times in franchise history, and
are 12-2 (.857) in these sets…They have never lost
a Championship Series when taking a 2-0 lead.
• The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the 1992 LCS
vs. Pittsburgh and won in seven games, swept
Cincinnati in 1995, and went up 2-0 over the Mets
in 1999 before winning in six.
• Atlanta took a 3-1 series lead with last night’s win,
and have a 3-1 lead in a playoff series for the fifth
time in franchise history…The Braves had such a
lead in the 1958 World Series, 1992 NLCS, 1995
World Series and 1999 NLCS…They would win
three of those four series.
TEN RUNS: Atlanta beat Los Angeles, 10-2 last night,
the 14th 10-run playoff game in franchise history and
the first since Game 3 of the 2002 NLDS…The Braves
have never lost a playoff game when they score 10 runs.
• Atlanta scored at least 10 runs 10 times during the
regular season, the most such games in the majors
and two more than the Padres and Yankees.

GAME 5: The Braves are set to play their 20th Game
5 of a playoff round today, and they are 6-13 (.316) in
these games…Atlanta has been outscored, 25-4, in its last
two Game 5s.
• The Braves have lost six straight Game 5s and 10 of
the last 12 such games…The Braves last won Game
5 in the 1998 NLCS, beating the Padres, 7-6.
• The Braves are 2-6 in Game 5 of the NLCS, and
have lost their last two such games.
BIG INNINGS: Atlanta scored six runs in the bottom
of the sixth inning last night, turning a 1-1 tie into a
7-1 lead.
• The Braves scored six or more runs in an inning six
different times during the regular season, tied with
Philadelphia for the most such innings in the majors,
and have now done so twice in nine games in the
postseason (Game 1 of the NLDS).
• Atlanta’s six six-run innings this season came in just
60 games, matching its total from the 162-game
2018 and 2019 seasons.
• The six-run frame tied for the second most the
franchise had ever scored in a single inning in the
postseason, trailing just a seven-run first inning in
Game 2 of the 1958 World Series vs. the Yankees,
when the franchise was in Milwaukee.
GOOD GAME: OF Marcell Ozuna produced the first
four-hit, four-RBI game in Braves postseason history,
going 4-for-5 with a double, two home runs and four
RBI…His 11 total bases were also a postseason franchise
• Ozuna had the eighth multi-homer game in Braves
postseason history, and the first since Chipper
Jones hit a pair of two-run home runs in Game 4
of the 2003 NLDS against the Cubs, a 6-4 Atlanta
victory…The only other one of these games that
came in the NLCS was by OF David Justice in
Game 6 of the 1992 LCS against Pittsburgh.
• Ozuna is the first major leaguer to collect at least
four hits and four RBI in a playoff game since
Boston’s Brock Holt in Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS
against the Yankees…Holt hit for the cycle, going
4-for-6 with five RBI.
PACHE’S RBI STREAK: 21-year-old OF Cristian
Pache had an RBI single in Atlanta’s six-run sixth inning,
and he finished the night 1-for-5…Pache has started in
center field the past three games, and has driven in a run
in each of those games.
• He is the eighth player in baseball history, his age
or younger, to drive in a run in three consecutive
postseason games…Nationals’ OF Juan Soto has
a record four straight such games, doing so in last
season’s World Series (Games 4-7)…Miguel Cabrera
(2003), Ty Cobb (1908), Rafael Devers (2018),
Avisail Garcia (2012), Freddie Lindstrom (1924) and
Brian McCann (2005) also did so in three straight
at age 21 or younger.

33 A.J. Minter

LHP • 6-0 • 215 • 27 yrs
2020 Record: 1-1, 0.83 ERA • 2019 Record: 3-4, 7.06 ERA
2020 Postseason: 1-0, 3.86 ERA • Career Postseason: 1-0, 2.08
vs. RHB: .180 (9-50, 1 HR) • vs. LHB: .240 (6-25), 0 HR
Game 5 Starting Pitcher
Tonight’s Game
• Is set to make his first career start…Has made 139 career regular-season appearances,
all in relief.
• Makes his fourth appearance of the postseason, and is set to pitch in the sixth
playoff game of his career.
• Has never started a game in professional baseball.
• Per Elias, Minter will become the first pitcher in major league history to make
his first career start in the postseason.
• He last started a game in 2015, making four starts during his junior season at
Texas A&M and going 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA (1 ER/21.0 IP).
• Atlanta selected Minter in the second round of the 2015 draft and he has made
216 professional appearances, all of which have come in relief.
• Atlanta’s five starters this series have combined to make just 75 career starts in the regular season…Max Fried has 50 starts, Kyle Wright has 12, Bryse Wilson has seven, Ian Anderson has six and Minter has never started…The quintet had never started in the postseason prior to this year.
• Clayton Kershaw, who started for the Dodgers last night, has 354 regular season starts and 28 in the playoffs.
• Has pitched three career games against the Dodgers, last in 2019…Has a 10.13 ERA
(3 ER/2.2 IP) in his three appearances.
• Has faced the Dodgers in three postseason games, two of which came during
the 2018 NLDS…Has allowed just one run in 2.2 postseason innings vs. Los
• Is 8-9 with a 3.68 ERA (52 ER/127.1 IP) and 20 saves in 139 career games.
• His career FIP of 2.97 is the sixth lowest among active left-handers with at
least 100.0 innings pitched…Trails Aroldis Chapman, Clayton Kershaw, Sean
Doolittle, Josh Hader and Chris Sale.
2020 Recap
• Pitched in 22 games and went 1-1 with a 0.83 ERA, allowing just two earned runs in 21.2 innings on the season.
• His 0.83 ERA (2 ER/21.2 IP) was the lowest in the National League and
second in the majors among left-handed pitchers (min. 20.0 IP)…Allowed just
his second earned run of the season on September 24.
• Has pitched to a 2.84 FIP this season, third lowest in the National League among lefties with as many innings pitched, behind only Drew Smyly and teammate Tyler Matzek.
• Is the only lefty in the National League (one of two in MLB) with two earned run or less in at least 20.0 IP

2019 Recap
• Made 36 appearances with Atlanta and went 3-4 with a 7.06 ERA (23 ER/29.1
IP) and 35 strikeouts…Logged five saves.
• Opened the season on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation
and missed the first five games before being reinstated on 4/4…Made a
second trip to the IL due to left shoulder inflammation, 9/12, and missed the
remainder of the season.
• Pitched to a 4.57 FIP on the season…In 117 career games, has a 2.97 FIP and a
4.26 ERA.
• Minter’s 2.49 difference in FIP and ERA in 2019 was the fifth-biggest disparity
in the majors (min. 35 games).
• Allowed the first batter he faced to bat .286 (8-for-28) and reach base at a .444
clip…The first batter logged a 1.016 OPS against him.
• Was optioned to Gwinnett on 5/9, and made three total stints with Atlanta…Was
also up from 6/11-8/1 and from 9/3 through the end of the season.
• In 20 games with Triple-A Gwinnett, went 2-2 with a 3.57 ERA (9 ER/22.2 IP)
and five saves…Fanned 30 and walked just three.
• Walked 1.2 batters per 9.0 innings with Gwinnett…Walked 7.1 batters per
9.0 innings with Atlanta.
Career Recap
• Was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the Competitive Balance B round (75th
overall) of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft…Signed by Darin Vaughan.
• Pitched for three seasons at Texas A&M University…Went 5-0 with a 2.00
ERA (13 ER/58.1 IP) over 56 appearances (four starts) during his collegiate
career…Moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation for his junior season
in 2015, going 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA (1 ER/21.0 IP) across four starts to open
the year before undergoing season-ending surgery


LH Blake Snell (2-1, 2.87) vs. LH Framber Valdez (2-1, 2.00)
Friday, October 16, 2020  First Pitch: 6:07 p.m. Location: Petco Park TV: TBS  Radio: ESPN Radio

TONIGHT’S GAME 6: The Astros will try to stave
off elimination again tonight in Game 6 of the ALCS
at Petco Park against the Rays…Houston is trying to
become just the second team in MLB history to rally
back from a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game series.
UP OFF THE MAT: The Astros became the 39th
team in MLB history to go down 3-0 in a seven-game
series…they followed that deficit with two wins, becoming just the fourth team, out of the 39, to even force a
Game 6…the other three occasions:
2004 ALCS BOS NYY W, 4-3
1999 NLCS NYM ATL L, 4-2
1998 NLCS ATL SD L, 4-2

GAME 1 REMATCH: The Astros and Rays will
roll out their Game 1 starters tonight for a rematch of
lefties between LHP Framber Valdez and LHP Blake
Snell…the two pitched great in Game 1, with Snell
(1ER/5IP) earning the win over Valdez (2ER/6IP) in
the 2-1 Rays victory…the Astros scored their only run
on a solo homer by 2B Jose Altuve, while the Rays
countered with a DH Randy Arozarena homer and
an RBI single by C Mike Zunino…both starters will
be working on full rest, although Valdez did warm up
in the bullpen in the 9th inning last night.
STARTING STRONG: The pitching in this series
has been incredible, headlined by the five Astros starters, which have combined for a 2.08 ERA (6ER/26IP)…
they’ve posted 31 strikeouts in 26.0 innings pitched.
GAME 5 WALKOFF WIN: The Astros and Rays
played a thrilling Game 5 last night, with the Astros
taking a 4-3 win on a walkoff homer by SS Carlos
Correa…the Astros used seven pitchers on the night,
including five rookie pitchers, which pitched the first
6.2 innings of the ballgame for Houston…CF George
Springer hit a leadoff homer and DH Michael Brantley
added a two-run single in the contest.
TAG TEAM: Last night, the Astros became the first
team in MLB history have a leadoff homer (CF George
Springer) and a walkoff homer (SS Carlos Correa) in
the same postseason game. ..Springer and Correa,
homered in the same postseason game for the eighth time, the most by any two
teammates in MLB history.

LHP Framber Valdez:

LAST START – ALCS GAME 1 at TB: suffered his first-career loss in the
postseason despite tossing a quality start…gave up 2 runs on 4 hits over
6.0 innings pitched…walked 4 batters, his most allowed in 2020…struck
out 8, a new single-game career-high in the postseason.
• at 26 years, 327 days old, became the 3rd-youngest pitcher in franchise
history to start Game 1 of a postseason series…the only 2 to do so at
a younger age were Wade Davis (25 years, 26 days old) in Game 1 of
the 2001 NLDS vs. ATL and Brandon Backe (26 years, 191 days old)
in Game 1 of the 2004 NLCS at STL.
• was his first-ever Game 1 start of a postseason series.
TODAY’S START: 26-year-old left-hander is set to make his 3rd-career
postseason start, and 4th-career postseason appearance, all of which
have come during the 2020 postseason.
• name is pronounced “FRAHM-burr”.
• the Palenque, Dominican Republic native has become the 2nd Dominican-born pitcher in Astros history to start a postseason game, joining
Jose Lima (Game 2 of the 1999 NLDS at ATL).
FRAMBER IN OCTOBER: has carried his 2020 breakout into the postseason, as he has posted a 2-1 record and a 2.00 ERA (4ER/18IP) over 3
• has gone 5.0+ innings while allowing 2 runs-or-fewer in each of his 3
postseason outings…he is the 2nd pitcher in Astros history to do this in
each of his first 3 career postseason games, joining Shane Reynolds (1997-99).
• became the 3rd pitcher in franchise history to earn the win in each of his
first 2 career postseason appearances, joining Mike Scott and Dallas Keuchel.
• became the 2nd Dominican-born pitcher in MLB history to win each of his
first 2 career postseason appearances, joining former All-Star RHP Juan
Guzman, who did so for the Blue Jays during the 1991-92 postseasons.
POSTSEASON DEBUT: made his first-career postseason appearance with
a dominant relief appearance in Game 1 of the 2020 Wild Card Series
at MIN…finished the game with 5.0 scoreless innings of relief, giving up
just 2 hits and 2 walks with 5 strikeouts en route to a winning decision.
• became the 13th pitcher in MLB history to finish a postseason game
with 5.0+ scoreless relief innings, and the first to do it since Madison
Bumgarner ended Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at KC with 5.0
scoreless relief innings…became the first AL pitcher to do this since
Pedro Martinez in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS at CLE.
• became the 4th pitcher in MLB history finish a game with 5.0+ scoreless
frames in his postseason debut, joining Joe Price (1987 NLCS Game
5), George Frazier (1981 ALCS Game 2) and Moe Drabowsky (1966
World Series Game 1).
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: was named the Astros 2020 Pitcher of the Year
by the Houston Chapter of the BBWAA.
• among AL pitchers, ranked 2nd in home runs per 9.0 innings (0.64), 5th
in walks per 9.0 innings (2.04, 16BB), 6th in innings pitched (70.2), 8th
in strikeouts (76), and 8th in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.68).
• ranked 3rd among AL pitchers in FIP (2.83) per Stats Inc., behind only
Shane Bieber (2.05) and Zack Greinke (2.78).

ON THE CUSP—Tonight the Rays have a third opportunity to advance to
the World Series, after their 4-3 loss in Game 4 and 4-3 loss in Game 5…in
postseason history, teams leading 3-0 in a best-of-seven have gone on to
win the series 37 of 38 times (97.4 pct.)…the only team to come back from
a 3-0 deficit was the 2004 Red Sox, against the Yankees in the ALCS…only
three teams trailed 3-0 and even forced a Game 6: 2004 Red Sox, the 1999
Mets in the NLCS (lost Game 6) and 1998 Braves in the NLCS (lost Game 6).
– The Rays are a win away from their second AL pennant (2008),
but the only current Rays player or uniformed personnel who witnessed them winning it in 2008 from field level (Game 7, at Tropicana Field) was Kevin Cash, who was a Red Sox catcher at the time.
– Tonight is the fifth time in Rays postseason history they will bat
last in a potential series clincher…the previous times were Game 5
of the 2020 ALDS vs. NYY (won 2-1), Game 2 of the 2020 Wild Card
Series vs. TOR (won 8-2), Game 5 of the 2010 ALDS vs. TEX (lost 5-1)
and Games 6-7 of the 2008 ALCS vs. BOS (lost 4-2, then won 3-1).
– Today’s postseason schedule includes the possibility of a Rays
clinch and Braves clinch…since the League Championship Series
began in 1969, there have been 10 times where both pennants
were won on the same day, but the last time was on Oct 14, 1992.
– The Rays are 24-24 all-time in the postseason and 8-4 in 2020.
– 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.
SWING OF EMOTIONS—The Rays lost Game 5 on a walk-off homer by
Carlos Correa, the third time the Rays lost a postseason game in walk-off
fashion…it followed Game 3 of the 2008 World Series at PHI (Carlos Ruiz
infield single) and Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS at BOS (J.D. Drew single)…it
was the first time a team won in walk-off fashion to prevent its opponent
from clinching a league pennant since the Red Sox did it to the Rays in
2008…it was the first time a team won on a walk-off homer to prevent
its opponent from clinching a league pennant since STL Jim Edmonds in
Game 6 of the 2004 NLCS vs. HOU, on a 2-run homer in the 12th inning.
– In Game 5, the Rays allowed homers on their first (George Springer
off John Curtiss) and last pitches thrown (Carlos Correa off Nick
Anderson)…it was the first time in postseason history that a team
allowed a leadoff homer and a walk-off homer in the same game.
– The Rays and Astros combined for eight rookie pitchers in Game 5,
a major league record for a postseason game…it was the third LCS
game all-time to feature a matchup of two rookie starting pitchers,
joining Game 2 of the 2020 NLCS and Game 4 of the 2007 NLCS.
SLOW STARTS—All 5 games this series have included a 1st-inning homer:
four by the Astros and one by the Rays (Manuel Margot)…the Rays have
allowed four 1st-inning homers, one shy of their total from the 2008-19
postseasons combined (5)…the four 1st-inning homers are tied for 2ndmost allowed in a postseason series—the only team to allow five 1st-inning homers in a single series was the Red Sox in the 2008 ALCS vs. TB.
– The Rays have three comeback wins this postseason after an ALmost 20 come-from-behind wins during the regular season.
CLOSE SHAVES—Four of the 5 games this series have been decided by 2
runs (or fewer), including three 1-run games…between the regular season
and postseason, 40 of the club’s 72 games (55.6 pct.) have been decided by
2 runs (or fewer)…the Rays are 28-12 (.700) in them, going 5-2 in the postseason in addition to a majors-best 23-10 (.697) in the regular season…the
Rays are 16-7 (.696) in 1-run games, which includes 2-2 this postseason.
– Combining regular season and postseason, the Rays have a major-league-record 13 different pitchers with a save and are 35-1, 32-0
and 39-0 when leading after 6, 7 and 8 innings, respectively.
– Since July 28, 2019, the Rays have won 62 straight games when
leading after 7 innings, the longest active streak in the majors.
ABOUT THE OFFENCE—In Game 5, the Rays scored 3 runs, all coming
on solo homers…they were the first team to hit 3 HR (or more) and have
solo homers account for all of their offense in a postseason game since
the Cubs in Game 4 of the 2017 NLCS vs. LAD (3-2 win)…last night was
the second time in club history the Rays lost a postseason game when hitting 3 HR (or more), following Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS at BOS (J.D. Drew
walk-off single)…including regular season, it was their first loss when hitting 3 HR (or more) since June 26, 2019 at MIN, going 24-0 in between.
– The Rays have scored 3 runs (or fewer) in five of their last 7 games,
totaling 20 runs (2.86 R/G) in those 7 games beginning with Game
4 of the Division Series…the Rays are batting .190 (12-for-63) with
RISP this postseason, including .154 (6-for-39) in the past 7 games

– The Rays have started six different hitters out of the leadoff spot in
the batting order, setting a postseason record…the previous record
was five, by the 2018 Dodgers, 1960 Yankees and 1955 Yankees.
– 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 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 came in succession: Game 5 vs. NYY, Game 1 vs. HOU and Game 2 vs. HOU.
POWER BALL—71.4 pct. (35 of 49) of the Rays runs this postseason have
come on home runs, compared to 41.5 pct. (120 of 289) during the regular
season…22.4 pct. (11 of 49) of their runs this postseason have come on solo
homers…the Rays have hit 21 HR this postseason, tied for most in the majors…these 21 HR have come from 10 different players, most in the majors,
after the Rays had a majors-most 18 players homer in the regular season…
since the start of the Division Series, AL teams have hit 60 HR in 930 AB
(15.5 AB/HR), while NL teams have hit 26 HR in 683 AB (26.3 AB/HR).
– Petco Park has seen 45 HR in 13 games this postseason…teams are
27-3 this postseason when they outhomer their opponent…combining regular season and postseason, the Rays are 25-3 when they
outhomer their opponent and 25-6 when hitting 2 HR (or more).
– The Rays averaged 4.82 R/G and 1.33 HR/G in the regular season…
they are averaging 1.75 HR/G in the postseason but only 4.08 R/G.
– During the regular season, the Rays were held without a homer 19
times but went 14-5 (.737) in those games, the highest winning pct.
since the 1906 Cubs went 99-34 (.744) in homerless games…their 14
wins without the benefit of a homer were the most in the majors.
– From the other side, Rays pitching has allowed 20 HR this postseason, most in the majors…fifteen of these have been solo shots…70.0
pct. (28 of 40) of their runs allowed have come on home runs.
The Rays have a 3.25 ERA (105.1-IP, 38-ER) in the
postseason, with a 3.57 ERA (53-IP, 21-ER) from starters and a 2.92 ERA
(52.1-IP, 17-ER) from relievers…the Rays have allowed 2 runs (or fewer) in
six of 12 postseason games (50.0 pct.), up from 35.0 in the regular season.
– The Rays have held the Astros to 13 runs and 8 HR (seven solo) this
series, after the Astros scored 33 runs and hit 12 HR in the Division
Series (4 games vs. Oakland)…similarly, the Rays held the Yankees
to 24 runs and 10 HR in the 5-game Division Series, after the Yankees scored 22 runs and hit 7 HR in their Wild Card sweep at CLE.
– Opponents are batting .178 (13-for-73) against Rays pitching with
RISP this postseason…the Rays have held the Astros to .194 (6-for31) with RISP—and only two of these 6 hits have resulted in a run.
– The Rays bullpen has stranded all 21 IR this postseason…according
to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the longest streak of inherited
runners stranded to start a postseason, passing the 2006 Cardinals
(17)…in the last 9 games (beginning with Game 2 of the ALDS vs.
NYY), the Rays bullpen has pitched to a 2.36 ERA (42-IP, 11-ER).
THE GREAT RANDINO—Randy Arozarena has homered in back-to-back
games for the second time this postseason, following his run of three straight
in Games 1-3 of the Division Series…his 6 HR this postseason match the rookie
record set by Evan Longoria (6) in 2008…he leads all players this postseason in runs (13), hits (20), extra-base hits (10) and total bases (43)…his 20 hits and
10 XBH are both the most in a single postseason in Rays history…his 43 total
bases (in 41 AB) are a rookie record for a single postseason, passing HOU Yuli
Gurriel (36) in 2017 (69 AB) and ATL Chipper Jones (34) in 1995 (55 AB).
– According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is 2 hits shy of tying NYY
Derek Jeter in 1996 for the most by a rookie in a single postseason.
– In Game 3, he became the first rookie in ML history with four 3-hit
games in a single postseason…this ties a postseason record for 3-hit
games, joining HOU Jose Altuve in 2017, STL Albert Pujols in
2004, SEA Edgar Martinez in 1995 and SEA Jay Buhner in 1995.
– According to TBS, no rookie position player has ever been named
MVP of a League Championship Series or the World Series.

LHP Blake Snell:

LAST START—In Game 1 vs. HOU, needed 29 pitches to complete the 1st, including a solo homer to his second batter faced, Jose Altuve…following a Michael Brantley single, retired his next 6 BF before working around a pair of singles in the 3rd…yielded 2 hits and 2 BB in the 4th, but escaped without allowing a run following a lineout double play and a bases-loaded flyout…recorded a strikeout and two groundouts in a 1-2-3 5th to end his start…his line: W, 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR, 105 pit., 61 str.
– Altuve’s solo homer marked his first 1st-inning homer allowed (regular
season or postseason) since June 19, 2019 at NYY, off the bat of Gary Sánchez.
– Has allowed a 1st-inning run in each of his last two postseason starts (Game 1
of the Division Series) after not allowing one during the regular season.
POSTSEASON—Is 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA (21-IP, 6-ER) in six career postseason apps, including a 2.87 ERA (15.2-IP, 5-ER) in 3 starts this postseason…in Game 1 of the ALDS vs. NYY, took the loss after allowing 4 runs, including a club postseason-record-tying 3 HR, in 5 IP…in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series vs. TOR, did not allow a hit until a leadoff single in the 6th inning…was the first left-handed pitcher in major-league history to record 9 SO (or more) and yield 1 hit (or fewer) in a postseason game.
– His first three postseason apps came in last season’s Division Series against
the Astros…started Game 2 and took the loss, and pitched in relief in Games
4 and 5…in Game 4, became the second Ray to record his first career save in
the postseason, following David Price in Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS vs. BOS.
– Has allowed 1 hit in 8 AB with RISP this postseason, yielding only an infield
single that didn’t produce a run to Aledmys Díaz in Game 1 of this series.
– Is attempting to become the first starting pitcher to win Game 1 and the clinching game of a series since NYM Jacob deGrom in the 2015 NLDS vs. LAD.
vs. ASTROS—Is 2-2 with a 4.73 ERA (32.1-IP, 17-ER) in six career regular-season starts against the Astros and 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA (10.1-IP, 2-ER) in four postseason apps (2 starts) against them…prior to Game 1 of this series, last faced them in relief in Game 5 of the 2019 ALDS, pitching 1.1 perfect innings with three flyouts and a strikeout…started against them in Game 2 of that series, taking the loss after allowing 1 run in 3.1 IP…following a perfect 1st, worked out of a 2-on, 1-out jam in the 2nd with a strikeout and flyout…stranded a 2-out double in the 3rd, then allowed an Alex Bregman solo homer to lead off the 4th…struck out Yordan Alvarez before being replaced.
2020 IN REVIEW—Made 11 starts, tied with Glasnow for the team lead…yielded 3 runs (or fewer) in 10 of 11 starts and 2 runs (or fewer) in seven of 11.
– His avg. fastball velocity, according to FanGraphs, was 95.1 mph, 6th in the AL…min. 50 IP, his 11.34 SO/9 IP ratio ranked 5th in the AL…struck out
31.0 pct. (63 of 203) of batters faced, best among lefties in the majors…walked 8.9 pct. (18 of 203) of batters faced, the lowest rate of his career.
– Allowed 10 HR for a 1.80 HR/9 IP ratio, 5th-highest in the AL (min. 50 IP), after yielding 14 HR in 107 IP in 2019…29.4 pct. of his fly balls were homers, according to FanGraphs, the highest rate in the majors…allowed multiple homers in four of his 11 starts…yielded 3 HR against lefties.
– Ranks among the top five in club history with 648 SO (5th), 3.24 ERA (2nd to David Price, 3.18), .223 opp avg. (1st) and .583 winning pct. (3rd).
SEEKING LENGTH—Averaged just over 4.1 IP per start, using his first 3 starts as a continuation of the summer camp build up…went 2 IP, 3 IP and 3 IP
in his first 3 starts, then recorded between 15-17 outs in each of his final 8 starts of the regular season…only faced 23 batters the third time through the
lineup…has gone fewer than 6 IP in 14 consecutive regular-season starts beginning on Sep 17, 2019 at LAD, when he returned from arthroscopic surgery
to remove loose bodies from his left elbow…was one of six pitchers in the majors to make at least 10 starts and go fewer than 6 IP in all of them.
ON THE OFFSPEED—Held opponents to a .132 avg. (5-for-38) in at-bats ending with his curveball, 5th in the AL (min. 25 AB), according to StatCast…61.8
pct. (34 of 55) of swings against his curveball were misses, the best rate of his career on any pitch…opponents hit .033 (1-for-30) with 17 SO in at-bats ending
with his slider…his combined .088 opp avg. (6-for-68) in at-bats ending with breaking balls was 3rd in the majors (min.

Fans allowed at Nov. 1 TFC match in Connecticut

            Toronto FC and the State of Connecticut announced today that fans will be able to purchase tickets for Toronto FC’s last regular season home game at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field on Sunday, November 1 against Inter Miami CF.

“We look forward to having some fans in the stands for our final regular season game in East Hartford,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “Toronto FC is so grateful to the state of Connecticut and everyone at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field for providing us with such an outstanding facility during this unique stretch of games. Our players feel the support already and having some fans will make it even better.”

The attendance will be capped at 5,000 with two prices points in the 38,000 seat stadium. Select seating will be available in both the lower and upper bowls of the stadium. All patrons in attendance will be required to wear a mask or face covering and adhere to social distancing within the stadium.

“We’ve consulted with state and local public health officials and as long as certain health protocols are met, we believe that having a limited audience can safely be done, especially considering that this is an outdoor stadium,” Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont said. “I look forward to the day when we can fill the Rent back up to capacity. I appreciate Toronto FC and Major League Soccer for working with our administration so that we could make this happen.”

Toronto FC currently sit atop the standings for both the Supporters’ Shield and Eastern Conference with a record of 11-2-5 and 38 points from 18 matches. The Reds have five matches remaining in the regular season. TFC host Atlanta United FC on Sunday, October 18 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. The Reds will then travel to Philadelphia to meet the Union on Saturday, October 24, followed by home matches with New York City FC on Wednesday, October 28 and Inter Miami CF on Sunday, November 1. TFC will conclude the regular season on Sunday, November 8 at Red Bull Arena against the Red Bulls in MLS Decision Day.

Tickets will go on sale on Monday, October 19 at 10:00 a.m. ET and can be purchased at


Jayson Tatum was challenged by Michelle Obama to form a ‘voting squad’ — Celtics Wire

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Jayson Tatum was challenged by Michelle Obama to form a ‘voting squad’ — Celtics Wire

Pelicans Coaching Search: Would Stan Van Gundy bring a modern mentality to New Orleans? — Lonzo Wire

The Pelicans’ search for a new head coach has led them to Stan Van Gundy, a modern coach that was before his time in Orlando.

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MLB’s chief medical director: Zero on-field COVID-19 transmissions during 2020 season — Boston Herald

Less than 20 years after Major League Baseball was stifled by the steroid era, one of the biggest hurdles in the sport’s history, the same doctor who helped clean up the mess was presented with another one. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, could MLB police itself again? Could the league avoid distraction from its financial…

MLB’s chief medical director: Zero on-field COVID-19 transmissions during 2020 season — Boston Herald

Tyrese Haliburton could be an immediate help to the Warriors at No. 2 — East Bay Times

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Tyrese Haliburton could be an immediate help to the Warriors at No. 2 — East Bay Times

Once again, NBA, players’ union agree to extend deadline to terminate CBA — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

“Everything we’re doing is outside of the collective bargaining agreement,” Adam Silver said.

Once again, NBA, players’ union agree to extend deadline to terminate CBA — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Dodgers on brink of elimination after another Braves rookie stifles them in NLCS — Pasadena Star News

ARLINGTON, Texas — After losing the first two games of the National League Championship Series, the Dodgers didn’t think it was time to worry. “We all know who we are,” Max Muncy said. Looking at three consecutive pitching matchups that seemed to tilt heavily in their favor, the Dodgers weren’t worried. “Just win a game…

Dodgers on brink of elimination after another Braves rookie stifles them in NLCS — Pasadena Star News