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.

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