Rays Rookie Randy Arozarena Makes MLB History In ALCS Game 7 Vs. Astros — NESN.com

Sign In This kid Randy Arozarena has been on a pretty clutch tear for the Tampa Bay Rays here in Major League Baseball’s postseason. And a historic one, really. With a two-run blast Saturday evening in the first inning for Tampa Bay, the Rays left fielder gave his team an early boost in Game 7…

Rays Rookie Randy Arozarena Makes MLB History In ALCS Game 7 Vs. Astros — NESN.com

ALCS GAME 7: ASTROS_RAYS NOTES.

TAMPA BAY RAYS (3-3) vs. HOUSTON ASTROS (3-3)
RH Charlie Morton (2-0, 0.90) vs. RH Lance McCullers Jr. (0-1, 4.09)
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020  First Pitch: 8:37 p.m. Location: Petco Park TV: TBS  Radio: ESPN Radio.

WINNER TAKE ALL—With a win tonight, the Rays would advance to
the World Series for the second time in franchise history (2008)…tonight
is the eighth “winner take all” game in club history, with the Rays going
5-2 in the previous seven…it is their fourth in the last two postseasons
(2019-20), following the 2020 Division Series vs. NYY (2-1 win), 2019 Division Series at HOU (6-1 loss) and 2019 Wild Card Game at OAK (5-1 win)…
the Rays are the ninth team in major league history to play a “winner take
all” game in both the Division Series and League Championship Series,
joining the 2017 Yankees (lost LCS), 2012 Giants (won World Series), 2012
Cardinals (lost LCS), 2004 Astros (lost LCS), 2003 Cubs (lost LCS), 2003 Red
Sox (lost LCS), 1981 Dodgers (won World Series) and 1981 Expos (lost LCS).
– Tonight is the second Game 7 in club history, with the Rays going
4,380 days in between…the first was a 3-1 win over the Red Sox in
the 2008 ALCS resulting in the Rays only trip to the World Series.
– This is the eighth AL Championship Series to go to a Game 7 since
it was changed to a best-of-seven format prior to the 1985 season.
– Tonight is the fourth time in Rays history they will bat last in a
“winner take all” game, and they are 2-1 in the previous 3 games.
– The Rays are 9-5 all-time when facing elimination, including 4-1
over the 2019-20 postseasons…over the last two postseasons, the
Rays have hit 13 HR in their 5 games when facing elimination.
– The Rays are 24-25 all-time in the postseason and 8-5 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.
– The Rays have lost three consecutive postseason games for the
first time since 2011 (3)…their only longer postseason losing streak
spanned the 2008-10 postseasons (5)…in the 2020 regular season,
the Rays lost more than three straight once: July 29–Aug 2 (5).
TAKE TWO—This is the second straight postseason the Rays and Astros
are playing each other in a “winner take all” game…this is the first time in
major league history two teams met in a Game 5 of the Division Series one
season, and then went to a Game 7 of the League Championship Series
the very next season…according to the Elias Sports Bureau, teams have
faced each other in a “winner take all” game in back-to-back seasons seven times, most recently the Athletics and Tigers in the 2012-13 Division
Series and the Yankees and Red Sox in the 2003-04 Championship Series.
– This series is the second best-of-seven in major league history to
go to a decisive Game 7 after one team held a 3-0 series lead…the
only other time was the 2004 AL Championship Series, which saw
the Red Sox complete the series comeback against the Yankees…
in postseason history, teams are 37-1 in best-of-seven series when
leading 3-0, 74-13 when leading 3-1 and 73-32 when leading 3-2.
– The Rays would need a win tonight to avoid largest upset by
regular-season winning pct. in postseason history…there was a
184-point difference between the Rays (.667) and Astros (.483).
– Tonight’s games will see the AL pennant won by either the Rays
or Astros and includes the possibility of a Braves clinch…in major
league history, there have been 13 times (and 10 times since the
League Championship Series began in 1969) where both pennants
were won on the same day, but the last time was on Oct 14, 1992.
ABOUT THE OFFENCE—In the League Championship Series, the Rays
are batting .199 (38-for-191) with 70 SO…according to ESPN Stats & Info,
starting with Game 4 of the Division Series the Rays have hit .230 (or
below) in eight consecutive games, the longest such streak in postseason
history…only three teams have ever won a postseason series with 70 SO
(or more): 2018 Dodgers in the NLCS vs. MIL (82), 2013 Red Sox in the ALCS
vs. DET (73) and 2001 Diamondbacks in the World Series vs. NYY (70).
– The Rays are batting .179 (12-for-67) with RISP this postseason, including .140 (6-for-43) in the last 8 games and .171 (6-for-35) in the
LCS…they are hitless in their last 12 AB with RISP, with the last hit
coming in Game 4 (Ji-Man Choi infield single)…their last run-scoring hit with RISP came in Game 3 (Hunter Renfroe 2-run double).
– The Rays have scored a combined 24 runs (3.0 R/G) in their last 8
games, with 3 runs (or fewer) in five of 8 games over that stretch.
– 71.7 pct. (38 of 53) of the Rays runs this postseason have come on
home runs, compared to 41.5 pct. (120 of 289) during the regular
season…22.6 pct. (12 of 53) of their runs this postseason have come
on solo homers…the Rays have hit 23 HR, most in the majors…the
Rays have increased their HR/G from 1.33 in the regular season to
1.77 in the postseason, but their R/G has dropped from 4.82 to 4.08.
– Petco Park has seen 48 HR in 14 games this postseason…teams are
28-4 this postseason when they outhomer their opponent—but
the Rays have won once when outhomered and lost twice when
outhomering their opponent…Games 5-6 marked the first time the
Rays lost back-to-back games when hitting 2 HR (or more) in each
since July 16-18, 2019 at NYY (2), and first time in the postseason
since the 2011 ALDS…the Rays are 5-2 this postseason when they
outhomer their opponent and 5-3 when hitting 2 HR (or more), after going 20-2 and 20-4, respectively, during the regular season.
– Last night was the first time the Rays lost a postseason game when
scoring first since Game 4 of the 2013 ALDS vs. BOS (led 1-0, lost
3-1)…they fell to 5-1 this postseason when scoring first, after going
a major-league-best 25-6 (.806) when doing so in the reg. season.
THE LONG BALL—The Rays have allowed 21 HR this postseason, tied for
most in the majors…76.2 pct. (16 of 21) of their homers allowed have been
solo, and 61.7 pct. (29 of 47) of their runs allowed have come on homers…
the Rays have allowed at least 1 HR in 12 consecutive postseason games,
starting with Game 2 of the Wild Card Series vs. TOR…this is their longest
such streak since July 27–Aug 10, 2019 (12) and is tied for the 5th-longest
streak in postseason history, and longest since the 2016-17 Dodgers (18).
– In the League Championship Series, the Rays have allowed four
1st-inning homers, one shy of their total from the 2008-19 postseasons combined…the four 1st-inning homers are tied for the 2ndmost allowed in a postseason series—the only team to allow five
in a single series was the Red Sox in the 2008 ALCS vs. the Rays.
– Combining regular season and postseason, the Rays have a majorleague-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.
CHARLIE 2.0—Charlie Morton has made 3 apps (2 starts) in “winner take
all” games, going 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA (14-IP, 2-R/1-ER) in them…he is the
only pitcher in major league history to record the win in three “winner
take all” games, winning the 2019 Wild Card Game at OAK, Game 7 of the
2017 World Series at LAD (with HOU) and Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS vs.
NYY (with HOU)…in addition, his four career wins in potential elimination games are tied with five others for the most in major league history.
– Morton and Lance McCullers Jr. both pitched in Game 7 of the
2017 World Series at LAD and Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS vs. NYY…
according to the Elias Sports Bureau, they are the first duo in postseason history to pitch in the same “winner take all” game as teammates, then start against each other in a “winner take all” game.
– Morton will become the first pitcher to start a Game 7 against a
former team since NYY Roger Clemens in the 2003 ALCS vs. BOS.
– Morton is unbeaten in his last eight postseason apps (7 starts) since
Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS vs. NYY (with Houston), going 6-0 with
a 1.67 ERA (37.2-IP, 7-ER) over that stretch…in Game 2 vs. HOU, he
became the fifth pitcher in postseason history to start and win four
straight decisions (with no relief apps in between) and allow 1 ER
(or fewer) in each outing…he joined PHI/ARI Curt Schilling (5) in
1993–2001, NYY Masahiro Tanaka (4) in 2017-19, NYY Whitey
Ford (4) in 1960-61 and NYG Christy Matthewson (4) in 1905-11.
MAR-GOAT—Last night Manuel Margot became the first player in major
league history to have a multi-HR game in the postseason after hitting
1 HR (or fewer) during the regular season, according to the Elias Sports
Bureau…it was the sixth multi-HR game in Rays postseason history, first
since Yandy Díaz in the 2019 AL Wild Card Game at OAK…Margot has
5 HR and 11 RBI this postseason, compared to 1 HR and 11 RBI during the
regular season…since RBI became an official stat (1920), Margot and NYY
Giancarlo Stanton in 2020 are the only players to record at least 10 RBI
in the regular season and match or exceed their total in the postseason.

“WINNER TAKE ALL” GAMES, FRANCHISE HISTORY
YEAR GAME FINAL WINNER LOSER ATT.
2020 ALDS Game 5 vs. NYY W, 2-1 Diego Castillo Aroldis Chapman —
2019 ALDS Game 5 at HOU L, 1-6 Gerrit Cole Tyler Glasnow 43,418
2019 AL Wild Card Game at OAK W, 5-1 Charlie Morton Sean Manaea 54,005
2013 AL Wild Card Game at CLE W, 4-0 Alex Cobb Danny Salazar 43,579
2013 AL Tiebreaker Game at TEX W, 5-2 David Price Martín Pérez 42,796
2010 ALDS Game 5 vs. TEX L, 1-5 Cliff Lee David Price 41,845
2008 ALCS Game 7 vs. BOS W, 3-1 Matt Garza Jon Lester 40,473

CHARLIE MORTON IN “WINNER TAKE ALL” GAMES
YEAR TM. GAME FINAL MORTON’S FINAL LINE
2019 TB AL Wild Card Game at OAK W, 5-1 GS/W, 5-IP, 5-H, 1-R/0-ER, 3-BB, 4-SO
2017 HOU World Series Game 7 at LAD W, 5-1 W, 4-IP, 2-H, 1-R/ER, 1-BB, 4-SO
2017 HOU ALCS Game 7 vs. NYY W, 4-0 GS/W, 5-IP, 2-H, 0-R, 1-BB, 5-SO

TONIGHT’S GAME 7!: Houston is trying to
become just the second team in MLB history to rally
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, just the fourth team, out of the 39, to force a
Game 6 and are just the second team out of that group
to force a Game 7…the only other team to force a
Game 7 after being down 3-0 in a series was the 2004
Red Sox, who went on to win that Game 7 of the ALCS
against the Yankees en route to a World Series title.
ONE WIN AWAY: A win tonight would advance the
Astros to their third World Series appearance in the last
four years and their fourth in franchise history (2005,
2017, 2019)…the Astros lost the 2005 World Series in
four games to the White Sox, defeated the Dodgers
in seven games in 2017 and lost a nail-biter to the
Nationals in seven games last season…the last team
to advance to at least three World Series in a four-year
span were the 1998-2001 Yankees, who made four
straight Fall Classics, winning three.
GAME 7 HISTORY: The Astros have played in a
Game 7 four times in franchise history, going 2-2 in
those contests…their wins both came in 2017, as they
dispatched the Yankees in the ALCS and the Dodgers
in the World Series…the losses are unfortunately just
as memorable, in the 2004 ALCS to the Cardinals and
in the 2019 World Series to the Nationals.
SPEAKING OF GAME 7s: Tonight’s opposing
starters will forever be linked together in Astros lore
as the duo that started and closed both Game 7s in
the 2017 Astros World Series run…they started it in the
ALCS, in which RHP Charlie Morton (5IP) started and
won, while RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (4IP) relieved
him and earned the save…then in the World Series,
McCullers (2.1IP) started, while Morton (4IP) relieved
him for the win…per Elias, they are the first pair of
players in postseason history to pitch in the same
winner-take-all game as teammates and then later
start against each other in a winner-take-all game.
BIG GAME LANCE: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. has
gone 1-1 with a save and a 2.93 ERA (14ER/43IP) in 13
career postseason apps. (six starts)…in those outings,
he’s held opponents to a .201 average…McCullers
started Game 2 of this series, tossing 7.0 innings,
while fanning 11 and allowing four runs (one earned).
STARTING STRONG: The pitching in this series
has been incredible, headlined by the five Astros starters, which have combined for a 1.96 ERA (7ER/32IP)…
they’ve posted 40 strikeouts in 32.0 innings pitched.
POWER FIVE: Per Elias, 2B Jose Altuve, 3B Alex
Bregman, SS Carlos Correa, 1B Yuli Gurriel and OF
George Springer have played in more postseason
games together than any other group of five teammates in MLB history (56 games)…Altuve and Correa
have played 59 postseason games together in the field,
the most by any 2B/SS duo in MLB history.

AT THE HELM: Dusty Baker is the first manager in
MLB history to take five different teams to the postseason, also the Giants (1997, 2000, 2002), Cubs (2003),
Reds (2010, 2012-13) and Nationals (2016-17)…Baker,
who’s 31-36 all-time in the postseason, is in his third
LCS as a manager, also reaching the NLCS with the
Giants (2002) and Cubs (2003)…tonight will be Baker’s
ninth career winner-take-all game as a manager, the
most all time, breaking a tie with Bobby Cox.
POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE: This is the Astros
14th appearance in the postseason in club history in
what is the 59th year of the franchise that began in
1962…this group of Astros has won a postseason
series in four straight seasons (2017-20), leading all
MLB teams in postseason games (56) and wins (33) in
that time frame…in both categories, the Astros top the
Dodgers (46g, 27 wins) and Yankees (34g, 18 wins).
GAME 6 WIN: The Astros forced a Game 7 with a
7-4 win last night over the Rays at Petco Park in San Diego…LHP Framber Valdez (1ER/6IP) earned his third
win of the postseason, fanning nine in his 6.0 innings
of work…the Astros did their damage in a four-run 5th
inning, which included a go-ahead, two-run single by
CF George Springer…SS Carlos Correa had another
big game, going 3×5 with an RBI…RF Kyle Tucker
connected for his first career postseason homer.
RBI MACHINE: SS Carlos Correa is hitting .372
(16×43) and leads the club in homers (6), RBI (15) and
OPS (1.285) this postseason…he’s upped his career
postseason RBI total to 48, which are the most in club
history, and rank tied for seventh in MLB history.
ALL-TIME POSTSEASON RBI IN MLB HISTORY

  1. Bernie Williams: 80 T4. David Ortiz: 61
  2. Manny Ramirez: 78 6. Albert Pujols: 54
  3. David Justice: 63 T7. Carlos Correa: 48
    T4. Derek Jeter: 61 T7. Reggie Jackson: 48
    HEAVY HITTERS: In Game 5, OF George Springer
    hit his 19th career postseason homer, which ranks tied
    for fourth in MLB history along with 1B Albert Pujols.
    ALL-TIME POSTSEASON HOMERS IN MLB HISTORY
  4. Manny Ramirez: 29 T4. George Springer: 19
  5. Bernie Williams: 22 T5. Jose Altuve: 18
  6. Derek Jeter: 20 T5. Reggie Jackson: 18
    T4. Albert Pujols: 19 T5. Mickey Mantle: 18
    SECOND TO NONE: 2B Jose Altuve has been
    arguably the best second baseman in postseason
    history, as he leads that position in career postseason
    homers (18) and RBI (39), and ranks tied for first in
    hits (72), along with Roberto Alomar (72)…in his 2020
    postseason, Altuve has hit .364 (16×44) with five homers, 11 RBI and a 1.250 OPS in his 12 games played.

RHP Lance McCullers Jr.

LAST START – ALCS GAME 2 at TB: had arguably the most dominant start
of his postseason career, striking out a postseason career-high 11 batters
over a postseason career-high 7.0 innings pitched…gave up 4 runs,
but just 1 was earned…gave up 4 hits and no walks while receiving his
first-career postseason loss in Houston’s 4-2 defeat.
• his 11 punchouts ranked 6th in Astros history for a single postseason
game, and marked the most by an Astros pitcher since Gerrit Cole’s
15-strikeout performance in Game 2 of the 2019 ALDS vs. TB.
• joined Cole (2018 ALDS Game 2 vs. CLE, 12 K) as the only Astros pitchers to post 11+ strikeouts without walking a batter in a single postseason
game.
• became the 2nd pitcher in MLB history to suffer a loss in the postseason
after allowing 1 run-or-fewer while fanning 11+ batters without a walk…
the only other to do it was Brooklyn’s Don Newcombe in Game 1 of the
1949 World Series against the Yankees.
BIG GAME LANCE: is making his 2nd-career start in a Game 7 of a postseason series, and his 3rd overall appearance.
• has posted 1 save with a 0.00 ERA (0ER/6.1IP), 9 strikeouts, 1 walk and
4 hits allowed (0.79 WHIP) in his career pitching in Game 7.
• will become the 1st Astros pitcher to make multiple Game 7 starts.
• tonight will mark the 6th time in his career that he takes the mound with
a chance to clinch a postseason series for Houston…in 5 appearances
(2 starts) in potential series clinching games, has gone 0-0 with 1
save, a 2.16 ERA (4ER/16.2IP), 11 hits, 5 walks, 20 K’s, 0.96 WHIP.
• was the starting pitcher in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger
Stadium (0ER/2.1IP).
• famously threw 24 straight curveballs to end Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS
vs. NYY, recording the save with 4.0 shutout innings…was the 7th save
of at least 4.0 innings in MLB postseason history, and the first since
Madison Bumgarner’s save in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series…
became the 1st pitcher in MLB history to strike out at least 6 batters in
a postseason save.
LANCE AND CHARLIE: tonight’s starting pitchers will join a group of 7 pitchers ever to appear in Game 7 of a postseason series at least 3 times.
• that group consists of Roger Clemens, who made 4 Game 7 appearances in his career, and the following pitchers who all appeared in Game
7 on 3 occasions: Bob Turley, Mike Stanton, John Smoltz, Mariano
Rivera, Felix Heredia and Bob Gibson.
• McCullers Jr. and Morton both played prominent roles for Houston
in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS and Game 7 of the 2017 World Series…
McCullers Jr. tossed a 4.0-inning save in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS after
Morton started the game with 5.0 innings of 1-run ball…McCullers Jr. then
started Game 7 of the World Series (0ER/2.1IP), while Morton finished
the game with 4.0 innings of 1-run relief to give Houston its first-ever
World Series title.
THE RETURN: has made a successful recovery from Tommy John surgery
(Nov. 6, 2018)…made 11 starts for the Astros during the 2020 regular
season, after missing all of 2019.
• finished the 2020 season on a solid run…over his final 8 starts of the
regular season, went 2-2 with a 2.18 ERA (10ER/41.1IP), 13 walks, 45
strikeouts and a .182 opponent average (26×143)

ALCS: RAYS-ASTROS NOTES.

TODAY’S GAME 5: The Astros will try to stave off elimination again today in Game 5 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…the only other team to do so were the 2004 Red Sox, who came back to beat the Yankees in a thrilling ALCS.
GARCIA GETS THE NOD: The Astros will start rookie RHP Luis Garcia today in what will be his first career postseason appearance…Garcia impressed in
his first five MLB appearances in 2020, all coming in September, including a 5.0-inning scoreless start on Sept. 9 at OAK, in which he allowed just one hit…prior to this season, Garcia had not appeared in a game above Class A, where he spent all of 2019…he did post monster numbers at the level, compiling 168 strikeouts in 108.2 innings and a .172 opponent batting average.
ROOKIE HURLERS: The Astros matched the Marlins by using an Major League-high 15 rookie pitchers in 2020…they have nine rookie pitchers on
their ALCS roster and have used six rookies so far this postseason, who have combined for a solid 2.97 ERA (12ER/36.1IP) in 23 appearances (three starts)…RHP Cristian Javier has led this group, going 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA (1ER/8.1IP) in four appearances.
STARTING STRONG: RHP Luis Garcia has big shoes to fill, following the four other Astros starters this series, which have combined for a 2.25 ERA (6ER/24IP)…they’ve posted 30 strikeouts in 24.0 IP.
POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE: This is the Astros 14th appearance in the postseason in club history in what is the 59th year of the franchise that began in
1962…this group of Astros has won a postseason series in four straight seasons (2017-20), leading all MLB teams in postseason games (54) and wins (31) in
that time frame…in both categories, the Astros top the Dodgers (44g, 26 wins) and Yankees (34g, 18 wins).
LCS HISTORY: This marks the Astros fourth straight trip to the ALCS and their eighth appearance overall in an LCS (1980, 1986, 2004-05, 2017-20)…they are the third team in AL history and the fifth team in MLB history to advance to four straight LCS (since 1969)…the other clubs to do so: the Cardinals (2011-14), Yankees (1998-2001), Braves (1991-99) and A’s (1971-75).
GAME 4 WIN: The Astros played a clean ballgame last night, downing the Rays 4-3 to stay alive in the ALCS…RHP Zack Greinke was masterful, tossing
6.0 innings and allowing two runs, both coming on a homer, with seven strikeouts…he was backed by 2B Jose Altuve (2×4, 2RBI), who homered in the 1st
inning for the third time this series, and CF George Springer, who went 3×4, including a go-ahead homer.
TAG TEAMS: Per Elias, last night marked the fourth time for 2B Jose Altuve and OF George Springer to homer in the same postseason game…the only pair
of teammates in MLB history to do it more often is another Astros duo, Springer and SS Carlos Correa, who have turned the trick seven times.

ON THE CUSP—Today the Rays have a second opportunity to advance
to the World Series, after their 4-3 loss in Game 4…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 AL Championship Series…only
eight of the previous 38 series were extended to a Game 5, and no team
has taken the series to 6 games since the Red Sox completed the comeback
against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
– 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.
– The Rays have won six of their last eight postseason games since
losing Game 1 to the Yankees…the Rays are 24-23 all-time in the
postseason, 8-3 in 2020 and 10-4 since Game 3 of the 2019 ALDS…
including the end of the regular season, they are 17-5 since Sep 17.
– The Rays haven’t lost back-to-back games this postseason…the last
time in the regular season was Sep 7-10 at WAS, vs. BOS (0-3).
Ê 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.
– Happy 49th Birthday to Rays hitting coach Chad Mottola.
CLOSE SHAVES—Between the regular season and postseason, 39 of the
club’s 71 games (54.9 pct.) have been decided by 2 runs (or fewer)…the
Rays are 28-11 (.718) in them, going 5-1 in the postseason in addition to a
majors-best 23-10 (.697) in the regular season…the Rays are 16-6 (.727) in
1-run games, including 2-1 this postseason and 15-4 (.789) since Aug 7.
– 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.
– The Rays have three comeback wins this postseason after an A-Lmost 20 come-from-behind wins during the regular season.
PITCHING PROPERLY—The Rays have allowed 10 runs in their last 5
games…last night the Rays snapped a club-record streak of allowing 2
runs (or fewer) in four consecutive postseason games…the Rays have allowed 2 runs (or fewer) in six of 11 postseason games (54.5 pct.), after doing
that in 21 of 60 games (35.0 pct.) during the regular season…the Rays have
a 3.15 ERA (97-IP, 34-ER) in the postseason, including a 3.48 ERA (51.2-IP,
20-ER) from their starters and a 2.78 ERA (45.1-IP, 14-ER) from relievers.
– Last night both Tyler Glasnow and Zack Greinke went 6 IP, only
the third time this postseason both starters went 6 IP (or more)…
the two previous instances came in NL Wild Card Series; the last
time in the AL was Game 1 of the 2019 ALCS (Tanaka vs. Greinke).
– The Rays have held the Astros to 9 runs and 6 HR (five 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 .176 (12-for-68) against Rays pitching with
RISP this postseason…the Rays have held the Astros to .192 (5-for26) with RISP—and only one of these 5 hits has 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 8 games (beginning with Game 2 of the ALDS vs.
NYY), the Rays bullpen has pitched to a 2.06 ERA (35-IP, 8-ER).
PITCHING PLANS—Today’s game will be started by RH John Curtiss, his
fourth career start…he went 1.1, 1.1 and 0.2 IP in his first 3 starts, yielding
a combined 2 runs (1 ER) in 3.1 IP (Aug 20 at NYY, Sep 15 vs. WAS, Sept.
26 vs. PHI)…this is the third time in club postseason history the Rays are
using an opener to start, following RH Ryan Thompson in Game 4 of the
2020 ALDS at NYY (5-1 loss) and RH Diego Castillo in Game 4 of the 2019
ALDS vs. HOU (4-1 win)…the Rays used an opener seven times in the regular season and went 6-1 when doing so after going 26-17 (.605) in 2019.
– Including postseason, since the debut of the opener on May 19, 2018, the
Rays have used one 107 times and are 65-42 (.607) in those games.
POWER BALL—69.6 pct. (32 of 46) of the Rays runs this postseason have
come on home runs, compared to 41.5 pct. (120 of 289) during the regular season…the Rays have hit 18 HR this postseason, but only four in the
League Championship Series after hitting 11 in the Division Series.

ALCS: RAYS-ASTROS NOTES

ON THE CUSP—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 (ALCS vs. NYY)…
the Rays are attempting to become the sixth team to sweep the American League Championship Series since its best-of-seven format began
in 1985…they would join the 1988 Athletics, 1990 Athletics, 2006 Tigers,
2012 Tigers and 2014 Royals…the Rays are attempting to sweep a multigame postseason series for the second time, but the only previous time
was a best-of-three 2020 Wild Card Series at Tropicana Field (vs. TOR).
— 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.
— The Rays have won six of their past seven postseason games since
losing Game 1 to the Yankees…the Rays are 24-22 all-time in the
postseason, 8-2 in 2020 and 10-3 since Game 3 of the 2019 ALDS…
including the end of the regular season, they are 17-4 since Sep 17.
— 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.

The Astros will try to stave off elimination tonight in Game 4 of the American
League Championship Series at Petco Park against the Rays…to do so, the Astros will turn to 17-year veteran RHP Zack Greinke, who’s making his 19th
career postseason start, this time opposite RHP Tyler Glasnow and the Rays.
GREINKE THIS POSTSEASON: The Astros will start RHP Zack Greinke tonight, who has two starts this postseason, Game 1 of the Wild Card Series at
MIN (1ER/4IP) and Game 4 of the ALDS vs. OAK (4ER/4.2IP)…this will be Greinke’s second career postseason start against the Rays, as he started Game
3 of the 2019 ALDS at TB (6ER/3.2IP).

HE’S DUE: Greinke has gone 3-6 with a 4.29 ERA (48ER/100.2IP) and ranks tied for third among active pitchers with 18 career postseason starts, trailing only RHP Justin Verlander (30) and LHP Clayton Kershaw (27) in that category…Greinke has gone 10 postseason starts without earning a win dating to his last postseason victory in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS vs. NYM…the MLB record is 11
consecutive postseason starts without a win, streaks authored by LHP David Price (2010-18), RHP Tim Hudson (2002-14) and LHP Al Leiter (1997-2000).
VS. GLASNOW: RHP Tyler Glasnow has been
great this postseason for the Rays, going 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA and posting a dominant 20 strikeouts in his 13.1 innings…he last pitched in Game 5 of the ALDS, starting on two days rest, and tossed 2.1 scoreless frames…the Astros have experience against Glasnow in the postseason, having defeated him twice in the ALDS last year in Games 1 and 5, in which he allowed six runs in 7.0 innings for a 0-2 record and a 7.71 ERA.
POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE: This is the Astros 14th appearance in the postseason in club history in what is the 59th year of the franchise that began in
1962…this group of Astros has won a postseason series in four straight seasons (2017-20), leading all MLB teams in postseason games (53) and wins (30) in
that time frame…in both categories, the Astros top the Dodgers (43g, 25 wins) and Yankees (34g, 18 wins).
LCS HISTORY: This marks the Astros fourth straight trip to the ALCS and their eighth appearance overall in a League Championship Series (1980, 1986, 2004-05, 2017-20)…they are the third team in AL history and the fifth team in Major League history to advance to four straight LCS (since 1969)…the other clubs to do so: the Cardinals (2011-14), Yankees (1998-2001), Braves
(1991-99) and A’s (1971-75).
THE WILL TO WIN—Last night the Rays overcame a 1-0 deficit, their
third comeback win of the postseason after an AL-most 20 come-from behind wins in the regular season…the Rays are 3-2 this postseason when
their opponent scores first after going an AL-best 15-14 in the regular season…last night was the second time in club history the Rays won a postseason game without hitting a home run, following Game 2 of the 2008
World Series vs. PHI…combining regular season and postseason, the Rays
are 15-6 (.714) when held without a homer, and their 14-5 (.737) mark in
the regular season was the best since the 1906 Cubs went 99-34 (.744).
— The Rays have been outhit, 26-18, this series, but they are 3-2 this
postseason when outhit by their opponent…they are 3-1 when
held to 4 hits (or fewer) and 3-2 when scoring 3 runs (or fewer).
— 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.
CLOSE SHAVES—Between the regular season and postseason, 38 of the
club’s 70 games (54.3 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.
— Combining regular season and postseason, the Rays have a majorleague-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.
PITCHING PROPERLY—The Rays have allowed 2 runs (or fewer) in six of
10 postseason games, including four straight for the first time in franchise
history…this matches the longest such streak in the last 13 postseasons,
and they are the first to do it since the 2017 Dodgers (4)—the last team to
allow 2 runs (or fewer) in five straight is the 2007 Red Sox…the Rays have
a 3.03 ERA (89-IP, 30-ER) in the postseason, including a 3.15 ERA (45.2-IP,
16-ER) from their starters and a 2.91 ERA (43.1-IP, 14-ER) from relievers.
— The Rays have held the Astros to 5 runs and 4 HR (all solo) this
series, after the Astros scored 33 runs and hit 12 HR in the Division
Series (4 games vs. OAK)…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 .167 (11-for-66) against Rays pitching with
RISP this postseason…the Rays have held the Astros to .167 (4-for24) with RISP—and none of these 4 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 7 games (beginning with Game 2 of the ALDS vs.
NYY), the Rays bullpen has pitched to a 2.18 ERA (33-IP, 8-ER).

ALCS: RAYS-ASTROS

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.


Altuve’s 2 early throwing errors doom Astros in ALCS Game 2 — MLB | NBC Sports

Altuve’s two throwing errors were the lowlight of Houston’s 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 2 of the ALCS.

Altuve’s 2 early throwing errors doom Astros in ALCS Game 2 — MLB | NBC Sports

ALDS Game 3: Oakland A’s keep season alive with thrilling comeback victory — Times-Standard

Game 3 of the ALDS saw three dramatic lead changes, but the A’s kept their season alive with a 9-7 win over the Houston Astros. Chad Pinder’s 360-foot blast in the seventh was the shortest of them all, but was by far the most impactful. The three-run homer erased an Astros’ 7-4 lead late and…

ALDS Game 3: Oakland A’s keep season alive with thrilling comeback victory — Times-Standard

By SHAYNA RUBIN |PUBLISHED: October 7, 2020 at 4:18 p.m. | UPDATED: October 7, 2020 at 4:18 p.m.

Game 3 of the ALDS saw three dramatic lead changes, but the A’s kept their season alive with a 9-7 win over the Houston Astros.

Chad Pinder’s 360-foot blast in the seventh was the shortest of them all, but was by far the most impactful. The three-run homer erased an Astros’ 7-4 lead late and shifted the momentum.

The offensive flow rode again on another Home Run Derby, with both sides upping the count to 18 total long balls at Dodger Stadium in these three games.

The A’s took an early lead with four solo blasts. Tommy La Stella got the A’s out to an early 1-0 lead in the first.

The Astros claimed the lead the following inning. José Altuve hit a solo home run and, with runners on the corners,  La Stella’s weak throw on a potential double play turn scored Houston’s go-ahead run.

Oakland could feast a little on José Urquidy, who was hanging his breaking balls. Mark Canha, Matt Olson and Marcus Semien notched solo home runs to extend the A’s lead to 4-2.

The incremental lead gathered via solo home run was easily squashed with one big inning. Jesús Luzardo had been rolling. Getting ahead in counts, he held the Astros scoreless through three innings.

It started with a leadoff walk to Yuli Gurriel in the fifth inning. Aledmys Diaz worked back from an 0-2 count and nailed a fastball over the left field fence to tie the game 4-4. With reliever Yusmeiro Petit on the mound, Houston taught the A’s a lesson in hitting with runners in scoring position, stringing together four hits from the heart of the order for a 7-4 lead.

The comeback A’s, capable of reclaiming unlikely leads late, gave way to the comeback Astros. It was a snapshot for how this series has gone for the A’s: Petit allowed four earned runs in 21 2/3 innings during the regular season. Houston put up four against him in one inning this series, including three Wednesday.

The bullpen just couldn’t mask the offensive deficiencies much longer. The A’s had their opportunities to bust the game open in their favor.

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After Semien’s home run in the fourth, Oakland loaded the bases with a walk and Chad Pinder’s single — the A’s first single of the game. Khris Davis, batting cleanup for the first time since July, couldn’t get all of a fastball in the zone and flied out. After Olson walked to load the bases, Canha popped out to extinguish a prime opportunity.

Pinder salvaged the mess. After back-to-back singles from Semien and La Stella to lead off the seventh, Pinder launched the opposite field three-run home run that just cleared the right field fence and missed Kyle Tucker’s outreached glove. It was the A’s first hit with runners in scoring position of the series — he also had the A’s key two-run single against the White Sox in Game 3 of the wild card series.

Liam Hendriks had to whip out his “Hercu-Liam” alter ego, tasked with shutting down the Astros in three innings.

After not throwing more than 30 pitches in any outing in the regular season, Hendriks threw 49 in Game 2 of the wild card series and got the save in Game 3. With a lead, he threw 25 through the seventh and eighth inning. He escaped a game-tying threat in the eighth by striking out pinch hitter Josh Reddick on a 98 mph heater — Reddick broke his bat in frustration.

Hendriks finished off the game by retiring Springer, Altuve and Brantley in order in the ninth.

Kurtenbach: Karma is coming for the bratty Astros and Carlos Correa — Times-Standard

The Deets is a weekday morning dose of commentary — delivered at 7 a.m. — from sports columnist Dieter Kurtenbach that wraps up everything important in the world of sports and looks forward to another crazy day ahead. The Houston Astros still don’t get it. It’s on the Oakland A’s or the Chicago White Sox…

Kurtenbach: Karma is coming for the bratty Astros and Carlos Correa — Times-Standard

Say hello to the bad guys: Astros clinch final AL playoff spot — Daily News website

The Houston Astros could have been dethroned within the AL West by the relentless Oakland Athletics. They could be public enemy No. 1 for baseball followers following the revelation of their elaborate sign-stealing scandal. And who is aware of, the 2020 model won’t even be that good.  But regardless of all of it, they’re postseason […]

Say hello to the bad guys: Astros clinch final AL playoff spot — Daily News website

Rockets unsure of Westbrook’s status for playoffs — VOICE OF THE HWY

4:21 PM ET Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook‘s availability for the beginning of the NBA playoffs is uncertain after an MRI revealed a strained muscle in his right quadriceps, the team announced Wednesday. Westbrook will not play in the remainder of the seeding schedule and will be reevaluated before the playoffs begin next week. The […]

Rockets unsure of Westbrook’s status for playoffs — VOICE OF THE HWY

What Ramón Laureano’s suspension means for the A’s — Times-Standard

OAKLAND — Major League Baseball laid down the hammer on A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano and Houston Astros hitting coach Alex Cintrón following Sunday’s skirmish. By all accounts, it seemed fair. Laureano appealed his six-game suspension, a punishment for charging the Astros’ dugout and causing the benches to clear. Cintrón will serve his hefty 20-game suspension…

What Ramón Laureano’s suspension means for the A’s — Times-Standard

Ramón Laureano on Alex Cintrón: “I wasted my time with that guy” — Times-Standard

Even though he heard Alex Cintrón make vile remarks about his mother, A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano said Monday he regrets charging at the Houston Astros hitting coach and now seems prepared to face whatever punishment may be forthcoming from Major League Baseball. “It was a waste of time,” Laureano said of the incident to local…

Ramón Laureano on Alex Cintrón: “I wasted my time with that guy” — Times-Standard