Rays vs. Astros score: Tampa clinches trip to World Series as Houston’s historic comeback bid falls short

Rays vs. Astros score: Tampa clinches trip to World Series as Houston’s historic comeback bid falls short

The 2004 Pink Sox can pop the champagne. They’re nonetheless the one crew in MLB historical past to return again from a Three-Zero deficit in a best-of-seven collection. The Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League pennant with a win over the Houston Astros in Recreation 7 of the ALCS on Saturday evening (TB 4, HOU 2). Tampa led the collection Three-Zero, however the Astros compelled Recreation 7 with wins in Video games Four, 5, and 6.

Charlie Morton shut down his former crew in Recreation 7, holding the Astros scoreless by 5 2/Three innings earlier than giving technique to the bullpen. House runs from Randy Arozarena and Mike Zunino gave Tampa an early cushion they have been in a position to nurse the remainder of the way in which. The Astros introduced the go-ahead run to the plate within the eighth inning, however in the end it was too little, too late.

The Astros have now seen their season finish in heartbreaking trend in Recreation 7 in back-to-back years. Final season the Nationals mounted a late-inning comeback to win Recreation 7 of the World Sequence. This season Houston’s tried comeback from a Three-Zero collection deficit fell brief.

Listed here are takeaways from the Rays’ Recreation 7 win.

Arozarena homered once more

Randy Arozarena is Atlas. His teammates are giving him little help offensively, so he simply retains socking large dingers. Arozarena opened the scoring in Recreation 7 with a two-run dwelling run within the first inning. It was his seventh dwelling run in 14 video games this postseason. 

The homer got here on a fastball out over the plate and it is type of superb groups are nonetheless throwing Arozarena heaters. According to YES Network researcher James Smyth, Arozarena is 10 for 20 with a triple and 5 homers in opposition to fastballs this postseason (.500 batting common and 1.350 slugging proportion). Which means he is 11 for 32 with three doubles and two homers in opposition to every little thing else (.344 and .625). That is nonetheless nice! However not as nice as his numbers in opposition to fastballs. Arozarena’s seven home runs are the most ever by a rookie in a single postseason, breaking a tie with former Ray Evan Longoria (2008). Solely three gamers ever have hit extra homers in a single postseason: 

  1. Barry Bonds, 2002 Giants: eight HR 
  2. Carlos Beltran, 2004 Astros: eight HR 
  3. Nelson Cruz, 2011 Rangers: eight HR 
  4. A number of tied with 7 HR, together with Arozarena  

Moreover, Arozarena now has 21 hits within the postseason, tying him with Yuli Gurriel (2017) for the second most by a rookie in a single postseason. Derek Jeter had 22 hits as a rookie within the 1996 postseason. Arozarena went eight for 28 (.286) with 4 dwelling runs within the collection.

Morton dominated his former crew

For the primary time in MLB historical past, two gamers who pitched as teammates in a single winner-take-all sport confronted one another as opposing starters in one other winner-take-all sport. Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers Jr. pitched in opposition to the Yankees in Recreation 7 of the 2017 ALCS, then opposed one another in Recreation 7 of the 2020 ALCS. Morton is barely the sixth pitcher ever to face his former crew in a winner-take-all postseason sport. The checklist: 

  • Charlie Morton, Rays: 2020 ALCS vs. Astros 
  • CC Sabathia, Yankees: 2017 ALDS vs. Cleveland
  • Roger Clemens, Yankees: 2003 ALCS vs. Pink Sox 
  • Pete Vuckovich, Brewers: 1982 World Sequence vs. Cardinals 
  • Jerry Reuss, Dodgers: 1981 NLDS vs. Astros 
  • Lew Burdette, Braves: 1957 and 1958 World Sequence vs. Yankees  

Morton shoved in opposition to his former teammates in Recreation 7. His fastball averaged 95.Three mph, his highest common velocity in a begin since final yr’s Wild Card Recreation, and his pitch depend by inning was stunning: 11, 12, 7 13, 6, 17. He was dominant and environment friendly, and at one level he retired 14 straight Astros. Morton has allowed no multiple earned run in every of his final 5 postseason begins, the second-longest streak in historical past (Curt Schilling had six straight). 

Houston by no means received a lot of something going in opposition to the righty. Morton was already the one pitcher in baseball historical past to earn a win in three winner-take-all postseason video games (2017 ALCS Recreation 7, 2017 World Sequence Recreation 7, and 2019 AL Wild Card Recreation). Now he has a fourth win in a winner-take-all sport to his credit score.

McCullers, alternatively, surrendered the two-run dwelling run to Arozarena and a second-inning solo homer to Mike Zunino. These have been the one three runs he allowed, however he wanted 75 pitches to get 11 outs and didn’t full 4 innings. Houston’s bullpen labored arduous in Video games Four-6 and Jose Urquidy surrendered an insurance coverage run on a sixth inning sacrifice fly.

Money had a fast hook once more

In Recreation 6, Rays supervisor Kevin Money pulled starter Blake Snell along with his pitch depend at 82 within the fourth inning, and Snell wasn’t completely satisfied. “It is simply irritating. Give me a shot. I wish to be that man that takes the crew deep into the ballgame,” Snell said afterward

The bullpen went on to blow the lead. Fast hooks and bullpening are what the Rays do although, and Money caught to the sport plan in Recreation 7. Even with Morton cruising and his pitch depend sitting at 66, Money went to his bullpen within the sixth inning. Michael Brantley was on the plate representing the tying run following a stroll and an infield single. Not like Recreation 6, the fast hook labored in Recreation 7. Nick Anderson, who had allowed a run in every of his earlier three outings, changed Morton and received the inning-ending floor ball from Brantley. The Astros pushed throughout a pair of runs in opposition to Anderson and Pete Fairbanks within the eighth, however in any other case saved the Houston offense at bay. 

Tampa’s pitching in Recreation 7: 

Charlie Morton

5 2/Three

2

Zero

Zero

1

6

Nick Anderson

2

Three

2

2

1

Zero

Pete Fairbanks

1 1/Three

2

Zero

Zero

1

Three

Complete

9

7

2

2

Three

9

In two winner-take-all video games this postseason (ALDS Recreation 5 and ALCS Recreation 7), Tampa’s pitching workers held the high-powered Yankees and Astros offenses to 3 runs and 10 hits in 18 innings. Fairly good technique to win an elimination sport, that’s. The Rays have now received 63 straight video games when main after seven innings, the longest energetic streak in baseball.

The Rays are going to the World Sequence

For the second time in franchise historical past. They went to the World Sequence in 2008 however misplaced to the Phillies, so they’re nonetheless trying to find their first championship. Tampa will tackle the winner of Sunday evening’s Recreation 7 between the Braves and Dodgers. Recreation 1 of the World Sequence is scheduled for Tuesday evening at Globe Life Discipline in Arlington, Texas. The Rays haven’t but introduced their pitching plans, although Tyler Glasnow traces as much as pitch Recreation 1 with an additional day of relaxation. He’ll presumably get the ball Tuesday.


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