In what ended up being a roller coaster of a series, the Tampa Bay Rays prevailed in game 7 and advanced to the World Series for the second time in franchise history.
What a time to be alive! After the Tampa Bay Rays took a commanding 3-0 series lead, each of the three days after got just a little bit harder. Everyone got just a little bit more nervous. After losing Game 4 4-3 with Tyler Glasnow on the mound — not ideal — but, it was just one game and the Houston Astros threw their ace, Zack Greinke. So it wasn’t a dagger to the heart. After Game 5, another 4-3 loss — on a Carlos Correa walk-off homer — maybe a little doubt started to creep in. Oh no, do the Astros have all the momentum now? Ahh, surely the can’t also win the next two games. Right? Game 6 with Blake Snell! Lock it up! Right? Another Astros win, this time 7-4 and the fanbase felt flat while on the verge of the World Series. A gut punch. From up 3-0 in the series to a Game 7.
While every sports fans loves to hear the words ‘Game 7’, there’s not a Rays fan on this planet that wanted this series to get to that point. But here we are. Anxiety crippling. Thinking of every possible scenario to ruin your day.
“We’ve all watched the Four Days in October [documentary]. I didn’t want to see it again,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said after the game.
Can’t stop, won’t stop
You truly cannot make up what Randy Arozarena has done this postseason. And in the first inning of Game 7, the hot streak continued.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 18, 2020
Arozarena’s homer was his fourth in the ALCS and his seventh in the postseason, most ever by a rookie in postseason play. He is now one home run shy of trying a major league record for homers in a single postseason (Nelson Cruz 2011, Carlos Beltran 2004, Barry Bonds 2002).
To absolutely no ones surprise, Randy Arozarena was named ALCS MVP.
Big Z comes up big again
For the second time in this series, and the second time off of Lance McCullers, Mike Zunino sent a pitch to the moon. His second inning home run gave the Rays a 3-0 lead. According to statcast, it had an exit velocity of 108.2 mph and traveled 430 feet.
Charlie Freakin’ Morton
Charlie Morton was in absolute cruise control during the biggest game of the Rays season. Morton only needed 66 pitches to get though his 5.2 innings of work against his former team. He only allowed three base runners and he struck out six Astros.
Morton is now 4-0 in winner take all games. During those games, Morton is sporting a minuscule 0.46 ERA (1 ER in 19.2 INN). He is now undefeated in his last nine postseason appearances (7-0; 1.45 ERA). Clutch.
My message to the best manger in baseball
It’s so hard to not root for this team. I don’t care what city you live in. I don’t care where you’re from. This team is flat out fun and they deserve this more than any team in Major League Baseball.
Kevin Cash, you sir deserve this moment so much. You ability to manger a roster with no superstar names is absolutely remarkable. The fact that what you continue to accomplish goes under the radar is beyond frustrating. Your ability to be so careless about the national media and the lack of attention, while also being so open and friendly to the local media is so refreshing. You deserve this.
And yes, we damn sure celebrated the win.
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— Sports by Tampa Bay Times (@TBTimes_Sports) October 18, 2020
GAME 1 OF THE WORLD FREAKING SERIES!
The World Series starts on Tuesday, October 20th. First pitch is scheduled for 8:09 PM ET at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX.
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