October 12, 2020

Rays Kick Off ALCS By Beating Astros 2-1; Dodgers-Atlanta Begin NLCS Today

ALCS Game 2: Astros (McCullers) vs Rays (Morton) at San Diego, 4:00 PM ET
NLCS Game 1: Atlanta (Fried) vs Dodgers (Buehler) at Arlington, TX, 8:00 PM ET

The Rays won Game 1 of the American League Championship Series last night, edging the Astros 2-1. Diego Castillo came into the eighth inning protecting one-run lead, with one out and the bases loaded. He threw a single pitch, which Yuri Gurriel grounded up the middle into a 4U-3 double play, and walked off the mound. Castillo gave up a one-out single in the ninth before nailing down the victory.

Tampa Bay is 33-0 this season when leading after seven innings. The Rays have won 73 consecutive games when leading in the eighth inning or later. The Rays' bullpen has inherited 16 runners this postseason. None have scored. (h/t Craig Calcaterra)

It was the Astros' fifth game in postseason history where they scored in the first inning and were shutout the rest of the way. They lost all five games.

Atlanta comes into the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers having swept the Wild-Card Series and the NLDS, shutting out its opponents four times in five games. I don't expect the Dodgers to be whitewashed too often in the next week.

Last Thursday, LA reliever Julio Urias allowed only one hit over five innings as the Dodgers finished off the Padres. Urias was the first relief pitcher to toss 5+ innings while allowing one or no hits in a postseason series-clinching win since Pedro Martinez in the 1999 ALDS (Game 5, six hitless innings vs Cleveland).

Atlanta is the first team in postseason history to have rookies post back-to-back scoreless starts: Ian Anderson (5.2 innings in NLDS Game 2) and Kyle Wright (6 innings in NLDS Game 3).

Hoping For: Rays and Dodgers.

. . .

Still enjoying the end of the Yankees' season:

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