Rays vs Astros score: stellar defense, big end put Tampa to an AL pennant victory

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The Tampa Bay Rays are on the edge of a berth for the World Series. On Tuesday night, the Rays took advantage of a Jose Altuve mistake and led their stellar defense to a Game 3 victory over the Houston Astros (VG 5, HOU 2). Tampa holds a 3-0 series lead. They can take down the American League pennant on Wednesday night.He’s never a single hero with the Rays. Joey Wendle and Hunter Renfroe had two base hits in the team’s sixth five-run in Game 3, and five relievers held the Astros scoreless for four innings. The Rays have allowed just five points in their last four games, including four in solo. Protracted rallies against this team are impossible.

Here are five takeaways from Game 3.

Altuve made another crucial mistake

Altuve’s throw is a capital-P problem for the Astros. He made a pitching error on a routine play in the first inning of Game 2 – his short-hopped Yuli Gurriel pitch at first base – which extended the inning and led to Manuel Margot crushing a three-run homer.

In Tuesday’s third game, Altuve made another terrible mistake, this time throwing a potential 4-6-3 double play ball into left field. I’m not sure the Astros are running the double game with Brandon Lowe running, but they definitely should have had the first runner in second place. Instead, nothing.

The Rays capitalized on Altuve’s mistake because they did it. When all was said and done, Tampa had five points on the board in the sixth inning to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 5-1 lead. Here is Altuve’s error and the rally that followed:

Altuve didn’t make any pitching mistakes during the regular season, so he either forgot how to pitch at some point in the past three weeks (i.e. developed the yips) or he’s healing an injury that is affecting his pitch. launch. For what it’s worth, neither Altuve nor the Astros have said anything about an injury.

For Houston, the easy fix is ​​to put Altuve in DH to move forward, with Aledmys Diaz taking over at second base. Diaz was at DH in Game 3.

Tampa makes every game

It’s almost comical at this point. While Altuve struggles with routine throws, the Rays make exceptional plays left and right. The Tampa defense smothered the Astros in the ALCS and they made several other big plays in Game 3. Check it out:

Alex Bregman in particular felt the wrath of the Rays defense. He put seven balls in play in games 2-3 and six were hit very well. Output speeds: 106.8, 99.5, 103.0, 103.1, 98.4, 96.3, 82.2. All outs. Each of them. Hit the ball hard and good things usually happen. Not for Bregman in the ALCS though.

The Rays are fifth in baseball with 24 defensive points recorded during the regular season and, based on the past few nights, that looks incredibly low. They were spectacular. They catch everything, stifle rallies and save their throws.

Arozarena goes down in history

Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena was the star of the playoffs. He went 4 for 8 in the Tampa Wild Card Series sweep over the Blue Jays, hit three home runs against the Yankees in the ALDS and now destroys the Astros in the ALCS. Arozarena went 3 for 4 with a double and a walk in Game 3. He also has a great sense of fashion:

Handsome Randy now has four three-game playoff wins. He also did this in Wild Card Series Game 2 and ALDS Games 1 and 3. He is the first rookie in history with four three-hit games in a single playoff and only the fifth player in history with four three-hit games in a single playoff. The list:

  • Jay Buhner: 1995
  • Edgar Martinez: 1995
  • Albert Pujols: 2004
  • José Altuve: 2017
  • Randy Arozarena: 2020

Because the Rays have a 3-0 lead in the series, Arozarena will have at least four more chances to become the first player in history with five three-stroke games in a single playoff. He’s 18 for 39 (0.462) in 10 playoff games this year.

Altuve climbs in the post-season circuit ranking

This is not bad news for Altuve. For the second time in the ALCS, he opened the scoring with a solo first inning in Game 3. He took Blake Snell deep in the first inning of Game 1 and then made it to Ryan Yarbrough in the third game.

Altuve now has four homers in nine playoff games and 17 homers in 59 career playoff games. Only 11 others hit so many dingers in October. The career playoff home run ranking:

  1. Manny Ramirez: 29
  2. Bernie Williams: 22
  3. Derek Jeter: 20
  4. Albert Pujols: 19
  5. Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle: 18
  6. Altuve, Nelson Cruz, David Ortiz, George Springer, Jim Thome: 17

Carlos Correa is sitting on 16 career playoff homers, it should be noted. It will take work, but it’s possible that three current Astros will be in the top five on career playoff homers before 2020 comes out.

The rays have an imposing lead

One more win and the Rays are the 2020 American League champions. Tampa has a 3-0 lead in the series, and historically teams that take a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven have won Series 97. % time. That’s 37 series wins and one loss. This is of course the 2004 Red Sox and their historic ALCS comeback against the Yankees. The Rays have lost four straight games once during the regular season – they lost five straight games from July 29 to August 2 – so a comeback is possible, but it’s a tall order. The Astros are in trouble and the Rays are pretty.

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