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Last Night's Astros/Rays ALDS game: Why I Love Baseball

Alternatively, if my wife were writing this it could be titled, 'Why I Hate Baseball'. We live in Houston, and she's a HUGE Astros fan. (Sorry, Mandy)

If you were scouting out all of the Division Series this postseason, then the Astros and Rays were probably the biggest mismatch of the bunch. First, you have the Rays and their lineup that resembles the outcasts from the Island of Misfit Toys. Yeah, Kiermaier and Adames are home-grown but you look up and down the lineup and it's guys that were unwanted by their original teams. Travis d'Arnaud, Ji-Man Choi, Avisaíl García, and most notably Tommy Pham all came from other organizations in mostly small deals. That doesn't include the grand larceny of Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow (lol, Piebutts). Their top hitter this season had 33 HR and only 89 RBI (yes I know RBI is a flawed stat, hush your face).

I see you, Tina. :) (Courtesy:

As a team, the Rays scored 769 runs, hit 217 HR, and had a team ERA of 3.65. Sure, those aren't perfect stats, but it gives a picture of what the team is capable of. Great pitching, okay lineup. Meanwhile, the Astros steamroll into the playoffs scoring 920 runs on the season, hitting 288 HR and with a team ERA of 3.66. That team ERA is a bit misleading because check out these 2nd half ERAs:

3 Dominant Starters, and a Relief Ace.

The Astros destroy baseballs and shut down your offense with ridiculous pitching, yet here we are tied 2-2 with a deciding game 5 tomorrow night. So, how does a team like Tampa Bay compete with Houston? They have to be absolutely perfect, and last night they were. Verlander started the game on short rest and while he wasn't vintage Meowlander he kept his team in the game. Down 3-0 in the 4th, the Astros made a charge. Baseball Daddy lead off the inning with a single. Two batters later, Alvarez hits an absolute bomb to center field. Altuve is nearly to third before Kiermaier gets the ball. Altuve is fast, and it's going to take a miracle of a throw to get him. The 3rd base coach sends Altuve and he is OUT AT HOME! I could not believe that play. It was executed so perfectly you just had to be impressed. The guys from MLB network break down the throw.

I mean, COME ON! The Rays should've had no chance at getting Altuve at home, but they did it.

Courtesy: MLB

The Rays have played great defense, gotten timely hits, and pitched like madmen. They have a tough assignment in game 5, Gerrit Cole on normal rest. Last time out he dominated, striking out 15! Yikes dot com. Still, I wouldn't count out these Rays just yet. They're loose, having fun, and are ready to take on the world. Hey, I remember a team that used to play like that... Until we see them again, the 2019 Tampa Bay Rays have been a fun team to watch.


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