Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. The Asterisks finally got sent home, 4-2, at the hands of the Rays. After being just the second team to force a game 7 after being down 3 games to mil, they did not become the first team with a regular season losing record to reach the World Series.
Was I nervous the Rays would not come through and earn just their second Series berth? Yes, of course. I still believed, though, because Charlie Morton was on the mound. In his two games in the ALCS, his ERA was: 0.00. His career ERA in elimination games is 0.46. He’s 7-2 with a 2.84 ERA in his postseason career. He’s exactly who I wanted starting for the Rays in a game 7.
The ALCS MVP was Randy Arozarena. He’s the first rookie position player to win the award. He came back from catching the coronavirus to play 23 regular season games, hit 7 homers and batted .281/.382/.641. In the postseason he’s matched those 7 homers, 4 in the ALCS. In the ALCS he hit .321/.367/.786.
The Rays have lived off of homers. Besides Arozarena’s 7, there’s been 4 from Mike Zunino, and 5 from Manuel Margot. Indeed, 72% of their runs in the postseason have come via the long ball.
The Rays are advancing primarily due to run prevention, with good pitching and spectacular defense. It’s not just been Kevin Kiermaier flashing the glove, with highlight reel plays in the series from Margot, Brandon Lowe, Hunter Renfroe, and Willie Adames as well.
Now we wait to see if they play the Braves or Dodgers.