Tuesday, October 3, 2023
5-Hour Energy

AL Post-Season: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

LH Shane McClanahan (0-0, 0.00) vs. LH Eduardo Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00)


STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox have won their last 4 games, having swept the Nationals in Washington to close out the regular season before defeating the Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday.

POSTSEASON PICTURE: The Red Sox are 9-1 in their last 10 Postseason games, having won each of their last 3. The Sox are making the 25th Postseason appearance in franchise history, their 1st since winning the 2018 World Series championship. The Sox are 103-86-1 in Postseason play…They are 1-0 in Wild Card Games and 22-15 in 37 series, having gone 7-6 in 13 trips to the ALDS (23-25 in games), 6-5 in the ALCS (30-32), and 9-4 in the World Series (49-29-1).

WILD THING: The Red Sox made their 1st appearance in the Wild Card Game on Tuesday and defeated the Yankees at Fenway Park, 6-2, in front of a sellout crowd of 38,324. The Sox improved to 7-6 all time in winner-takeall Postseason games…They are 8-1 in their last 9 Postseason games against the Yankees. This is the 8th time the Sox have reached the Postseason without winning the division…7 teams have won a World Series without winning their division, including the 2004 Red Sox and 2 teams that played in a Wild Card Game (2014-SF, 2019-WSH).

TRAFFIC CONTROL: In Tuesday’s win, the Red Sox starters in batting order positions 1-7 reached base in 14 of 26 PA (.538 OBP, 7-for-19, 7 BB, 2 HR, 2 2B)…Each of the Sox’ first 6 hitters reached base multiple times.

PITCHING IN: Tuesday was the 1st time in franchise  history the Red Sox struck out 11+ batters and walked none in a Postseason game…They were the 22nd MLB team (7th AL team) to accomplish the feat. In their last 22 games (beginning 9/8), the Red Sox have posted a 3.31 ERA (72 ER/195.2 IP).

WHAT A RELIEF: On Tuesday, the Red Sox bullpen allowed 1 run on 2 hits in 3.2 IP (0 BB, 3 SO)…After Ryan Brasier stranded both inherited runners in the 6th inning, Tanner Houck and Hansel Robles each threw a perfect inning. Since 8/30, Robles has allowed 0 runs in 16 appearances (14.2 IP, 5-for-48, .104 AVG, 18 SO, 5 BB). Since 9/21, Brasier has allowed 0 runs in 9 appearances (8.1 IP, 4-for-25, .160 AVG, 8 SO, 2 BB).

NATHAN’S FAMOUS: Nathan Eovaldi allowed 1 run in 5.1 IP against the Yankees on Tuesday (4 H, 0 BB, 8 SO)…In 7 career Postseason games (all with BOS), he is 2-1 with a 1.63 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP (27.2 IP, 19 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 24 SO). Eovaldi is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA in 3 Postseason starts (4 ER/18.1 IP)…The only other pitchers to throw 5.0+ innings and allow 2 runs or fewer in each of their first 3 Postseason starts with the Sox are Josh Beckett (4), Jon Lester (3), and Babe Ruth (3).

Rk. Pitcher ERA
1. Babe Ruth …………………….. 0.87 (3 ER/31.0 IP)
2. Jonathan Papelbon…………. 1.00 (3 ER/27.0 IP)
3. Nathan Eovaldi ………..1.63 (5 ER/27.2 IP)

CAN WE ASSIST YOU?: On Tuesday vs. NYY, the Red Sox threw out Aaron Judge at home plate on an 8-6-2 putout in the 6th inning, keeping the score at 3-1. In the regular season, Sox outfielders led MLB with 43 assists, their most in a season since 1987 (47)…They
were the only team featuring 3 OF with 7+ assists. The Sox committed an AL-high 108 errors in the regular season (2nd-most in MLB), but they have been charged with only 4 in their last 15 games (beginning 9/17).

GAME ONE: This is the Red Sox’ 14th appearance in the ALDS…When losing Game 1, they have gone on to lose the series 5 times (won in 1999 & ‘03)…When winning Game 1, they have gone on to win the series 5 times (lost in 1998). The Sox advanced to the ALCS each of the last 5 times they won Game 1 of the ALDS (2004, ‘07, ‘08, ‘13, ‘18). 18 of the 26 World Series champions in Division Series
history (since 1995) won Game 1 of the DS…8 teams have lost Game 1 and gone on to win the World Series, most recently the 2019 Nationals and 2015 Royals.

EASTERN STANDARD: The Red Sox and Rays are meeting in the Postseason for the 3rd time (2008 ALCS and 2013 ALDS)…The Sox are 6-5 vs. TB in the Postseason, with 7 of the 11 games decided by 1 or 2 runs (see table on next page). Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Rays manager Kevin Cash were teammates with the Red Sox in 2007 and 2008, helping lead BOS to the Postseason in each year.

AGAINST THE FIELD: The Red Sox were 26-30 against Postseason teams in 2021, having played the Rays (8-11), Yankees (10-9), White Sox (3-4), Astros (2-5), and Braves (3-1)…They were 66-40 (.623) against all other teams.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The Red Sox’ ALDS roster features 13 pitchers and 13 position players…Four active players were not on the Wild Card roster: J.D. Martinez, Danny Santana, Martín Pérez, and Chris Sale. 9 players on the Sox’ ALDS roster have won a World
Series (Bogaerts, Devers, Hernández, Schwarber, Vázquez, Brasier, Eovaldi, Rodriguez, Sale)…In the AL Wild Card Game, 6 players made their Postseason debut (Arroyo, Dalbec, Plawecki, Verdugo, Houck, Whitlock).

COMEBACK KIDS: The Red Sox led MLB with 47 comeback wins in the regular season; the Rays ranked 2nd (46). The Sox’ largest deficit overcome to win was 4 runs, done 4 times, including in their final game of the regular season (trailed 1-5, won 7-5 on 10/3 at  WSH). The Sox’ largest deficit overcome to win a Postseason game is 7 runs, to win Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS against the Rays at Fenway Park (trailed 0-7, won 8-7).

TEAM OF THE CENTURY: The Red Sox have won 4 of the last 17 World Series titles (2004, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18), the most championships in MLB this century…Overall, their 9 World Series titles are tied with the A’s for 3rd most all time. Under the current ownership group (2002-present), the Sox have been to the Postseason 11 times…The only other teams with 10+ appearances in the last 20 years are NYY (16), STL (13), LAD (13), and ATL (11).

Rk. Team World Series Titles
1. Boston Red Sox 4 (2004, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18)
2. San Francisco Giants 3 (2010, ‘12, ‘14)
3. St. Louis Cardinals 2 (2006, ‘11)

LEAD THE WAY: Alex Cora has 12 Postseason wins as manager of the Red Sox, tied with John Farrell for 2nd-most in franchise history behind Terry Francona (28). Cora is the 6th manager to lead the Sox to multiple Postseasons, joining Bill Carrigan (1915-16), Joe Morgan (1988, ‘90), Jimy Williams (1998-99), Francona (2004-05, ‘07-09), and Farrell (2013, ‘16-17). Cora is the 1st manager in modern MLB history (since 1900) to manage a full year with a team, then return to that team after a 1-year absence and lead them to the Postseason in his 1st year back (source: Elias).

Rk. Manager Years Record Win %
1. Alex Cora 2018-19, ‘21 284-202 .584
2. Terry Francona 2004-11 744-552 .574


57-EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ, LHP 13-8, 4.74 ERA, 32 app. (31 starts)

2021 13-8 4.74 32 31 157.2 83 19 47 185 .277 1.39
CAREER 64-39 4.16 159 153 856.2 396 107 294 892 .252 1.31
POSTSEASON 0-0 8.10 8 1 10.0 9 2 5 11 .189 1.20

Recent Trends: Tossed a 1-2-3 8th inn. to earn the win Sunday at WSH (1 SO)…Was his 6th career relief outing, 2nd career relief win (both previously: 9/30/18 vs. NYY). Since 8/1, is 6-2 with a 3.26 ERA (21 ER/58.0 IP) over 12 outings (11 starts). Has allowed 0 HR in his last 5 appearances (4 starts). The Sox are 14-7 in his last 21 starts, and 64-24 (.727) since the beginning of 2018. Postseason: In his Postseason career, has made 8 appearances (1 start) and posted an 8.10 ERA (9 ER/10.0 IP) with a .189 opponent AVG, 11 SO, and 5 BB. Was on the Sox’ 2016 and 2017 ALDS rosters, then helped them win the 2018 World Series by appearing in multiple games in each round.

His lone Postseason start came in Game 4 of the World Series at LAD…Threw 5.0 scoreless frames before surrendering 4 runs in the 6th inning of an eventual 9-6 Sox win. vs. TB: Making his first career postseason start vs. TB…Is 2-4 with a 5.21 ERA (39 ER/67.1 IP) in 13 career regular season starts against the Rays. Tossed 6.0 scoreless innings at TB on 9/2 (4 H, BB, 6 SO)…Has made 7 career starts
at Tropicana Field and owns a 4.26 ERA (18 ER/38.0 IP).

2021 Season Highlights: Led the Red Sox and ranked T-5th in the AL in wins (13)… Posted career bests in SO% (27.4), BB% (7.0), SO/BB (3.94), & FIP (3.32). Among AL pitchers with at least 100.0+ IP, ranked 7th in SO/9.0 IP (10.56). Ranked 2nd in the AL and 6th in MLB (1st among LHP) with 62 called third strikes. His 31 starts, 157.2 IP, and 185 SO are all his 2nd most in any year. The Sox are 49-4 (.925) since the beginning of 2017 when giving him 4+ runs of support, including 14-2 when doing so this season.



POSTSEASONS PAST—The Rays are 27-29 all-time in the postseason (16- 13 at home, 10-9 at Tropicana Field, 11-16 on the road)…within multi-game series, the Rays are 4-7 in Game 1 and 2-4 in Game 1 of the Division Series including three straight losses…the Rays are 2-3 in Game 1s at Tropicana Field, most recently a 3-1 win in the 2020 Wild Card Series over Toronto.

Tonight is the first time the Rays are playing a postseason game in front of fans at Tropicana Field since Game 4 of the 2019 ALDS vs. HOU…the Rays have won four consecutive postseason games here.

The Rays clinched a postseason spot on Sep 22, won the AL East on Sep 25 and secured the No. 1 seed on Sep 29…the Rays clinched the best record in the AL for the third time and became the first AL club to do so in back-to-back seasons since the 2011-12 Yankees… they ended the season with sole possession of the AL’s best record for 61 straight days from Aug 6 through the end of the season.

The Rays made the Division Series for the seventh time since 2008, and the only other clubs to do so as often since then are the Dodgers (11 including last night), Yankees (8) and Cardinals (7).

PITCHING PLANS—Tonight’s game will be started by rookie Shane McClanahan and tomorrow’s game will be started by rookie Shane Baz… neither appeared in a regular season game before this season, but McClanahan became the first pitcher in major league history to debut in the postseason (four relief apps in 2020)…according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com, the Rays will be the second team in postseason history to start rookie pitchers in the first 2 games of a postseason series, joining the Athletics (Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone) in the 2012 ALDS against the Tigers.

McClanahan will be the fourth traditional rookie starter (nonopener) in club history to start a postseason game, joining Jeremy Hellickson (1) in 2011, Matt Moore (1) in 2011 and Wade Davis (1) in 2010…Moore is the only other to start a Game 1 (2011 ALDS).

The Rays have 13 pitchers on their Division Series roster, none of which made a start in any of the club’s 20 games last postseason.

HOW THEY GOT HERE—The reigning AL champions went 100-62, setting a club record for wins over 2008 (97)…they ranked 2nd in the majors in runs scored and led the AL in ERA and run differential…they reached a season-high 39 games over .500 through Oct 2, most in club history…they went 47-25 after the All-Star break, best in the AL and 3rd in the majors.

The Rays became the 19th AL team in the Wild Card era with 100+ wins…seven of the first 18 won the pennant; four won the World Series: 2018 Red Sox, 2017 Astros, 2009 Yankees, 1998 Yankees.

The Rays had a club-record 46 comeback wins, 2nd in the majors behind Boston (47)…they led the majors with 17 wins when trailing by 3 runs (or more), 9 wins when trailing by 3 runs (or more) in the 6th inning or later, and 7 wins when trailing after 8 innings.

The Rays went 52-29 at home, 4th in the majors and 2nd in the AL behind the White Sox (53-28)…the 52 home wins tied 2009 for 2nd
in club history behind 2008 (57)…the Rays had a 2.93 ERA at home, which led the majors over the Dodgers (3.00)…the Rays went an
AL-best 45-17 at home from May 13 through season’s end.

BEASTS OF THE EAST—The Rays went 51-25 against AL East foes, including 25-8 from July 29 through season’s end and 45-17 beginning on May 13…the Rays won the season series over the Orioles (18-1), Red Sox (11-8), Blue Jays (11-8) and Yankees (11-8), the third time in club history they won the season series against all four AL East teams (2020, 2010). Ê The 51 intra-division wins were a club record over 2019 (44)…the AL East was the second division in the divisional era (since 1969) to have four teams with 90+ wins, joining the 1978 AL East (4).

ABOUT THE OFFENSE—The Rays ranked 2nd in the majors with a clubrecord 857 runs scored behind the Astros (863)…they held the majors’ outright lead in runs scored for 24 days, including a 21-day stretch from Aug 29–Sep 18…the Rays scored 7 runs (or more) in 62 games, most in the majors over the Astros (55)…the Rays increased their major league rank in runs scored in five straight seasons, from 25th in 2017 to 16th, tied for 15th, 12th and 2nd…after the July 23 debut of Nelson Cruz, the Rays averaged 5.89 runs per game, leading the majors over the Blue Jays (5.27)…the Rays scored 7+ runs in 49.2 pct. (32 of 65) of games after Cruz debuted.

With Cruz and Wander Franco both in the starting lineup together, the Rays totaled 263 runs in 43 games (6.12 runs per game).

The Rays tied for 6th in the majors with 222 HR and ranked 7th with 585 BB…they averaged 5.29 runs per game despite 1,542 SO, 3rd in the majors behind the Cubs and Marlins…they ranked 7th in the AL with a .242 avg., 10th in avg. with RISP (.249) and 6th in avg. with RISP/2 outs (.239)…no other team in modern ML history (since 1900) has reached 5.29 runs per game with an avg. as low as the Rays…their strikeout rate reached 28.2 pct. in May but dropped to 25.1 in June, 24.4 in July, 22.5 in August and 22.1 in Sept/Oct.

HERE’S THE PITCH—The Rays finished among the majors’ top ten in ERA for a fifth straight season…their 3.67 ERA ranked 4th in the majors and led the AL, the third time in franchise history they led the league (2019, 2012)…the Rays allowed 3 runs (or fewer) in 85 games, most in the AL over the White Sox (82)…the Rays ended the regular season having yielded 4 runs (or fewer) in 16 consecutive games, the longest such streak in club history…they pitched to a 2.46 ERA (142.2-IP, 39-ER) over this stretch.

Rays starters ranked 6th in the AL with a 4.08 ERA but had a majors-best 2.41 ERA in 24 games from Sep 7 through season’s end.

The Rays bullpen had a 3.23 ERA, best in the AL over the Yankees (3.50) and 3rd in the majors behind the Giants (2.97) and Dodgers (3.12)…the bullpen led the majors with 58 wins and 703 IP and led the AL with a .224 opp avg. and 1.14 WHIP…the bullpen finished among the majors’ top three in relief ERA for a third straight year.

RAYS vs. RED SOX—The Rays have faced the Red Sox in two prior postseason series, winning the decisive Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS to advance to the first World Series in club history, and losing the 2013 ALDS in 4 games…tonight is the 12th postseason game against them in club history, which ties the Astros for their most against a single opponent…this is the third multi-game series against them, which breaks a tie with the Astros and Rangers for their most postseason series against a single opponent.

The Rays went 11-8 against them in the reg. season (7-3 at home, 4-5 on the road), winning the season series for a third straight season…the Rays lost the first four meetings but went 11-4 after that.

The two clubs met seven times in 10 days from Aug 30–Sep 8 and 13 times in just under six weeks from July 30–Sep 8…the Rays took over first place in the AL East after the middle game of a July 30–Aug 1 sweep over them and remained in first for the rest of the season.

The Rays were a season-high-tying 4½ GB of the Red Sox in the AL East as late as the end of play on July 5, but after that the Rays went 51-26 and the Red Sox went 38-38, resulting in a 12½-game swing.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE—The Rays used 61 players and 38 pitchers (excluding position players), both of which shattered their single-season club records…their previous highs were 57 players and 31 pitchers, both in 2019.

The Rays injured list reached 17 players from Aug 16-17, Aug 19-22 and Aug 24-25…the single-game club record entering 2021 was 13.

The Rays had 10 players with 10 HR (or more), tying the club record from 2006 and tying three other clubs for the most in the majors.

The Rays used 158 batting orders in 162 games, most in the majors.

Excluding the 2020 season, the Rays joined the 2018 Dodgers and 2017 Astros as the only teams in MLB history to win their division without having a pitcher who qualified for the ERA leaderboard.

The Rays had 23 pitchers with a win, tied with three others for most in the majors and one shy of tying the club record from 2018.

The Rays had 14 pitchers with a save, setting a major league recor


2021 Tampa Bay 10 6 3.43 25 25 0 0 0 123.1 120 49 47 14 2 37-0 141 9 0


POSTSEASON— Will be making the first start of his postseason career and will become the fourth traditional rookie starter (non-opener) in club history to start a postseason game, joining Jeremy Hellickson (1) in 2011, Matt Moore (1) in 2011 and Wade Davis (1) in 2010…will be the second Rays rookie to start a Game 1, joining Moore in the 2011 ALDS at TEX.

Is the first rookie to start a postseason game against Boston since LAD Walker Buehler in 2018 and STL Michael Wacha in 2013.

Made 4 apps (all in relief) last postseason and went 0-0 with a 8.31 ERA (4.1-IP, 4-ER)…became the first pitcher in major league history to debut in the postseason…was one of three players to make his major league debut last postseason, joining OF Alex Kirilloff (Twins) and LH Ryan Weathers (Padres, after McClanahan).

LAST START— On Fri at NYY, went a planned 3 IP and matched the shortest start of his career (June 9 vs. WSH)…his leadoff double  n the 1st inning came around to score on a 2-out, RBI single by Giancarlo Stanton… pitched around a 1-out single in the 2nd and pitched a perfect 3rd.

vs. RED SOX— Went 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA (16-IP, 5-ER) in 3 starts against the Red Sox in the regular season, all from Aug 1–Sep 8…faced them at home twice and went 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA (11-IP, 5-ER), earning the win in the first ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game at Tropicana Field since July 17, 2011…last faced them on Sep 8 at Fenway Park and pitched five scoreless innings in a no-decision of a 2-1 loss…placed on the injured list (low back tightness) the next day but ended up missing the minimum 10 days.

SEASON IN REVIEW— Tied Josh Fleming for the team lead with 10 wins, which tied for 2nd among major league rookies behind HOU Luis Garcia (11)…ranked 4th among major league rookies with 141 SO and ranked 2nd with a 10.29 SO/9 IP ratio (min. 100 IP)…his 141 SO ranked 6th among rookies in club history and were the most since Nathan Karns (145) in 2015…min. 100 IP, his 3.43 ERA ranked 3rd all-time among Rays rookies behind Jeremy Hellickson (2.95) in 2011 and Chris Archer (3.22) in 2013.

Yielded 3 runs (or fewer) in all but three of his 25 starts.

Went 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA (63.1-IP, 20-ER) in 12 starts after the AllStar break…tied for 2nd in the AL in wins over that stretch and tied for 7th in ERA (min. 50 IP)…went 8-5 with a 3.01 ERA (89.2-IP, 30-ER) in his last 17 starts to lower his season ERA from 4.54 to 3.43.

FLAME THROWING— His avg. fastball velocity was 96.4 mph, 11th in the majors among starters (min. 500 fastballs) and highest among lefty starters, ahead of CHW Carlos Rodón (95.4)…reached 100 mph 16 times, 4th in the majors among starters behind NYM Jacob deGrom (185), MIA Sandy Alcantara (58) and NYY Gerrit Cole (31)…became the second left-handed starter since StatCast data is available (since 2015) to throw at least 10 pitches at 100+ mph in a season, joining SEA James Paxton (42) in 2016.

ON THE OFFSPEED— After making his season debut on April 29, his 109 SO between breaking and off-speed pitches ranked 5th in the AL and his 71 SO with the slider ranked 4th in the AL…used his curveball for 16.4 pct. of his pitches, but its usage increased to 21.7 pct. over his last 11 starts.

Opponents hit .218 (64-for-294) in at-bats ending with breaking or off-speed pitches, compared to .308 (56-for-182) against his fastball.

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