ALDS Post-Season Game 3: Tampa Bay Rays (1-1) at Boston Red Sox (1-1)

RH Drew Rasmussen (0-0, 0.00) vs. RH Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 1.69)

BY THE NUMBERS – In Game 2, the Rays allowed 14 runs, 20 hits, 5 HR and 9 XBH, all of which were the most for a postseason game in club history…their previous highs were 12 runs (2013 ALDS Game 1), 15 hits (2020 ALDS Game 1), 4 HR (4x-last 2020 ALDS Game 1) and 7 XBH (2x-last 2008 World Series Game 4)…the Rays became the first team in ML history to allow 20 hits and 5 HR in a postseason game, and also became the first team in postseason history to hit a 1st-inning grand slam and lose the game.

The Rays are 28-30 all-time in the postseason (17-14 at home, 11-16 on the road, 8-11 in non-neutral site road games)…according to Stats LLC, in the Division Series under the 2-2-1 format (1998–2011, 2013-20), the Game 3 winner of a 1-1 series has gone on to win the series 73.0 pct (27 of 37) of the time (18 in 4 games, nine in 5 games)…teams coming off a split of the first 2 games at home have won the series 37.8 pct. (14 of 37) of the time and have a 18-19 record in Game 3.

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.

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 franchise history, and losing the 2013 ALDS in 4 games…today is the 14th postseason game against the Red Sox in club history, extending their most against a single opponent (Astros, 12)…this is the third multi-game series against them, breaking 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 regular 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 Rays went 2-1 in games started by Drew Rasmussen, 1-3 when facing Nathan Eovaldi and 10-5 against other Red Sox starters.

Since 2019, the Rays are 16-6 (.727) at Fenway Park, while all other visitors are 79-92 (.462) here…their winning pct. over that stretch is the highest for any team at Fenway Park (min. 6 games) and their highest at any venue (min. 10 games)…over that stretch, the Rays
have scored 6.82 runs per game here, hit 38 HR and .311 with RISP.

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.

PITCHING PLANS—Today’s game will be started Drew Rasmussen, who made his Rays debut as a reliever on June 19 after being acquired in the Willy Adames trade in late-May…to clarify a misconception and confirmed by the Elias Sports Bureau, he exceeded rookie limits last season with 128 days of service (with MIL)…he made two spot starts within his first 9 apps for the Rays and permanently moved into the starting rotation on Aug 12, going 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 8 starts to end the season.

Rasmussen follows rookies Shane McClanahan and Shane Baz in the postseason rotation…this trio has combined for 38 career regular season starts, the fewest for a team’s starting pitchers through the first 3 games of any postseason series, according to the Elias Sports Bureau…the previous low was from the 2020 Braves in the Division Series and League Championship Series with 68 regular season starts out of Max Fried, Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright.

The Rays have 13 pitchers on their Division Series roster, none of which made a start in any of the club’s 20 games from last postseason…10 of 13 pitchers were not on the 2020 World Series roster.

OUT OF THE LOOP—In Game 2, Jordan Luplow hit the first grand slam of his career (regular season or postseason) and the second grand slam in Rays postseason history, following Hunter Renfroe in Game 2 of the 2020 Wild Card Series vs. TOR…it was the first grand slam hit against Chris Sale since Sep 18, 2015 at CLE (Carlos Santana)…it was the fifth time a Rays hitter had 4 RBI (or more) in a postseason game, joining Renfroe (4), Kelly Shoppach (5) in Game 1 of the 2011 ALDS at TEX, B.J. Upton (4) in Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS at BOS and Willy Aybar (5) in Game 4 of the 2008 ALCS at BOS…Aybar is the uncle of Rays rookie Wander Franco.

Luplow’s grand slam was the seventh in the 1st inning in postseason history, joining LAD Max Muncy in the 2020 NLCS, ARI Ryan Roberts in the 2011 NLDS, BOS J.D. Drew in the 2007 ALCS, CHC Aramis Ramirez in the 2003 NLCS, NYY Bobby Richardson in the 1960 World Series and CLE Elmer Smith in the 1920 World Series.

His slam was the third on an 0-2 count since pitch tracking began in 1988, joining CHC Miguel Montero in Game 1 of the 2016 NLCS vs. LAD and BOS Shane Victorino in Game 6 of the 2013 ALCS vs. DET.

Luplow was on deck when the 3rd inning ended and then replaced by Ji-Man Choi, making him the third player in postseason history to hit a grand slam in his only plate appearance of the game…joined Montero (PH) and NYY Ricky Ledee (PH) in Game 4 of the 1999 ALCS at BOS…was the first to start and hit a slam in his only PA.

CHOI TO THE WORLD—In the 6th inning of Game 2, Ji-Man Choi hit his fourth career postseason homer…he became the fourth player in Rays postseason history to homer in a game he did not start, joining Mike Brosseau’s go-ahead homer off Aroldis Chapman in  ame 5 of the 2020 ALDS vs. NYY, José Lobaton’s walk-off vs. Koji Uehara in Game 3 of the 2013 ALDS vs. BOS and Eric Hinske in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series at PHI…with Luplow and Choi, the Rays became the first team in postseason history to have two different first basemen homer in the same game.

THE GREAT RANDINO—In Game 1, Randy Arozarena became the first player in postseason history to homer and steal home in the same game, according to Stats LLC…he hit a solo homer off Nick Pivetta leading off the 5th inning and stole home off Josh Taylor in the 7th…Arozarena has 11 HR in 27 career postseason games, tied for 24th all-time despite being tied for 350th with 100 postseason plate appearances…according to ESPN Stats & Info, his 11 career postseason homers are five more than any other rookie in major league history, with Evan Longoria ranking 2nd with 6.

According to Sarah Langs of MLB.com, his 11 career postseason homers would make him the all-time leader for 21 other franchises,
in addition to the Rays where he ranks 1st over Evan Longoria (9).

KING OF THE ROAD—The Rays went 48-33 (.593) on the road, best in the AL and tied for 3rd in the majors behind the Giants (53-28) and Brewers (50-31)…the 48 road wins tied 2019 for most in club history and the .593 winning pct. tied for 2nd behind 2020 (.645)…the Rays scored a majors-most 456 runs on the road, most in club history over 2010 (451)…their 127 HR on the road tied for 2nd in MLB and were a club record over 2017 (122).

The Rays had 11 road wins when trailing by 3 runs (or more), tying the 2001 Reds for most by a team in the modern era (since 1900).

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.

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 record over the 2021 Cubs (12), 2020 Rays (12) and 1973 Rangers (12).

 

TODAY’S GAME 3 STARTER: RH DREW RASMUSSEN (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

YEAR CLUB W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB-I SO WP BK
2020 Milwaukee 1 0 5.87 12 0 0 0 0 15.1 17 10 10 3 0 9-0 21 0 0
2021 Milwaukee 0 1 4.24 15 0 0 0 1 17.0 13 11 8 2 0 12-2 25 2 0
Tampa Bay 4 0 2.44 20 10 0 0 0 59.0 44 16 16 3 0 13-0 48 2 0
Major League Totals 5 1 3.35 47 10 0 0 1 91.1 74 37 34 8 0 34-2 94 4 0

POSTSEASON—Will be making the first start of his postseason career… to clarify a misconception and confirmed by the Elias Sports Bureau, he exceeded rookie limits last season with 128 days of service (with MIL)… he follows rookies Shane McClanahan and Shane Baz in the postseason rotation…this trio has combined for 38 career regular season starts, the fewest for a team’s starters through 3 games of any postseason series, according to the Elias Sports Bureau…the previous low was from the 2020 Braves in the Division Series and League Championship Series with 68 regular season starts out of Max Fried, Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright. Pitched a scoreless 8th in Game 1 of the 2020 NL Wild Card Series at LAD (with MIL), the only postseason app of his career…pitched around a 2-out double with a swinging strikeout of Edwin Ríos.

FOR STARTERS—Went 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA (76-IP, 24-ER) in 35 combined apps (10 starts) between the Brewers and Rays, including a 1.93 ERA (42- IP, 9-ER) in his 10 starts.…acquired with J.P. Feyereisen from the Brewers on May 21 in the Willy Adames trade…all 10 starts came with the Rays, including eight after joining the rotation full-time on Aug 12…from that date through the end of the regular season, he went 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA (37-IP, 6-ER) and averaged 13.1 pitches per inning…min. 30 IP, his 1.46 ERA over that stretch led the majors over ATL Max Fried (1.60) and led the AL over OAK Frankie Montas (1.93)…led the AL with a 0.76 WHIP and opponents hit .171 (22-for-129) against him after his move into the rotation. Has not pitched since Sep 29 at HOU, when he recorded the win with five scoreless innings on 54 pitches (42 strikes)…retired his first 13 BF before yielding a 1-out single to Yuli Gurriel in the 5th.

BRINGING THE HEAT—Between the Brewers and Rays, used his 4-seam fastball on 65.0 pct. of his pitches, 9th in the majors (min. 1,000 total pitches)…opponents hit .221 (40-for-181) with 44 SO against his fastball. His avg. fastball velocity after joining the Rays was 97.0 mph, 6th in the majors and 4th in the AL (min. 500 fastballs)…50.0 pct. (24 of 48) of his strikeouts with the Rays were on the 4-seam fastball. Based on Pitch Type Value on FanGraphs, his fastball was rated as 14.0 Runs Above Avg. after the trade…was 7th in the AL (min. 50 IP) in Runs Above Avg. on the fastball behind CHW Carlos Rodón (25.0), SEA Logan Gilbert (18.3), CHW Lance Lynn (17.9), CHW Liam Hendriks (16.2), NYY Gerrit Cole (15.8) and TB Tyler Glasnow (13.7).

vs. RED SOX—Is 1-0 with a 2.30 ERA (15.2-IP, 4-ER) in five career apps (3 starts) against the Red Sox, all since the trade to the Rays…is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA (13-IP, 3-ER) in 3 starts, yielding 1 run in each start, and will be starting against them for the third time in 40 days and fourth time in 60 days…is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA (9-IP, 2-ER) in 2 starts at Fenway Park (Aug 12, Sep 7) and the Rays have won both games by a combined 20-8 score. Last faced the Red Sox on Sep 7 at Fenway Park and allowed 1 run in a career-high-tying 5 IP…a leadoff single in the 2nd inning came around to score on a RBI groundout, his only run allowed…worked around baserunners in each of his last 3 IP, including stranding a leadoff double in the 5th with a flyout and a pair of groundouts.

MINOR MATTERS—Is 3-3 with a 2.73 ERA (85.2-IP, 26-ER) in 35 career minor league apps (24 starts)…went 2-0 and did not allow a run in 8 apps (1 start) spanning 11.1 IP with the Bulls…held opponents to a .132 avg. (5-for38) and struck out 23 of 42 BF (54.8 pct.)…marked his first minors appearance since his first professional season in 2019, when he went 1-3 with a 3.15 ERA (74.1-IP, 26-ER) over 27 apps (23 starts) between Class-A Wisconsin, High-A Carolina and Double-A Biloxi in the Brewers organization…
struck out 31.7 pct. (96 of 303) of batters faced across those three levels.

AMATEUR CAREER—Selected by the Diamondbacks out of Mount Spokane (Wash.) High School in 2014 but opted to attend college at Oregon State, where he pitched the first perfect game in school history…selected 31st overall by the Rays in the 2017 Amateur Draft but did not sign and underwent a second Tommy John surgery in September 2017, which forced him to miss the 2018 season…signed with the Brewers as a sixth-round pick in the 2018 Draft and spent the 2019 season in the minors.

 

BOSTON RED SOX

STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox lost to the Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS, 5-0, before winning Game 2, 14-6. Prior to 2021, the Sox had never won Game 2 of an ALDS after losing Game 1 (started 0-2 in 1995, ‘99, 2003, ‘05, ‘09, ‘16, and ‘17).

ALL TIED UP: This is only the 3rd time in 14 trips to the ALDS the Red Sox are tied at 1 win apiece after the first 2 games of the series…They were also tied at 1-1 in 1998 vs. CLE (W, L, L, L) and in 2018 vs. NYY (W, L, W, W). From 1995-2020, 15 teams lost Game 1 of a Division Series on the road but then came back to win Game 2… Of those 15 teams, 10 went on to win the series, 3 lost the series in 4 games, and 2 lost the series in 5 games.

COMEBACK KIDS: The Red Sox trailed Friday’s game after the 1st inning, 5-2, then out-scored the Rays by a 12-1 margin the rest of the way…During the regular season, the Sox led the majors with 47 come-from-behind wins. 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).

SLUGGING SOX: After being shut out and held without an extra-base hit in Game 1 (9 singles), the Red Sox scored 14 runs on 20 hits (9 XBH) in Game 2…They became the 1st team in MLB Postseason history with 20+ hits and 5+ HR in a game (source: ESPN Stats & Info). The Sox’ 5 HR marked a new single-game Postseason record for the franchise…They became the 11th team to hit 5+ HR in a Postseason game. The Sox recorded 20+ hits in a Postseason game for the 3rd time; they had 24 hits in 1999 ALDS-G4 vs. CLE and 21 hits in 1999 ALCS-G3 vs. NYY.

MOST RUNS SCORED IN A POSTSEASON GAME (RED SOX)
Rk. Game Score
1. 1999 ALDS Game 4 vs. CLE W, 23-7
2. 2018 ALDS Game 3 at NYY W, 16-1
3. 2021 ALDS Game 2 at TB W, 14-6

ROAD WARRIORS: The Red Sox became only the 13th team to score 14+ runs in a Postseason game on the road. The Sox tied the MLB record for HR hit in a Postseason game on the road (5th time), joining the 1928 Yankees (WS-G4 at STL), 1989 A’s (WS-G3 at SF), 2020 Dodgers (NLCS-G3 at ATL), and 2020 A’s (ALDS-G3 at HOU). The Sox set a new franchise record for hits in a road Postseason game (20)…The only other teams with 20+ hits in a Postseason game on the road are the 1946 Cardinals (WS-G4 at BOS), 1996 Braves (NLCS-G5 at STL), and 2004 Yankees (ALCS-G3 at BOS).

PICK YOUR POISON: Kiké Hernández (5-for-6), Xander Bogaerts (3-for-5), Alex Verdugo (3-for-5), J.D. Martinez (4-for-5), and Christian Vázquez (3-for-5) each had 3+ hits in Game 2…It marked only the 2nd time in MLB Postseason history that 5 players on a team recorded 3+ hits each (also the 1999 Red Sox, ALDS Game 4 vs. CLE). Game 2 marked the 1st time in MLB Postseason history
that 4 players on a team recorded 3+ hits and 1+ HR… In the regular season, that has happened only twice in Red Sox history (5/28/99 at CLE, 7/23/02 vs. TB-G1). The Sox became the 1st team to have 6 players record multiple RBI in a Postseason game, since RBI became an official stat in 1920 (source: ESPN Stats & Info).

HIGH FIVE: In Game 2, Kiké Hernández tied the MLB Postseason record for hits in a game (5, 10th time), matching the Red Sox record (also Mike Stanley, 1999 ALDS-G4). Hernández also tied the MLB Postseason record for XBH in a game (4, 5th time), marking a new Red Sox record… The only other player ever with 5+ hits and 4+ XBH in a Postseason game is Hideki Matsui (2004 ALCS-G3).

IN OUR DEFENSE: The Red Sox have been charged with 0 errors in the Postseason, and only 4 errors in their last 17 games (beginning 9/17).

FENWAY FAITHFUL: The Red Sox are 55-37-1 all time in home Postseason games, including 48-35-1 at Fenway Park… They have won each of their last 4 home Postseason games. The Sox started the season 10-11 at home but went 39-21 (.650) in their remaining 60 games at Fenway. At home, the Red Sox led the majors in runs per game (5.8), AVG (.281), OBP (.350), and OPS (.831)…Their .605 win % at home ranked 6th in MLB.

‘PEN PALS: In the Postseason, the Red Sox bullpen has posted a 2.50 ERA, a 0.78 WHIP, and a .161 opponent AVG with 18 SO and only 4 BB (18.0 IP, 10 H, 5 ER). Since 8/30, Hansel Robles has allowed 0 runs in 17 appearances (15.2 IP, 6-for-52, .115 AVG, 20 SO, 5 BB). Since 9/21, Ryan Brasier has allowed 0 runs in 10 appearances (9.1 IP, 4-for-28, .143 AVG, 11 SO, 2 BB).

WHAT A RELIEF: In Game 2, Tanner Houck allowed only 1 run in 5.0 innings of relief (2 H, 0 BB, 5 SO)…He is the 6th Red Sox pitcher to throw 5.0+ innings of relief in a Postseason game, only the 3rd in the last 100 years, joining Pedro Martinez (1999 ALDS-G5 vs. CLE) and Nathan Eovaldi (2018 WS-G3 at LAD). Spanning his final 2 outings of the regular season and his 2 appearances in the Postseason, Houck retired 30 consecutive batters: 1 on 9/28 at BAL, 15 on 10/3 at WSH, 3 in the Wild Card Game, and 11 in Game 2  at TB.

 

17-NATHAN EOVALDI, RHP 11-9, 3.75 ERA, 32 starts

W-L ERA G GS IP ER HR BB SO AVG WHIP
2021 11-9 3.75 32 32 182.1 76 15 36 195 .253 1.19
CAREER 61-65 4.19 220 201 1148.1 534 119 336 957 .266 1.33
POSTSEASON 3-1 1.63 7 3 27.2 5 2 3 24 .188 0.80

Recent Trends: Earned the win in the Wild Card game vs. NYY on Tuesday (5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 8 SO)…Held the Yankees scoreless on 2 hits (both singles) through 5.0 innings before allowing 1 run and 2 hits in the 6th. Prior to Eovaldi, the last 2 Red Sox pitchers with 8+ SO and 0 BB in a Postseason game were David Price in Game 5 of the 2018 ALCS at HOU (6.0 IP, 9 SO) and John Lackey in Game 3 of the 2013 ALCS at DET (6.2 IP, 8 SO). The Red Sox have won 8 of his last 9 starts and 9 of his last 11. In his last 11 starts at Fenway Park, is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA (18 ER/69.1 IP)…The Red Sox won 9 of those 11 starts, outscoring opponents 79-42 over the span.

Postseason: Is 2-1 with a 1.63 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and .188 opponent AVG in 7 career Postseason appearances (3 GS, 27.2 IP, 19 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 24 SO). Made his Postseason debut in 2018, winning both of his starts and making 4 relief appearances…Posted a 1.61 ERA (4 ER/22.1 IP) with 16 SO and 3 BB. Earned the win in his 1st career Postseason appearance, Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS at NYY (7.0 IP, 5 H, R, 0 BB, 5 SO)…Became the 3rd Red Sox pitcher with 7.0 IP, 0 BB, and 1 or 0 R in a Postseason debut (previous: Dutch Leonard and Rube Foster in 1915). In Game 3 of the 2018 World Series, threw 97 pitches over 6.0 IP of relief during the Sox’ 3-2 loss in 18 innings–the longest game in World Series history (3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, BB, 5 SO). vs. TB: Is 4-6 with a 4.33 ERA (34 ER/70.2 IP) over 14 career outings (12 starts) vs. TB. Went 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA (7 ER/26.1 IP) in 4 starts against the Rays this season. In his 3 starts vs. TB at Fenway Park this season, he owned a 0.86 ERA (2 ER/21.0 IP) and a .129 opponent AVG…He went 7.0+ innings in all 3 of those starts and the Sox went 3-0 in those games.

Rankings: Led qualified AL pitchers in BB/9.0 IP (1.73), FIP (2.79), & GS (tied, 32)…Ranked 2nd in HR/9.0 IP (0.74) & SO/BB (5.57)…Ranked 4th in IP (182.1) & 7th in SO (195). Led AL pitchers and ranked 6th among all AL players (14th in MLB) in FanGraphs’ WAR (5.6). 2021 Highlights: Had a career-high 195 SO…His 11 wins, 32 starts, and 182.1 IP are all the 2nd-most of his career (33 GS & 199.2 IP in 2014 with MIA; 14 wins in 2015 with NYY). Tossed at least 5.0 innings in 28 of his 32 starts, including 15 of his last 17. Is the Red Sox’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.

 

EOVALDI’S 2021 POSTSEASON GAME LOG
WHEN GAME RESULT DEC. LEFT IP H R ER BB SO HR P/S
AL Wild Card
10/5 vs. NYY W6-2 W 3-1 5.1 4 1 1 0 8 1 71/54