Friday, February 3, 2023
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Preview: ALDS Game 3: Tampa Bay Rays (1-2) at Boston Red Sox (2-1)

RH Collin McHugh (0-1, 16.20) vs. LH Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 10.80)

TAMPA BAY RAYS

WIN OR GO HOME—The Rays are 10-6 all-time in potential postseason elimination games…the Rays have faced elimination seven times since the start of the 2019 postseason and have won five, hitting 16 HR in their seven “must win” games…last postseason the Rays won “winner take all” games against the Yankees and Astros at Petco Park and lost Game 6 of the World Series against the Dodgers at Globe Life Field…the Rays would need a win tonight to avoid losing in the Division Series for the fifth time in seven series…in the Wild Card era (since 1995), seven of 18 AL clubs to reach 100 wins lost in the Division Series: 2019 Twins, 2018 Yankees, 2017
Indians, 2008 Angels, 2002 Yankees, 2002 Athletics and 2001 Athletics.

In postseason history, the Game 3 loser of any best-of-5 series that was tied 1-1 has come back to win the series 27.8 pct. (15 of 54) of
the time…since 2013, the Game 3 loser of any best-of-5 series that was tied 1-1 has come back to win the series 46 pct. of the time.

Since the Wild Card Game was introduced in 2012 and excluding the 2020 Wild Card Series, No. 1 seeds have lost the Division Series to the Wild Card Game winner seven of 16 times…the AL No. 1 seed has advanced five of eight times and NL in four of eight.

The Rays are 28-31 all-time in the postseason, including 11-17 on the road (8-12 in true road games, 3-5 in neutral site road games).

BOSTON MARATHON—Last night was the second extra-inning game in Rays postseason history, following a 9-8 win on an 11th-inning sacrifice fly in Game 2 of the 2008 ALCS vs. BOS…last night’s 13-inning game was the longest postseason game at Fenway Park since Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS, when the Red Sox defeated the Yankees on a David Ortiz walk-off single…last night marked the fourth time the Rays lost a postseason game in walk-off fashion, following Game 5 of the 2020 ALCS at HOU (Carlos Correa homer), Game 3 of the 2008 World Series at PHI (Carlos Ruiz single) and Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS at BOS (J.D. Drew single)…combining
regular season and postseason, the Rays have lost in walk-off fashion 13 times this season, tied with 2015 for the most in franchise history.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays have been the guests five times previously on the day of the Boston Marathon, including the tragic bombing in 2013…the Rays are 3-2, starting 3-0 with wins in 1999, 2010 and 2012 before losses in 2013 and 2017.

FIRST THINGS FIRST—Through 3 games this series the Rays are batting .471/.526/.882 (8-for-17) with 2 HR and have scored 9 runs in the 1st inning, compared to .167 (16-for-96) and 6 runs scored otherwise…the Rays have held multi-run leads in the 1st inning in all 3 games, losing the last two…last night the Rays got a 2-run homer from Austin Meadows in the 1st inning and the Red Sox got a leadoff homer from Kyle Schwarber…according to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, it was the first postseason game in Fenway Park history that both teams homered in the 1st inning.

NOT THE RAYS WAY—In the last 2 games, the Rays have allowed 35 hits, 20 runs, 6 BB, 8 HR and 13 XBH…the 35 hits allowed are their most over a 2-game span since the Devil Rays yielded 45 hits from July 21 (G2)-22, 2007 at NYY…it matches the most allowed for a 2-game span in postseason history, joining the 1999 Indians (Games 3-4 of ALDS at BOS) and 1960 Pirates (Games 2-3 of World Series against the Yankees)…the 8 HR and 13 XBH are both the most for a 2-game span in Rays postseason history.

DIVISION SERIES ROSTER—Was announced prior to Game 1:

Pitchers (13): RH Shane Baz*, RH JT Chargois, RH Pete Fairbanks, RH J.P. Feyereisen*, LH Josh Fleming*, RH Andrew Kittredge, LH Shane McClanahan*, RH Collin McHugh, RH Luis Patiño*, RH Drew Rasmussen, RH David Robertson, RH Michael Wacha, RH Matt Wisler

Catchers (2): Francisco Mejía, Mike Zunino

Infielders (5): Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Díaz, Wander Franco*, Brandon Lowe, Joey Wendle

Outfielders (5): Randy Arozarena*, Kevin Kiermaier, Jordan Luplow, Manuel Margot, Austin Meadows

DH (1): Nelson Cruz
* = rookie (7)

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…tonight is the 15th 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.

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.

PITCHING PLANS—Tonight’s game will be started by Collin McHugh, his third career postseason start after Game 1 and Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS at KC (with HOU)…he was used as an opener seven times during the regular season, most recently Sep 30 at HOU when he pitched a scoreless 1st inning…the Rays used an opener 21 times in the regular season and went 14-7 (.667) when doing so…the Rays introduced the opener concept against the Angels on May 19, 2018 at LAA, when Sergio Romo pitched a perfect 1st inning and struck out Zack Cozart, Mike Trout and Justin Upton…Romo opened again the next day and pitched 1.1 scoreless innings.

Incl. postseason, since the debut of the opener on May 19, 2018, the Rays have used one 129 times and are 79-50 (.612) in those games.

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.

THE WANDER YEARS—20-year-old Wander Franco is 6-for-15 with 2 2B, 1 HR and 2 RBI this postseason, including multiple hits in all 3 games…last night he homered on a 3-1 pitch off Hansel Robles leading off the 8th inning…at 20 years, 223 days he became the youngest player to hit a postseason homer since WSH Bryce Harper (19.362) in Game 5 of the 2012

NLDS vs. STL…only four players as young have homered in postseason history: Harper (1), BAL Manny Machado (1) in 2012, FLA Miguel Cabrera (4) in 2003 and ATL Andruw Jones (2) in 1996…Franco passed Evan Longoria (22.361) in 2008 as the youngest Ray with a postseason homer.

Franco is the youngest in major league history to begin his postseason career with three straight multi-hit games…FLA Miguel Cabrera is the only other player age 20 (or younger) with at least a 3-game streak of this type, and he did it in four straight games but not to begin his postseason career (2003 NLDS Game 4, NLCS 1-3).

According to Sarah Langs of MLB.com, his three multi-hit postseason games before turning 21 years old are tied with NYY Mickey Mantle for 4th in postseason history and trails only FLA Miguel Cabrera (5), WSH Juan Soto (4) and ATL Andruw Jones (4).

SEASON IN REVIEW—The Rays clinched a postseason berth 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 (2020, 2010) and became the first AL club to do so in back-to-back seasons since the 2011-12 Yankees…the Rays ended the regular season with sole possession of the AL’s best record for 61 straight days from Aug 6 through season’s end.

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

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

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).

 

BOSTON RED SOX

STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox lost to the Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS, 5-0, before earning come-from-behind wins in Games 2 (14-6) and 3 (6-4, 13 inn.). In the first 11 innings of this series, the Rays outscored the Red Sox, 10-2…Since then, the Sox have out-scored the Rays, 18-5.

2 TO 1 ODDS: Of the Red Sox’ 14 trips to the ALDS, this was only the 3rd time they were tied at 1 win apiece after 2 games (1998 vs. CLE and 2018 vs. NYY)…The winner of Game 3 went on to win each of those previous 2 series. According to Elias, teams holding a 2-1 lead in any bestof-5 LDS or LCS have gone on to win that series 71.9% of the time (64 of 89)…The last teams to come back and win Games 4 and 5 were STL and WSH in 2019.

WORK LEFT TO DO: Since the start of 2004, the Red Sox are 14-3 in potential clinching Postseason games…They have won each of their last 7 potential clinching games:

2013 ALDS-G4, 2013 ALCS-G6, 2013 WS-G6, 2018 ALDSG4, 2018 ALCS-G5, 2018 WS-G5, 2021 WC.
Since the start of 1986, the Sox are 7-1 in potential clinching Postseason games at Fenway Park, having won each of their last 4…Their lone loss in that time came in Game 3 of the 2008 ALDS vs. LAA (finished the series the next day at Fenway).

IT’S A WALK-OFF: Last night marked the 13th walk-off win in Red Sox Postseason history, the 1st since Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS vs. DET…It was the Sox’ 3rd walk-off win that came in the 13th inning or later (14 innings in 1916 World Series Game 2 and 2004 ALCS  Game 5). Christian Vázquez ended last night’s game with a 2-run HR in the 13th inning, the latest walk-off HR in Red Sox Postseason history…It was the 56th walk-off HR in MLB Postseason history, but only the 6th in the 13th inning or later.

RED SOX WALK-OFF HOME RUNS IN POSTSEASON

Player Game Inn.
Carlton Fisk 1975 WS-G6 vs. CIN 12th
Trot Nixon 2003 ALDS-G3 vs. OAK 11th
David Ortiz 2004 ALDS-G3 vs. ANA 10th
David Ortiz 2004 ALCS-G4 vs. NYY 12th
Manny Ramirez 2007 ALDS-G2 vs. LAA 9th
Christian Vázquez 2021 ALDS-G3 vs. TB 13th

FENWAY FAITHFUL: The Red Sox have won their last 5 Postseason games played at Fenway Park, the franchise’s longest streak in the venue’s history (2018 ALCS-G2, 2018 WS-G1, 2018 WS-G2, 2021 WC, 2021 ALDS-G3)…They are 56-37-1 all time in home Postseason games (49-35-1 at Fenway). The Sox are 41-21 (.661) in their last 62 games at Fenway Park (reg. season + postseason)…At home in the regular season, they 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.

EXTRA CREDIT: Last night, the Red Sox snapped a 4-game losing streak in extra-inning Postseason games, earning their 1st win since Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS vs. NYY. Last night was the Sox’ 5th Postseason game of 13+ innings, but only their 2nd at Fenway Park (2004 ALCS Game 5 vs. NYY, 14 innings). Only twice have the Sox played extra innings in consecutive games of a Postseason series (1986 ALCS Games 4-5 and 2004 ALCS Games 4-5).

LONGEST GAMES IN RED SOX POSTSEASON HISTORY
Series Gm. Opp. Inn. Result
2018 World Series 3 at LAD 18 L, 2-3
1916 World Series 2 vs. BRO 14 W, 2-1
2004 ALCS 5 vs. NYY 14 W, 5-4
1995 ALDS 1 at CLE 13 L, 4-5
2021 ALDS 3 vs. TB 13 W, 6-4

THAT’S OFFENSIVE: The Red Sox became the 1st team in MLB history to record 15+ hits and 3+ HR in consecutive Postseason games…After they had 20 hits (5 HR) in Game 2, they totaled 15 hits (3 HR) in Game 3. The Sox tied the MLB Postseason record for  most hits in a 2-game span (35), matching the 1960 Yankees (World Series Games 2-3) and 1999 Red Sox (ALDS Games 3-4)…The record for most hits in a 3-game span is 48 (1960 Yankees, World Series Games 1-3).

HIT PARADE: The Sox have recorded 51 hits this Postseason (.325 AVG) and allowed only 30 (.207 AVG)…They have outhit their  opponent in all 4 games (7-6, 9-6, 20-8, 15-10). This is the 1st time since the 1998 ALDS the Sox have out-hit their opponent in each of their first 4 games of a single Postseason…Only once have they out-hit their opponent in each of their first 5 games in a Postseason (1915, all 5 games of the World Series vs. PHI).

LEADING OFF: Last night, the Red Sox became the 1st team in MLB history to lead off each of the first 6 innings of a Postseason game with a hit (Schwarber HR, Martinez 1B, Arroyo 1B, Renfroe 1B, Hernández HR, Renfroe 1B) (source: Elias).

RED SOX LEADOFF HOME RUNS IN POSTSEASON
Player Game Opp.
Patsy Dougherty 1903 WS Game 2 vs. PIT
Johnny Damon 2004 WS Game 4 at STL
Dustin Pedroia 2007 WS Game 1 vs. COL
Kyle Schwarber 2021 ALDS Game 3 vs. TB

PITCHING IN: In their 4 Postseason games, Red Sox pitchers have a 3.92 ERA, a .207 opponent AVG, and a 1.05 WHIP (39.0 IP, 17 ER, 30 H, 49 SO, 11 BB, 0 HBP). \In the Postseason, the Red Sox bullpen has posted a 2.42 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, and a .185 opponent AVG with 30 SO and only 7 BB (26.0 IP, 17 H, 7 ER). Last night, Sox pitchers struck out 20 batters…It marked the 5th time a pitching staff recorded 20+ SO in a Postseason game, but only the 3rd time an AL team did so (also CLE in 1996 and BAL in 1997).

MOST STRIKEOUTS IN A POSTSEASON GAME
Team Game Inn. SO
1996 Indians ALDS-G4 vs. BAL 12 23
1997 Orioles ALCS-G3 at CLE 12 21
2020 Reds NLWC-G1 at ATL 13 21
2014 Giants NLDS-G2 at WSH 18 20
2021 Red Sox ALDS-G3 vs. TB 13 20

SAINT NICK: Last night, Nick Pivetta became the 5th Red Sox pitcher to allow 0 runs in a Postseason relief appearance of 4.0+ innings (4.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 SO)…The last Sox to do that were David Price in Game 3 of the 2017 ALDS (4.0 IP) and Pedro Martinez in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS (6.0 IP).

PITCHERS TO THROW 4.0+ INNINGS AFTER THE 9TH AND ALLOW 0 RUNS IN A POSTSEASON GAME
Pitcher Game IP Innings
Roger McDowell 1986 NLCS-G6 at HOU 5.0 9th-13th
Yusmeiro Petit 2014 NLDS-G2 at WSH 6.0 12th-17th
Nick Pivetta 2021 ALDS-G3 vs. TB 4.0 10th-13th

NATHAN’S FAMOUS: Nathan Eovaldi (5.0 IP, 2 R last night) joined Josh Beckett as the only pitchers to throw 5.0+ innings and allow 2 runs or fewer in each of their first 4 Postseason starts for the Red Sox. In 8 Postseason games, Eovaldi is 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP (32.2 IP, 22 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 32 SO).

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

W-L ERA G GS IP ER HR BB SO AVG WHIP
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 0-1 10.80 9 2 11.2 11 2 7 12 .205 1.37

Recent Trends: Since 8/1, is 6-3 with a 3.47 ERA (23 ER/59.2 IP) over 13 outings (12 starts). Has allowed 0 HR in his last 6 appearances (5 starts). The Sox are 14-8 in his last 22 starts, and 64-25 (.719) since the beginning of 2018. vs. TB: Tossed 1.2 innings in Thursday’s Game 1 loss (2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SO). Is 2-4 with a 5.21 ERA (39 ER/67.1 IP) in 13 career regular season starts against the Rays.

Postseason: In his Postseason career, has made 9 appearances (2 starts) and posted an 8.49 ERA (11 ER/11.2 IP) with a .205  opponent AVG, 12 SO, and 7 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. Started 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.

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.

RODRIGUEZ’S 2021 POSTSEASON GAME LOG
WHEN GAME RESULT DEC. LEFT IP H R ER BB SO HR P/S
ALDS    10/7 at TB L0-5 L 0-2 1.2 2 2 2 2 1 0 41/24

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