Pitching was the headline. The two teams combined for a total of six hits, the least in a winner take all game in MLB history. Gerrit Cole gave up one hit: a homerun to Austin Meadows that just cleared the right field wall. He exited after Brett Gardner robbed Randy Arozarena if a big time homerun late. Zack Britton was filthy. For the Rays, Nick Anderson gave up his first hit to a Yankee this season: a solo homerun to Aaron Judge. But on three days rest, Tyler Glasnow was brilliant.
Peter Fairbanks got hit hard in his first inning, but escaped unscathed and was filthy in his second. Diego Castillo shut the Yankees down in the eighth and the ninth. But, the one story that will be everywhere tomorrow?
I previewed this series and covered in explicit detail the history between these two clubs. In it, covered is September 1st when Aroldis Chapman intentionally threw a 100 mph fastball at the head of Michael Brosseau. Having pinch hit earlier for Choi, Brosseau came up to the plate in the eighth. In a 3-2 count, on the tenth pitch of the at bat, he hit the most poetic homerun in Rays history…off of Aroldis Chapman.
Aroldis Chapman is one of the most detestable players in sports, and is starting to get a knack for this. He was the pitcher who gave up the tying homerun in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series in the eighth to Rajai Davis. He was the pitcher who got walked off in elimination last year against Jose Altuve of the Astros. Now? Mike Brosseau adds his name to the list.
The Rays dominated the Yankees in the regular season winning eight of ten, but all of the games were a lot closer than their record showed and the Yankees lineup was depleted. Lost in translation is the Rays having the most injuries in baseball and still beating the Yankees. Tonight, it was the Rays who definitely proved that even a fully operational Death Star gets blown up by the Alliance. The 98 mph horses blew it by the savages in the box. The top American League seed and AL East Champion Tampa Bay Rays were the best when they faced best of five with both teams healthy outside of both missing a key starting pitching (Yankees Severino and Rays Chirinos).
The Rays have a date with Houston. It is a rematch from last years ALDS, in which Houston won in five. Blake Snell did not pitch tonight, and therefore will be the likely Game One starter. Former Astro Charlie Morton will likely have Game Two. Morton closed out their one World Series Championship.
Game One will be Sunday at 7:30 EST.
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