Ladies and gents, Your Tampa Bay Rays are going to the World Series! After blowing a 3-0 lead, the Rays came out like a team on a mission. Charlie Morton was incredible and the bullpen was good enough. On the offensive side, they worked good at bats up and down the lineup.
It started right from the first inning. After Charlie Morton worked around a Brantley single in a very efficient first, the Rays bats went to work against Lance McCullers Jr. McCullers hit lead off man Manuel Margot with his first pitch of the night. Then, after a Lowe strikeout, the Astros made the fateful decision to pitch to Randy Arozarena.
RandyArozarenaHomeRun_v4.mp4 pic.twitter.com/QK14zMi7RK— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 18, 2020
In the second inning, Mike Zunino worked a great at bat. After falling behind 0-2, he worked the count full, fouling off several tough pitches in the process. And then he launched one into orbit.
Meanwhile, Charlie Morton continued to mow through the Astro bats, working clean innings in the second through the fifth.
He also got a little help from his friends.
Charlie ran into a little trouble in the sixth when a walk and an infield single put Astros at the corners with two outs. Which prompted Cash to do what Cash does, and pull his “cruising” starter for a member of The Stable — in this case, relief ace Nick Anderson. On Anderson’s second pitch, Brantley grounded softly to second to end the frame.
The Rays padded the lead in the bottom of the sixth. A Choi single and an Adames walk put two on with no outs. Joey Wendle then lifted a fly to right that advanced Choi to third. Then Zunino lifted a fly deep to left, scoring Choi and giving the Rays a 4-0 lead.
Anderson stayed in for the seventh, and got in a little trouble when Bregman and Tucker strung together one out singles. But Yuli Gurriel grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
The Astros finally got on the board in the eighth. A walk to Diaz and an infield single by Altuve put two on with two outs, and that was it for Anderson. Pete Fairbanks got the call, and looked a little shaky. A walk to Brantley and a single by Correa made it a 4-2 game. Fairbanks then struck out Bregman to end the threat.
Pete Fairbanks came out to close it in the ninth, and looked much more in control. He struck out Tucker, gave up a single to Gurriel, struck out Reddick, and got Diaz to fly out.
For the first time since 2008, your Tampa Bay Rays are heading to the World Series! pic.twitter.com/FBCVaji2xT— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 18, 2020
Time to celebrate, Tampa Bay! The Rays are going to the Series!