It has been a frustrating two games for the Rays in Houston. The Rays are seeing firsthand why the Astros won 107 games this season and owned the best record in baseball.
The Rays trail the Astros 2-0 in their best of five ALDS series and with game three on the horizon Monday afternoon, that will either extend the Rays season, or the Rays will say good night on what has been a surprisingly good season for the Rays.
In Houston, the Rays faced future Hall of Famer and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander in game one in which the Rays lost 6-2.
In the words of Kevin Cash “We got Verlandered.” All Verlander did was allow one hit while striking out eight in seven plus innings in the Astros win.
Game two Saturday night did not go that much better for the Rays as Gerrit Cole another candidate for the Cy Young award this season struck out 15 in 7 and 2/3 innings of work while allowing four hits in the Astros 3-1 win.
Some national baseball writers are insinuating that the Rays maybe don’t belong in the playoffs, but there is no team that would have beat the Astros in those first two game the way Verlander and Cole pitched.
Kevin Cash had this to say after game the game two loss “I certainly don’t see a team that’s failing. Our guys are playing their asses off, our hitters are just getting out-pitched.”
The Rays are hitting .188 in the post season with Tommy Pham hitting .417, Yandy Diaz is hitting .250 but is 0 for 8 in the ALDS series, and Austin Meadows is hitting .222 while the rest of the offense is hitting below .200.
The Rays pitching has been good during the series as they have a 2.16 ERA in the post season. The Astros have just pitched better and have better pitchers than the Rays. Thats not a knock on the Rays pitching staff, just the facts.
Charlie Morton will be on the mound in the pivotal game three at Tropicana Field Monday afternoon. The Astros will go with another former Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke.
Although the Rays trail in the series 2-0, the Rays are optimistic that they can get back in the series.
Austin Meadows summed it up best, “You’ve seen the resiliency and the ability to bounce back. We’ve had that all year and we’re not getting down when our backs are against the wall. Obviously being down 2-0 is a tough challenge, but we’ll come out Monday and see what we’ve got.”
The Rays did beat the Astros three in a row at home to start the season so its not out of the question.
For the first time this season, the tarp will be off the upper deck seats at a Tropicana field with the Rays expecting a crowd of 33,000-35,000.
The Rays pitching has carried this team through the season. Now we will see if the offense can get anything going against this Houston Astros team with the season on the line.