Win or go home

ALCS Game 4 Preview: Rays vs. Astros

Photo by Will Newton/ Getty Images

We may look back at this ALCS and wonder how things would have shaped up if a few key plays go the other way in favor of the Astros. It certainly looks like they would be in a much better spot if they had, yet Houston sits down 3-0 and needs to win on Wednesday to avoid elimination and play another day. Here is the quick rundown of Game 4:

Game Facts

When: Wednesday, October 14th, 7:40 PM Central.

Where: Petco Park - San Diego, California.

TV: TBS.

Streaming: Watch TBS App.

Pitching Matchup: Tyler Glasnow vs. Zack Greinke.

Series: TB leads 3-0.

Series Schedule

Date & Time (Central)Pitching MatchupHome Team
Game 1Final: Rays 2, Astros 1Framber Valdez (L) vs. Blake Snell (W)Rays
Game 2Final: Rays 4, Astros 2Lance McCullers Jr. (L) vs. Charlie Morton (W)Rays
Game 3Final: Rays 5, Astros 2Ryan Yarbrough (W) vs. Jose Urquidy (L)Astros
Game 4Wed 10/14, 7:40 PMTyler Glasnow vs. Zack GreinkeAstros
Game 5*Thu 10/15, 4:07 PMTBD vs. TBDAstros
Game 6*Fri 10/16, 5:07 PMTBD vs. TBDRays
Game 7*Sat 10/17, 7:37 PMTBD vs. TBDRays

All games played at Petco Park.

* If necessary

Game Storylines

Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow

In case you weren't aware, and get ready because you'll hear it a lot from various outlets, including the TV broadcast itself, there has only been one MLB team to ever come back from a 3-0 deficit, which the Astros currently face, the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Houston shouldn't even put that into their mindset yet and widen their scope to the next four days; they need to hone in on one game, and take it inning by inning, batter by batter.

Before we can even start comparing them to that Red Sox team, they have to win Game 4 to avoid a sweep. Win today to live another day, and if you can do that four times in a row, you move on. The good news there is that's enough of a momentum shift to propel you into a successful World Series, like Boston, who would go on to win it all in 2004.

Leave yesterday in the past

In the same way, the Astros, specifically Jose Altuve, have to try their best to treat this game as if it's in a vacuum. Call it the yips, bad luck, or whatever you want, but one sure way to keep the streak of errors and miscues going is to overcompensate because you've got them on your mind.

Unless he's got something else going on physically, Jose Altuve did not suddenly become a terrible defender during his trip down the coast from Los Angeles to San Diego. Neither did this lineup who won the ALDS via a barrage of hits and homers suddenly become terrible batters. No, you don't have time to let it settle itself out naturally as you would in a long regular season, but neither can you afford to let the mental stress of it impact your game today, either. Houston's best chance today, and in any potential future games this year, is if they can just be themselves, which is more who they were against Oakland than they've been against Tampa Bay.

Be sure to check SportsMap after the final out for an in-depth recap of the game, and follow me on Twitter for updates and reactions throughout each playoff game: @ChrisCampise

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