Houston has to keep the series going
ALCS Game 5 Preview: Rays vs. Astros
We will have to wait and see how much longer this series goes, but the Astros did their job in ALCS Game 4, avoiding the sweep. They live on to play another game, which in this 2020 playoff format is right away with Game 5 on Thursday at 4:07 PM Central. Here is a quick look ahead at the game:
When: Thursday, October 15th, 4:07 PM Central.
Where: Petco Park - San Diego, California.
Streaming: Watch TBS App.
Pitching Matchup: John Curtiss (Opener) vs Luis Garcia.
Series: TB leads 3-1.
|Date & Time (Central)||Pitching Matchup||Home Team|
|Game 1||Final: Rays 2, Astros 1||Framber Valdez (L) vs. Blake Snell (W)||Rays|
|Game 2||Final: Rays 4, Astros 2||Lance McCullers Jr. (L) vs. Charlie Morton (W)||Rays|
|Game 3||Final: Rays 5, Astros 2||Ryan Yarbrough (W) vs. Jose Urquidy (L)||Astros|
|Game 4||Final: Astros 4, Rays 3||Tyler Glasnow (L) vs. Zack Greinke (W)||Astros|
|Game 5||Thu 10/15, 4:07 PM||John Curtiss (Opener) vs Luis Garcia||Astros|
|Game 6*||Fri 10/16, 5:07 PM||Framber Valdez+ vs. TBD||Rays|
|Game 7*||Sat 10/17, 7:37 PM||Lance McCullers Jr.+ vs. TBD||Rays|
All games played at Petco Park.
* If necessary
+ Projected starter
Will another of Dusty Baker's gambles pay off?
One of the intriguing stories from the Game 4 win was Baker going to the mound in the sixth inning, potentially to take Zack Greinke out of the game. Instead, he "coached by feel" and trusted catcher Martin Maldonado who assured him that Greinke had the stuff to get out of the jam and finish the inning. With Greinke making it through, that gamble paid off as Houston would go on to win and survive.
It appears that Dusty will be taking another gamble today, where instead of starting Framber Valdez on short rest, he will trust some of his young, bullpen arms to try and make it through the game. That would set up the Astros to be in a good position in a Game 6 and 7 with both Framber Valdez and Lance McCullers Jr. on full rest, respectively. All of that could change, though, if the Astros are in a tight game or losing, which could prompt Baker to bring in Valdez, or anyone who can provide an inning or two for that matter, out of the bullpen.
Was Game 4 the tipping point for Houston's bats?
Once again, Jose Altuve hit a first-inning home run in Game 4, making it three out of four games he has done that this series. Houston's issue was that before Game 4, that was one of their few offensive highlights in each of those games. They were able to do better against Tyler Glasnow, though, starting with Altuve driving in a runner in scoring position in the third, something Houston had struggled with this whole week.
Later, George Springer would ultimately deliver the winning runs with a two-run home run. We've seen it time and time again with this team, they can go through some cold, tough-luck stretches, but then they return to form and start hitting the ball where the defense isn't, with a lot over the fence. In this series, which has been low-scoring so far, all it may take is something in between.
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
- ALCS Game 4 Recap: Rays vs. Astros - October 14, 2020 - SportsMap ›
- ALCS Game 5 Recap: Rays vs. Astros - October 15, 2020 - SportsMap ›