It was rough yesterday. Surely you’ve already heard, a 10-3 shellacking. Zack Greinke did not get out of the fourth inning, allowing six runs before yielding to the bullpen, which likewise could not hold the Rays.
With the chance to end the madness tonight, manager AJ HInch is bringing out the big gun, the mad dog, Justin Verlander, on short rest. But to win, he’ll probably be needing better run support than the offense has been giving of late. Of special concern has been the 2 for 35 hitting from the three outfield positions so far in the series.
Yes George and Michael, this would be a real good time to break out of the slumps you’re in.
The Rays are going to rely on their excellent bullpen tonight, opening the game with Diego Garcia, 5-8, 3.41 ERA. For more advanced stats, his SIERA validates his ERA, 3.58, and his xwOBA of .262 is fifth on an excellent staff. To compare, Ryan Pressly comes in at .251, Will Harris at .269, Zack Greinke at .278.
Both teams are going all-out tonight. Expect to see the best of an excellent Rays bullpen, and probably more than a couple of Astros relief specialists as well, as Verlander on short rest may get a slightly earlier hook.
Is this the night we get to see the mettle of rookie Jose Urquidy, whom some thought should start tonight in his first playoff appearance?
Here’s the Astros’ lineup. There is a small change, with Michael Brantley moving to second in the lineup, and Jose Altuve down to third. That puts two right-handed bats between Brantley and Yordan Alvarez.
Let’s finish this guys.