Justin Verlander Dominates The Tampa Bay Rays In Game One
After defeating the Oakland Athletics 5-1 in the AL Wild Card, the Tampa Bay Rays headed to Houston to take on the Houston Astros. The Rays fell to the Astros by a score of 6-2, giving the Astros a 1-0 series lead.
Coming into this game, it was expected that the Rays would have a tough matchup. But early on in this game, the Rays showed they could compete with Houston. The Rays and Astros were knotted at zero until the fifth inning, when Jose Altuve hit a two-run home run. The Rays then made a costly mistake as Brandon Lowe was unable to make the catch with two outs, letting two more runners score, making it 4-0. The Astros then put on a few insurance runs in the seventh to make it 6-0. After Verlander came out, the Rays offense got a little life as they managed to make it 6-2.
What Does It Mean
First, the obvious. Justin Verlander dominated the Rays and showed no mercy. As soon as Verlander came out of the game, the Rays started to put up some runs. So while the offense did not score enough runs in Game One, they should bounce-back in Game Two and beyond.
As for the defense, the Rays made a costly mistake that gave the Astros two free runs. This type of mistake cannot happen in postseason baseball, especially against the Astros. As for the pitching overall, it was not that bad. Tyler Glasnow pitched well, only giving up two earned runs through four innings pitched. The bullpen then gave up two runs the rest of the game. This is adequate against a high scoring team like Houston, and something the Rays offense can match.
This was not the best game for the Rays, but this is no longer a one-game playoff. The Rays showed a lot of positives in this game. If the defense can repeat what they did in Game One and eliminate the mistakes, the Rays offense should be able to get things going.
Speaking of the offense, it will be crucial for the Rays to get things going early. They started to score runs late in the game, but at that point, it was too late. If the Rays can prevent the Houston pitchers from getting into a groove, this will be a great series to watch.
Also, it is important to remember the Rays are not expected to win this series. But if they can take one game from the Astros in Houston, they will be in good shape.