The Rays won the first three games of their Championship Series without hitting.
They lost the last two games of their Championship Series without hitting.
Great pitching can only go so far. Eventually you have to be able to score a few runs. Of the fourteen batters that have appeared in a game this series, eleven have an OPS under .750. As a reminder, .766 is average. And that’s only one hitter of those eleven. Every other Rays batter has an OPS in the poor or very poor range.
Nine of their hitters have an OPS of .500 or below. By comparison, Jeff Mathis’s OPS this year was .575. Danny Santana’s was .511.
Almost every single Rays hitter is worse than Danny Santana. Many of them are Willie Calhoun bad.
While winning four games in a row after being down 0-3 is nearly impossible, it’s been done before. So, the Astros have hope.
Especially now that they have forced a Game 6. And now their top two pitchers have come back around in the rotation.
Yes, the Rays have their top two pitchers lined up as well. The difference is, the Astros can hit and the Rays can’t.
Every team has a weakness. And for the Rays it’s that they are the team that struck out the most in baseball. If you can’t put the ball in play, it’s harder to manufacture runs. And if you can’t do that in the playoffs, you don’t win.
Tampa Bay can pitch and play defense better than anyone. They have two games to figure out how to not hit like the Rangers.