The Tampa Bay Rays, a group of anonymous stars, are heading to the World Series after holding the most popular baseball team.
The Rays were held to beat the Houston Astros 4-2 in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, ending Houston’s desire to be the second team in baseball history to surpass a 3-0 deficit in a series in the postseason .
The formula for the Rays is consistent, and this is evident in Game 7. They suppress the opposition. They catch the ball in defense. And they just rode home enough to run the offense to take home the win.
Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena continued a historic postseason run with his seventh postseason homer, a two-run shot at first that gave a lead to Tampa Bay that it did not remove. Arozarena was named MVP of the ALCS, becoming the fourth rookie ̵1; and first rookie position player – to be named MVP of a series in the league championship.
Arozarena has homered seven times in the playoffs, just one of the league’s biggest records, and now has 47 total bases since the regular season ended.
Tampa Bay catcher Mike Zunino added a solo shot.
Former Astro Charlie Morton, meanwhile, shut down his former teammate in more than 5 2/3 innings, hitting six batters and throwing just 66 pitches before turning the ball into Kevin Cash’s airtight bullpen.
The Rays are heading to their second World Series in franchise history. The last time the franchise played in the Fall Classic was in 2008, when they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Tampa Bay entered the first 16-team format playoff in baseball history with a 40-20 record, leading the AL, thus capturing the seed of junior circuit No. That top seed succeeded, though the Rays were supposed to recover from a loss three straight in Houston after winning the first three tournaments.
For Houston, it was a loss of emotion after a turbulent time for the organization. The Astros were involved in a sign theft scandal last winter that tarnished their World Series title and 2017 cost manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow of their jobs.
Hinch’s replacement, 71-year-old Dusty Baker, helped restore some goodwill that the Astros wasted. However, with the defeat of Game 7, Baker is still looking for the first championship of a managerial career that began in 1993.