The Astros got themselves a rest day on Friday in advance of Game 1 of the ALCS Sunday at 6:37pm Central. Here's the schedule so far:
Game 1: Sunday - 6:37pm Central
Game 2: Monday - 3:07pm Central, because of course.
Game 3: Tuesday - TBD
Game 4: Wednesday - TBD
Game 5: Thursday - TBD
Game 6: Friday - TBD
Game 7: Saturday - TBD
It did not dawn on me until right now that there were no days off in a League Championship Series.
We now know the Astros will face the Tampa Bay Rays. Five weeks after Aroldis Chapman was suspended two games for throwing over Mike Brousseau's head, Brousseau took Chapman deep for a go-ahead home run to send Tampa to their 2nd ALCS in franchise history. It's the 4th postseason home run Chapman has allowed and, for a second-straight year, he takes the L in an elimination game. Aaron Boone:
It's awful. The ending is cruel, it really is.
Plot twist: It's not.
There are no common opponents to compare the Astros and Rays in 2020. Even comparing 2020 regular season stats seem kind of dumb, given how the ALDS went. But let's just get this over with, FanGraphs rankings, 2020 regular season:
Rays: 31.0 (8th)
Astros: -2.0 (17th)
Rays: 9.4 (9th)
Astros: 5.7 (19th)
Rays: 7.3 (8th)
Astros: 6.1 (10th)
Blake Snell will take the mound for Tampa in Game 1.
*Cristian Javier and Enoli Paredes are MLB.com's picks for Stars Who Weren't Stars Ten Days Ago.
*Chandler Rome: How the Astros' offense rediscovered itself in the ALDS.
*James Click, on facing his former team in the ALCS:
It's surreal...I was there for 14 years. I know almost everybody there...They're some of my closest friends and just couldn't be happier for them...Look, I was pulling for them...but at the same time now that they're here the focus is try and figure out how to beat them, how do we get past them and get to the World Series.
*Some guy decided to ask Dodgers President Andrew Friedman about the Astros and he said:
I think them playing the victim's complex card is a little interesting to me. Like, I get that it's been a difficult year for them, but to play the victim card, I think has been, you know, a curious strategy.
*Tyler Kepner: On Whitey Ford and the one game he never got to pitch.
*Maris Kreizman: Where did my ambition go?
*Wired: How to trick out the home screen on iOS 14.
*Vice: How hiking 130km over mountains changed my relationship with food.
*A Musical Selection: