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#pounditFriday, September 24, 2021

Articles tagged: MLB Playoffs 2020

Tom Brady narrated great hype video for Dodgers-Rays World Series

Tom Brady Bucs

Tom Brady is a talented voice actor on top of being the best quarterback in NFL history.

Brady voiced a great hype video ahead of the 2020 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays that FOX released on Tuesday.

Brady, who is from Northern California, is a San Francisco Giants fan. The Giants’ rivalry with the Dodgers coupled with him now playing in Tampa made it an easy decision to say he was rooting for the Rays.

It’s a great time for Tampa sports fans. The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in late September. The Rays are in the World Series. And the Buccaneers are leading the NFC South at 4-2. What’s not to enjoy?

Justin Turner dismisses talk of MLB postseason feeling different at neutral site

Justin Turner

The Major League Baseball postseason may look different on TV, but at least one player involved does not feel any big difference playing at a neutral site.

Dodgers infielder Justin Turner said playing in Game 7 of the NLCS felt like a classic playoff environment, even though the stadium was half full.

“I don’t know if you watched Game 7 last night … it certainly felt like the postseason to me,” Turner said, via Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “That was as much a playoff feel as I ever experienced.”

There have been wild swings in the playoffs, with the Dodgers coming back to win the NLCS after being down 3-1. In the ALCS, the Astros forced a Game 7 after falling behind 3-0. The environment may have contributed to that. That said, the games have been tense, and the environment has been great. You need only see how hard players celebrated to know that.

Cody Bellinger jokes about changing his home run celebration

Cody Bellinger gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a scare when his enthusiastic home run celebration in Game 7 of the NLCS ended up hurting his shoulder.

Bellinger and Kiké Hernandez did the traditional elbow slam celebration after Bellinger’s tiebreaking home run. However, their enthusiasm was such that Bellinger actually dislocated his shoulder doing it. He then had to retreat to the clubhouse, where a trainer popped it back into place.

Bellinger said he doesn’t plan on significantly changing the celebration save for one major thing.

“I’m gonna use my left arm,” Bellinger said on MLB Network, via Pedro Moura of The Athletic. “I’ve never dislocated that one.”

Indeed, Bellinger has had to do something similar before. He should be fine for the World Series. That said, he’s doing the smart thing if he adjusts his celebration. No need to risk it.

Carlos Correa has classy Instagram post about Randy Arozarena after ALCS defeat

Carlos Correa

The vast majority of baseball fans were overjoyed to see the Houston Astros fall to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS on Saturday, but Carlos Correa wants it to be known that he is not bitter about the way his team’s season ended.

After the Rays defeated the Astros in Game 7, Correa took to Instagram to congratulate his opponent and, in particular, rising superstar Randy Arozarena. Correa shared a personal anecdote about his first impression of the outfielder and praised him for his work ethic.

“Congrats to Randy and the Tampa Bay Rays. Such a great series, so much fun,” Correa wrote. “I met Randy last year in the batting cages at Roundrock during my rehab assignment. I was impressed by his routine, work ethic, and the loud noise off his bat. We only got him out a few times in a four-game series that time. It was no different at the biggest stage in baseball. Success like his doesn’t come by accident. He’s been working on his craft for big moments like this. Keep shining brother.”

Arozarena, who was acquired by the Rays in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in January, belted four home runs in the ALCS and has seven in the playoffs thus far. He became the first rookie position player in history to win ALCS MVP, and he is closing in on another record.

The 25-year-old Cuban outfielder had seven home runs in 23 games during the regular season, and he has matched that mark already in 14 postseason games. If he stays hot at the plate, there’s no reason the Rays can’t knock off the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

Dave Roberts gives Rays bulletin board material with bold declaration

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts put pressure squarely on himself and his team with a bold declaration after his Los Angeles Dodgers won Game 7 of the NLCS on Sunday night. He also gave the Tampa Bay Rays bulletin board material in the process.

Roberts spoke during the on-field ceremony at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas after his Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 4-3. The Dodgers manager boldly declared “this is our year.”

The Dodgers may have come back from down 3-1 in the series and down 2-0 in Game 7, but that doesn’t mean the job is done. They still have to beat a very good Rays team that had the best record in the American League.

Was Roberts speaking prematurely when he declared it to be the Dodgers’ year?

Not only might a declaration like that motivate the Rays, but it also puts greater expectations on Roberts.

Roberts was brought back this year despite mismanaging the team in the playoffs last year. If the team fails to deliver after Roberts says it’s their year, that might be enough reason for Dodgers management to fire him.

Dodgers fans! Show everyone who runs LA with this great shirt. You can buy it here.

Cody Bellinger suffers shoulder injury celebrating huge home run

Cody Bellinger shoulder

Cody Bellinger smashed an absolutely huge home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the NLCS at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Sunday night, but there may have been a negative consequence.

Bellinger smoked a ball to right field for a solo home run to make it 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh against the Atlanta Braves and give the Dodgers their first lead of the game. Bellinger did a complete pimp job after the home run, and he really dialed up the celebration with some forearm bashes.

But FOX’s cameras observed that Bellinger was wincing and grabbing at his right shoulder as he entered the dugout. He was also pointing at his right shoulder while standing in right field. Bellinger even avoided a forearm bash with Joc Pederson because he was seemingly in pain.

Bellinger hurt his right shoulder on a dive at first base while playing defense last year. FOX analyst John Smoltz speculated that Bellinger reaggravated the injury.

Even when Bellinger’s shoulder popped out last year, he popped it back in and doubled in the same game. Bellinger may be used to his shoulder popping out and it not being a huge issue.

Dodgers fans! Show everyone who runs LA with this great shirt. You can buy it here.

Braves run themselves out of big inning with terrible baserunning

Justin Turner dive

The Atlanta Braves burned themselves on Sunday with some more bad baserunning during the NLCS.

Atlanta took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning of Game 7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The Braves got a pair of walks and then an RBI single from Austin Riley to start the inning and go up 3-2.

A wild pitch put Dansby Swanson on third and Riley on second with nobody out. The Braves had a chance to really break things open, but then they screwed things up.

Nick Markakis hit a sharp ground ball to third, and Swanson broke for home. Justin Turner threw home to cut off the run and get Swanson in a rundown. Not only did the Dodgers tag out Swanson for the out, but they also got Riley trying to move to third.

The Dodgers went from being on the ropes to getting out of the jam. They were lucky to escape only trailing 3-2.

Unfortunately for Atlanta, this is a continuation of an ongoing theme. Marcell Ozuna made a costly mistake on the bases in Game 5. Then in Game 6, it was Ozzie Albies committing a mistake. And in Game 7, it was both Swanson and Riley tag-teaming to run the Braves out of a big inning.

Braves burned by shift on Will Smith tying single

Braves shift Will Smith

The Atlanta Braves got out to a nice 2-0 lead in Game 7 of the NLCS on Sunday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but they later got burned by the shift.

The Dodgers put runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the third. They had Will Smith at the plate against Ian Anderson. Smith hit a ball to the right side of the infield, but there was nobody there because Ozzie Albies shifted to the left of second base.

The result is Smith ended up with a 2-run single to tie the game.

The Braves shifted the least of any team in MLB this season, but they used one for Smith. It came back to bite them.

Even though that tied the game at two, the Braves didn’t need long to reclaim the lead. They put together a rally in the top of the fourth inning to break the tie and go up 3-2 before some more bad baserunning did them in.

Randy Arozarena wins ALCS MVP and is making postseason history

Randy Arozarena

Randy Arozarena very deservingly won ALCS MVP after his Tampa Bay Rays beat the Houston Astros 4-2 in Game 7 of the ALCS on Saturday night at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. to advance to the World Series.

Arozarena, who was acquired by the Rays in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in January, got the Rays off to a great start with a 2-run home run in the first inning.

The homer was Arozarena’s fourth of the series and seventh of the postseason.

Not only did Arozarena become the first rookie position player in history to win ALCS MVP, but he’s closing in on another record.

Arozarena’s seven home runs put him one behind the record for the most in a single postseason. He can tie Nelson Cruz (2011), Carlos Beltran (2004) and Barry Bonds (2002) at eight if he hits one more and set the record with two more.

The 25-year-old Cuban outfielder had seven home runs in 23 games during the regular season and has that many in 14 postseason games. He has been an unstoppable force and big reason why the Rays reached the World Series.

Video: Longtime Rays fan Dick Vitale reacts to Tampa Bay winning pennant

Dick Vitale Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Houston Astros 4-2 in Game 7 of the ALCS on Saturday night at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. to advance to the World Series for just the second time in their franchise’s history. The big win was rewarding for the team’s fans, including longtime fan Dick Vitale.

Vitale, best known for his passionate college basketball analysis, shared a video on Twitter of his reaction to the Rays making the World Series.

Even at 81, Vitale can still bring the energy and passion. You have to love it.

Vitale is no poser either. He’s been sharing his thoughts on the Rays for years, and isn’t afraid to criticize them. Now he gets the chance to enjoy their success.

Vitale is also pleased about how all the sports teams are performing in the Tampa area.

It’s a good time to be a Tampa sports fan.