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2019-10-10 01:22:32

By David Barron, Houston Chronicle

PHOTOS: A look at the Astros' workout on Wednesday

Houston Astros Alex Bregman watches batting practice during optional workouts at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Houston.

PHOTOS: A look at the Astros' workout on Wednesday

Houston Astros Alex Bregman watches batting practice during optional workouts at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Houston.Photo: Karen Warren, Staff Photographer

Photo: Karen Warren, Staff Photographer

PHOTOS: A look at the Astros' workout on Wednesday

Houston Astros Alex Bregman watches batting practice during optional workouts at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Houston.

PHOTOS: A look at the Astros' workout on Wednesday

Houston Astros Alex Bregman watches batting practice during optional workouts at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Houston.Photo: Karen Warren, Staff Photographer

Rays' pitchers don't want top of Astros lineup to 'wild out'

Given the pack mentality of the Astros' lineup – and its affinity for the limelight - Rays lefthander Blake Snell said the Tampa Bay pitching staff would do well to continue handcuffing Astros leadoff hitter George Springer, who is 2-for-17 for the series entering Game 5.

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Springer led off Game 4 with a hit but was stranded, and the Rays jumped on Houston starter Justin Verlander in the bottom of the inning to gain all the momentum they would need in a 4-1 win.

(When) their top of the lineup is hitting, them dudes wild out, Snell said of the Astros. They find the camera and find a way to get everyone pumped up. They get the fans pumped. They get everyone pumped.

So for us to limit them it's huge. Because we know once you get them going and their confidence gets built up, they could be something dangerous. That's probably why they won all of them damn games. It's huge. You've got to slow them down and make them doubt (themselves).

Right now they're struggling a little bit at the top. But it's the postseason. Anything can happen.

Rays manager Kevin Cash also noted the importance of limiting Springer's effectiveness.

Springer walks to the plate and all you're thinking is, 'Get the ball down, don't let him get extended.' He's so dangerous. All of them, Cash said.

We've got good pitching, and we're fortunate with the way they have executed and kind of navigated through the top of the lineup. And I think we've done a good job of keeping maybe some guys off base when they come back up the second and third time around. That's been huge. Those guys seem to have a knack for rising up when guys are on base.


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