On Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Rays got off to a hot start in the ALDS, recording a 5-0 shutout victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1.
Everything was clicking for the Rays, from the pitching to defense and the offense, which is one of the best in baseball.
Rays fans saw the re-emergence of playoff Randy Arozarena, launching a solo home run nearly onto the outfield walkway in left field, featuring a near-perfect radio call from the Spanish-language broadcast.
“Are you feeling Randy baby?” We are.
The biggest play of the night, however, happened in the bottom of the seventh inning. Arozarena was on third base with two outs and got a sizeable lead off the base.
Red Sox relief pitcher Josh Taylor paid no attention to him and Arozarena took advantage, becoming the first player since Jackie Robinson in 1955 with a straight steal of home.
We will note there were two instances of a player stealing home in the postseason much more recent than Robinson, but those came after the pitch was thrown.
Arozarena’s steal of home came before the pitch, an even more impressive feat. He and the Rays now have a 1-0 lead in the ALDS and are in the driver’s seat heading into Friday night’s game.