Sport Why Brandon Lowe's breakout gives the Rays a chance to win the World Series

11:40  23 october  2020
11:40  23 october  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Brandon Lowe burst out of his slump with two home runs, and Blake Snell was dominant on the mound as Tampa Bay rebounded from a lopsided Early indications that the Los Angeles Dodgers would simply sweep away the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series were momentarily checked on

Brandon Lowe picked the right time to wake his bat up. Lowe had six hits the entire postseason before hitting two home runs in the Tampa Bay Rays ’ 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night.

Before Oct. 21, 2020, before the left-handed hitting Brandon Lowe belted two baseballs beyond the left-field fence at Globe Life Field, no hitter had ever hit two opposite-field home runs in the same World Series game.

Lowe didn't seem a likely candidate to do that, not entering Game 2 with an average closer to .100 than .200. Sure, he'd been Tampa Bay's best hitter in the regular season, but that seemed like eons ago after Lowe's immense postseason struggles. The troubles are gone now, though. Lowe did hit those two HRs for the Rays in a Game 2 win to even the series with the Dodgers at one game apiece, and now Tampa Bay has a chance.

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Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe stole the show, hitting two home runs. The victory has the Rays feeling buoyed as they head However, the Dodgers are still the odds-on favorites to win the World Series , which would be their first since 1988. He was awesome. Gave us everything that we needed.'

Brandon Lowe busted out early and Tampa Bay’ s bullpen hung on late. The Rays and Dodgers, are now tied after two games in Texas. Nick Anderson got four outs for the win . Diego Castillo earned the save when he struck out Taylor, the only batter he faced.

Besides Randy Arozarena, the Rays couldn't hit anything for most of the playoffs. They needed someone to wake up. Conveniently, the player that woke up was their best hitter, Lowe, one of baseball's most underrated sluggers for a couple years now. He picked a good time to show back up.

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The Rays knew what they had in Brandon Lowe, the prospect

On March 19, 2019, the Rays and Lowe joined a relatively new trend in baseball: the pre-arbitration extension. They signed Lowe to a six-year, $24-million deal that included two club options. Lowe had been called up the previous September and showed power, so Tampa Bay decided to lock him up.

Lowe had been regarded as a good, not great hitter coming out of the University of Maryland, making him a third-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2015. He hit his stride as a hitter-for-average in 2017 in the hitter-friendly Florida State League, batting .311. Then he found power in Triple-A Durham in 2018, blasting 14 balls out of the park in less than a full season.

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In the end, the Rays prevailed largely because second baseman Brandon Lowe , a University of Maryland product who carried a .107 batting average and Brandon Lowe ’ s second homer of the game gives the Rays a 5-0 lead in the fifth. The World Series is set. Here’s what you need to know.

Brandon Lowe homered for the fifth time in six games, Austin Meadows also connected and the Tampa Bay Rays Tampa Bay has won four of five in the season series . Guests can stay for only a night and get a chance to raid Will Smith AKA the Fresh Prince' s '90 s closet. Why break the bank on an iPad when these six tablets are just as effective and, most importantly, hundreds of dollars cheaper?

An additionally useful calling card for Lowe was his defensive versatility. He played mostly second base, but could play third and the outfield, as well. That made him a Rays type of player, capable of hitting for average and power while playing all over the diamond. Signing him to an extension after six home runs to close out his MLB debut season in 2018 was a no-brainer.

Brandon Lowe's opposite-field power stems from mechanics

Lowe's Game 2 opposite-field home runs weren't flukes, although neither made it too, too far beyond the wall. The reason the left-handed hitting Lowe hits the ball so well the other way is how his hands remain through the baseball instead of pulling off it. Watch his second homer from Game 2, off an 86-mph slider from Dustin May, then we'll break down why it happened.

Against a pitcher that throws 100 like May, it's easy to get amped up for the heater. If a hitter isn't ready to react immediately to a fastball on the inner half, he'll get beat and look silly or break his bat. Lowe's hands are fast, though, and he knows it — that's the first reason he can hit that slider away for an opposite-field home run rather than bouncing the ball into a shift.

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Brandon Norman Lowe (/laʊ/; born July 6, 1994) is an American professional baseball second baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Daily Recap: Brandon Lowe hit a two-run home run in the 9th inning and Charlie Morton struck out nine in the Rays ' 3-1 victory About Major League Baseball: M MLB remains committed to making an impact in the communities of the U. S ., Canada and throughout the world , perpetuating the sport’ s

The second reason is Lowe's bat path. MLB hitters can all get the barrel to a breaking ball on the outer half, but it's what comes next that makes the different. En route to his follow-through, Lowe continues to almost throw his hands (which the bat just follows) toward the left-field fence. It's hard to pick up in fast motion, because the bat soon whips over Lowe's shoulder. But for a split second, he stays through the baseball.

Lowe obviously has uncanny natural power for a 5-10 second baseman because of his core, wrists and legs. But he wouldn't be able to hit opposite-field home runs without the willingness to stay on his swing a tick longer than most hitters would. That's how he took May deep.

The Rays can win the World Series if Brandon Lowe is MVP

Lowe was awesome in the shortened 2020 regular season. He batted .269 with 14 home runs, nine doubles and two triples, leading the Rays in most offensive categories. After making the All-Star Game in 2019, Lowe would've been an All-Star again if there'd been such a game this season.

Before Game 2, Lowe was 6-for-56 in the playoffs (a .107 average). He'd homered just once, and he didn't have another extra-base hit among those. His strikeout rate increased dramatically (19 times in 56 at bats). Lowe wasn't laying off any breaking stuff, especially from lefties, where he got away from staying behind the baseball and instead flailed at pitches in the dirt.

"To say my mind wasn't going different places during that kind of struggle would be lying to you," Lowe told media after Game 2. "There were times when I wasn't feeling too good, but that's what so great about this team. As soon as I started dragging my feet, somebody was right there to pick me up."

Lowe kept regarding to regain his best swing, though, and in Game 2, it showed up for the first time all postseason. The Dodgers are the big-market team, and the Rays the team that needs the occasional third-round selection like Lowe to massively exceed expectations. Because Lowe did that during the regular season, Tampa Bay had the American League's best record. If Lowe keeps doing it in the World Series en route to an MVP award, the Rays just might head home with a major upset and a trophy.

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