Not just the Rays: Lessons Pirates can learn from 2020′s surprise teams

Not just the Rays: Lessons Pirates can learn from 2020′s surprise teams
(Chris O'Meara)

PITTSBURGH — The second annual Gerrit Cole vs. Tyler Glasnow game five matchup certainly had more drama this year than last.

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This one also had a different outcome, with Glasnow and the Rays coming out on top Friday to advance to the American League Championship series. A big reason why was because, who else, Austin Meadows did this:

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But that homer only tied the game. The game-winner was off Mike Brosseau’s bat. That isn’t too surprising considering Brosseau was one of the Rays' best players this year. What is surprising is he signed with the Rays as an undrafted free agent.

Chalk that win -- and advancing in the playoffs -- to the Rays' player development team. Well, them and Neal Huntington.

A playoff victory where Meadows goes deep and Glasnow gives a clutch start on short rest is a particularly cruel punishment to a fanbase that just endured watching the Pirates finish with the worst record in baseball. That jettisoning of players is one of the main reasons why the Pirates are heading into a rebuild, whether or not Ben Cherington wants to refer to it as one or not.

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