There’s using your bullpen wisely and then there’s sticking to a script so aggressively it costs your team the World Series. Hindsight might be 20/20 but it was pretty obvious (at least to all of Twitter) that things started falling apart for the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 the moment Kevin Cash came on on the sixth inning to pull ace Blake Snell after he allowed a base hit.
Snell had been dealing to that point with two hits on 73 pitches, and a massive nine strikeouts. He looked good, he looked confident, and he looked super mad about being ousted from the game. Cash, who had leaned heavily on his bullpen all season, went to Nick Anderson, whose postseason record was shaky at best, and Anderson immediately pitched the Rays out of their lead and gave the Dodgers the go-ahead run.
Who knows what might have happened if Snell had been allowed to finish the sixth, but for Rays fans and couch-managers, it was pretty apparent Cash messed up.
Blake Snell's final line: 5.1 IP, 9 SO, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 R— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) October 28, 2020
His Game Score of 69 is the best in #WorldSeries history by a pitcher who didn't reach 6 IP https://t.co/kUe3Rsw5fA #RaysUp #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/x5dOXqNq2j
The Dodgers ultimately won the game and the series, but it’s hard to pin their success on that one move. The team played hard, played well, and consistently generated good offense. They deserved their win.
Let’s get onto the links!
- Why don’t fans rush the field after winning postseason games anymore? Mitchell Nathanson takes a look at how this tradition has faded away.
- Ben Clemens sings the praises of Ji-Man Choi’s plate discipline.
- Tom Verducci shares what it’s like to be inside baseball’s postseason bubble.
- Meanwhile the ESPN team give readers their honest impressions of the new Globe Life Field.
- In spite of the cloud of shame that still lingers over the Astros, A.J. Hinch and Alex Cora might be back to managing MLB teams by next season, writes Andy McCullough, Brittany Ghiroli and Marc Carig. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Deesha Thosar reports that the MLB owners are likely to vote this week to approve Steve Cohen’s bid to buy the Mets.
- With the Dodgers settled in Texas for the whole postseason, was Arlington ever really a neutral site? Story by Alden Gonzalez.
List of MLB players to hit 10 homers in a single Postseason.— Cut4 (@Cut4) October 28, 2020
1. Randy Arozarena
That's it. That's the list. pic.twitter.com/HkJu0vb0IL
- Dan Szymborksi looks at why Game Four was so bonkers, statistically speaking.
- Mookie Betts has dazzled with the Dodgers this postseason, but he thought he’d always be with the Red Sox, writes Elizabeth Swinton.
- Evan Drellich shares that amid plummeting revenue, team owners are laying off mass numbers of employees. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- The Dodgers are creating some truly compelling TV viewing, according to Ben Lindbergh.
- Levi Weaver has the story of Kelly Gavin who has achieved her lifelong goal of photographing a World Series. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Dodgers fans are enjoying the next best thing to seeing the games live, with a World Series drive-in. Story by Kelly Cohen.
- Mookie Betts won free tacos for America, here’s how to get yours today. By Paul Casella.
- Speaking of Mookie, David Schoenfield asks the question everyone in Boston has asked: why did the Red Sox trade Mookie Betts?
oh man, we didn't know Voldemort was a Dodgers fan. pic.twitter.com/4Ia6MFh5Ss— Cut4 (@Cut4) October 28, 2020
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.