The Rays are back in the series after their 6-4 win against the Dodgers on Wednesday night. This is the Rays team that we have seen all season. A team that gets timely hitting, scores a few runs and then turns the game over to its bullpen.
The Rays are now tied with the Dodgers at one game apiece in the best of seven series as we await the series resumption on Friday night.
Game one was a disaster for the Rays as game one was the worst managed game that Kevin Cash has had in these 2020 playoffs.
It started with his handling of pitcher Tyler Glasnow. Cash left Glasnow in for 112 pitches. No Rays pitcher has thrown close to that amount of pitches all season.
It was clear Glasnow was not at his best from the start. Yet Cash left him way too long. Glasnow was charged with six runs in just over four innings of work.
Clayton Kershaw, the starter for the Dodgers was excellent through six innings giving one run on two hits with nine strikeouts as the Dodgers took game one 8-3.
Game two is the type of game that we have seen from this Rays team all season. Get an early lead, have your starter get to the fifth or sixth inning, and then let the bullpen take over and close it out.
Blake Snell pitched a gem in his four and two-thirds inning. Snell gave up two runs and struck out nine before turning it over to the bullpen.
Cash and nothing but praise for Snell after the game. “He was outstanding. Blake was really, really good. I know him and Kyle Snyder talked a lot leading into the game about a game plan, and he followed it. He executed pitches. The slider, from my vantage point, looked like it was a really big weapon for him. He was awesome, gave us everything that we needed.”
I am concerned with Nick Anderson. He pitched one inning last night and gave up a solo shot to Will Smith in the sixth inning.
Anderson continues to get hit hard in the post-season. In eight games, he has given up three home runs and has an ERA of 4.85.
One of the keys to the Rays winning the series was to have more than one or two batters in the lineup hit.
Brandon Lowe, after hitting .115 in the first three rounds of the playoffs, hit two home runs and drove in three runs in the Rays win on Wednesday night.
Lowe said that he put pressure on himself during his slump this post-season. “To say that my mind wasn’t going to different places during that kind of struggle would be lying to you. There were times I wasn’t feeling too good, but that’s what’s great about this team, this coaching staff. As soon as I started dragging my feet, someone was there telling me to focus up and let’s get going”
Lowe will need to continue to swing the bat well for the Rays to have success.
Manuel Margot continued to swing a hot bat as he went 2/3, and Joey Wendle drove in three runs.
The Rays pounded out ten hits against the Dodgers bullpen in the 6-4 win.
Game two was a bullpen game for the Dodgers as they used seven pitchers and were roughed up by the Rays hitters.
The Rays will send their best pitcher to the mound Charlie Morton in Game three. The Dodgers will counter with Walker Buehler.
Morton is 3-0 with 0.57 ERA in the post-season.
Game four will be a bullpen game for the Dodgers. The Dodgers may counter with Jose Urias, although Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has not officially announced his game four starter.
My original prediction was the Rays winning in seven. I still believe that happens.