It is not quite 24 hours since the Rays lost the 2020 World Series to the Los Angels Dodgers. A game that had one of the worst managerial moves that I have ever seen in 50 years of watching baseball.
I am still in shock.
I still can’t believe it. Blake Snell was in Cy Young form and cruising along in the sixth inning when he allowed a hit to the ninth hitter in the Dodgers order, catcher Austin Barnes.
That was it for Snell. Kevin Cash couldn’t get out of the dugout quick enough to pull Snell from the game.
The Rays were leading 1-0 at the time. Snell had given up two hits with nine strikeouts in six and third winnings.
Snell had thrown 73 pitches.
The top of the Dodgers batting order was coming up. Mookie Betts, Cory Seager, and Justin Turner. These three Dodger hitters had strikeout each time they had faced Snell in the game.
Instead of going with his gut, and the overall feel of the game, Cash consulted his computer. His computer told him to take Snell out of the game and immediately turn it over to the bullpen.
Fine. Why would you bring a guy in like Nick Anderson, who has been the worst bullpen pitcher for the Rays in the series?
All Anderson had done in the series had given up a run in seven straight outings. What kind of confidence could you have in a guy that was giving out runs like candy at Halloween?
This move backfired, and before you could blink your eyes, the Dodgers had a 2-1 lead. That was your ballgame and the World Series.
The Rays had a chance to win this game. Kevin Cash’s job as a manager is to give his team the best chance to win. He didn’t do that last night.
I don’t care how he managed during the regular season. The playoffs and the World Series must be managed differently. Cash failed to do that. It cost his team a championship.
This is another example of analytics ruining baseball. As long as Kevin Cash is the Rays manager, you will never see another complete game by a pitcher at any time during the season.
The pulling of Snell is even more perplexing when you consider that Cash allowed Tyler Glasnow to throw 112 pitches in game one.
Glasnow gave up six runs and walked six in four and a third innings in game one.
In-game five, Cash allowed Glasnow to throw 102 pitches in five innings while walking three batters.
This is very perplexing to me as a Rays fan. There is no logical explanation for the way this staff was handled during the series.
Was this mishandling of the pitching staff the reason the Rays lost the Series?
The offense stunk. With apologies to Randy Arozarena, Manuel Margot, Kevin Keirmaier, and Ji-Man Choi.
Arozarena set a new post-season record with 10 home runs and also set a record for post-season hits with 29.
Just look at these World Series averages.
Brandon Lowe .123
Willy Adames .145
Joey Wendle .200
Mike Zunino .160
Yandy Diaz .200
Hunter Renfroe .182
Austin Meadows .125
Yoshi Tsutsugo .125. (The 12 million dollar man)
You can’t beat a good team like the Dodgers putting up these kinds of offensive numbers.
I have never seen a team swing at so many bad pitches, or stand there and not swing the bat and take three strikes.
The Rays were not an offensive powerhouse during the regular season, but this performance in the World Series was perplexing.
The Rays will be back next year. This team is too good and too competitive.
A more balanced offensive attack and less reliance on the computer to manage the game will go a long to ensure the Rays will battle for a World Series title in 2021.
It was a great run. Who would have thought that Tampa would be talked about as a city of champions?
The Lightning winning the Stanley Cup. The Rays coming within an eyelash of winning the World Series. The Buccaneers are 5-2 and leading the NFC South.
It was a fun season. An entertaining season.
The good news is we are just three and a half months away from pitchers and catchers reporting for the 2021 season.