The Rays’ reliance on their bullpen was a key catalyst in getting them to the 2020 World Series, but manager Kevin Cash’s propensity for using relievers cost Tampa on Tuesday night.
Cash pulled Rays starter and 2018 Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell from the game in the sixth inning of Game 6. Snell had thrown just 73 pitches and the move did not pay off.
Reliever Nick Anderson was welcomed into the game with a double by Mookie Betts before a wild pitch and subsequent single, giving the Dodgers a lead they would never relinquish. Cash’s blunder will live on as one of the greatest managerial mistakes in recent postseason history.
“Personally, I felt Blake had done his job and then some,” Cash said postgame as he explained his decision. “Didn't want Mookie or [Corey] Seager seeing Blake a third time. There was no set plan. As much as people think, there's no set plan."
Snell noted his displeasure with the early hook when speaking with the media.
"I am definitely disappointed and upset," Snell said. "I just want the ball. I felt good. I did everything I could to prove my case to stay out there, and then for us to lose, it sucks. I want to win, and I want to win the World Series, and for us to lose, it just sucks."
Snell struck out 18 batters in 10 innings in the World Series as he allowed just three runs. But the left-hander's excellence wasn't enough to propel the Rays to their first World Series victory in franchise history. With Cash's help, the Dodgers are now champions for the first time since 1988.
Dodgers fans: Get SI’s special-edition Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 World Series Champions commemorative issue here.