Kevin Cash tries to explain why he removed Blake Snell
Kevin Cash made one of the most baffling decisions in World Series history when he pulled Blake Snell in the sixth inning of Game 6, and the Tampa Bay Rays manager had better get used to answering questions about it.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were dominated by Snell, who had arguably his best stuff of the season. The left-hander allowed just one hit through five innings and struck out nine. With the Rays leading 1-0 and one out in the sixth, Snell allowed a base hit to Austin Barnes. Cash came out of the dugout without hesitation and pulled his starter, who understandably looked disgusted.
Cash was asked about the decision after the game and called it “gut-wrenching.” He also stood by the move and said the Dodgers have such a good lineup that he didn’t want Snell having to face their hitters a third time.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 28, 2020
“I’m OK with the decision,” Cash said. “I think that’s what makes us special is we rely on each other and we value information. Knowing how talented the Dodgers’ lineup is, to avoid any pitcher from seeing them three times through makes a lot of sense.”
Cash specifically said he didn’t want Snell to have to face Mookie Betts and Corey Seager a third time. Both were 0-2 against Snell with two strikeouts.
Nick Anderson entered the game with a 1-0 lead and a runner on first. He allowed a double to Betts. Then Barnes scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead on a Seager fielder’s choice.
While Cash insists he is comfortable with the decision to pull Snell, even his own players openly disagreed with it. Rays centerfielder Kevin Kermaier said he doesn’t care about numbers and “that was Blake’s game.”
Kevin Kiermaier on Snell's hook after 5 1/3 shutout innings: "I don't care what the numbers say…That was Blake's game. That might've been the best I've seen him. That was incredible."
— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) October 28, 2020
Cash will have to live with the choice, but there’s no question it was the wrong one. He made a similar move when he pulled Snell early in the ALCS, and that also resulted in a Tampa Bay loss. The way Dodgers players reacted to Snell getting the hook said it all.