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#pounditWednesday, November 25, 2020

Nobody could understand why the Rays pulled Charlie Morton from Game 7

Kevin Cash

The Tampa Bay Rays made a decision during Game 7 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. on Saturday that left many fans confused.

Charlie Morton was the starter for the game and allowed just one hit through five scoreless innings. In the sixth, he got a strikeout, allowed a walk, got a groundout, and then gave up an infield single.

With runners on first and third and two outs, Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash removed Morton for reliever Nick Anderson.

Many watching the game could not understand pulling Morton, who had only allowed two hits and a walk in 5.2 innings. Morton had only thrown 66 pitches, too.

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen expressed his disagreement with the move.

So did former Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr.

Some of the modern thinking is that it’s better to pull a pitcher a batter too early than a batter too late. But the risk is you end up pulling a hot pitcher for someone who isn’t as good, like last year’s Game 7 backfire.

Cash pulled his starter quickly in Game 6 of the ALCS on Friday night and stood by the decision, even though it didn’t work out. The man has a plan and sticks with it … even if it doesn’t make much sense to the rest of us.

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