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#pounditFriday, September 24, 2021

Articles tagged: MLB Playoffs 2020

Kevin Cash pulls Blake Snell from gem in one of worst decisions in World Series history

Kevin Cash

Kevin Cash pulled one of the worst decisions in World Series history, and his move backfired.

Blake Snell started for the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and could not have been better.

The 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner was cruising. Snell struck out five of the first six batters he faced. Through five innings, he only allowed one hit while striking out nine.

Then came the sixth inning.

Snell got A.J. Pollock to pop out, and then he allowed a single to Austin Barnes. Despite only having thrown 73 pitches and being completely dominant, Cash decided to pull Snell.

Seriously.

Nick Anderson entered the game with a 1-0 lead and a runner on first. He allowed a double to Mookie Betts. Then Barnes scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. And the Dodgers took a 2-1 lead on a Corey Seager fielder’s choice.

The Rays went from being in control to falling behind in a matter of minutes, and it was all due to a terrible decision to yank Snell prematurely. Keep in mind that the top of the Dodgers’ lineup was coming up, and the first three hitters were all 0-for-2 with two strikeouts against Snell.

The guy was giving you a great game and Cash pulled him after … one hit? Are you kidding me? What does the guy need to do to pitch into the seventh, Cash? Have a no-hitter going? A perfect game? This was as close to that as you can get, and it still wasn’t enough for Cash.

Cash also pulled Snell early in Game 6 of the ALCS. They Rays also held a 1-0 lead at the time, and they ended up losing 7-4.

Cash does not like to let Snell pitch deep into games. The last time the southpaw pitched a full sixth inning was July 21, 2019.

Cash has a plan with Snell and sticks to it, regardless of how well the Cy Young winner is doing. Cash is now replacing this man when it comes to a terrible quick hook.

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Video: Randy Arozarena stays hot with 10th home run of postseason

Randy Arozarena

Randy Arozarena is putting together one of the best seasons in MLB history, and that trend continued on Tuesday night.

Arozarena hit an opposite field home run in the top of the first inning of Game 6 of the World Series between his Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Arozarena took a 0-1 pitch on the outside corner and sent it out to the opposite field for a home run to put Tampa Bay up 1-0.

Arozarena now has 10 home runs this postseason, which is a record for the most in a single postseason. He has three in the World Series.

Arozarena also impressively tied David Freese with his 14th extra-base hit of the postseason.

Clayton Kershaw sets postseason strikeouts record during strong Game 5 start

Clayton Kershaw

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a victory away from winning their first World Series since 1988, and Clayton Kershaw has been a driving force behind their run.

The Dodgers southpaw pitched 5.2 innings for the win in his team’s 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Sunday night. He allowed two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out six.

The six strikeouts give Kershaw 207 for his postseason career, which is two more than Justin Verlander’s previous record of 205.

Kershaw breaking Verlander’s record is really proof of how many opportunities the veteran has received to pitch in the postseason. The Dodgers have only missed the playoffs three times since Kershaw joined the club in 2008.

Despite his reputation for struggling in the postseason, Kershaw has gone 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 30.2 innings in the 2020 playoffs. This has been the best postseason of his career.

Max Muncy admired his monster home run in Game 5

Max Muncy home run

Max Muncy hit a monster home run in Game 5 of the World Series to give his Los Angeles Dodgers a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and then admired his work.

Muncy was facing Rays starter Tyler Glasnow in the top of the fifth inning and had a full count with two outs. He obliterated a 99-mph fastball to right to give the Dodgers a cushion.

Muncy admired his great work.

Glasnow was able to beat Muncy on the 3-1 pitch and tried it again at 3-2, but the second time Muncy burned him.

Muncy is known for admiring his work and has even started fights over it, so it was no surprise to see him do the same here.

Dave Roberts booed for taking Clayton Kershaw out of Game 5

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts was booed by the Los Angeles Dodgers fans in attendance for Sunday’s Game 5 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas for taking starter Clayton Kershaw out of the game.

Kershaw was rolling and had sat down seven straight Tampa Bay Rays batters. He got two outs on two pitches in the sixth, but that wasn’t enough for Roberts.

Roberts went to the mound to pull Kershaw and got booed.

The Dodgers held a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Roberts removed Kershaw. Dustin May came into the game and got a strikeout to end the sixth.

Roberts continues to face questions for his handling of the Dodgers’ pitching staff and even admitted to a mistake in Game 4.

Brett Phillips had migraine, needed IV after crazy game-winning hit

Brett Phillips Rays

The final play in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 8-7 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Saturday night was so wild that it left Brett Phillips feeling ill from all the excitement.

Phillips, who batted .196 in the regular season, got a hit off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to change the game. Kevin Kiermaier scored the tying run on the hit, and then Randy Arozarena scored the winning run thanks to some terrible Dodgers errors.

The game-changing play was so crazy it left almost everyone stunned. That includes Phillips.

The 26-year-old said he had a pounding migraine and needed an IV because he was dehydrated from all the excitement. His resting heart rate was 140.

That’s just nuts.

That was Phillips’ first hit of the postseason, so he probably had no inkling he would be part of something so special. The whole feeling must have been surreal.

Dave Roberts admits to mishandling Pedro Baez in Game 4 loss

Dave Roberts

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts admitted to mishandling reliever Pedro Baez after the team’s 8-7 Game 4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Roberts pulled starter Julio Urias in the fifth inning for Blake Treinen. Then he pulled Treinen in the sixth for Baez, who allowed a 3-run home run to the first batter he faced. Baez got the final two outs to end the inning, but he surrendered the 4-2 lead and let the Rays take a 5-4 lead.

As if inserting Baez into that situation wasn’t bad enough, Roberts screwed up even more.

Roberts admitted after the game that he told Baez that the reliever was done for the night following the sixth inning. But after the Dodgers took a 6-5 lead, Roberts changed his mind and asked Baez to pitch the seventh.

Baez, who had just been told he was done for the night, gave up a solo home run to Kevin Kiermaier to tie the game at six. He managed to get the rest of the outs to end the inning, but not before surrendering four runs on two home runs in his appearance.

Then, of course, the Dodgers completely melted down with a Little League play to end the game.

With the way the Dodgers blew that game and Roberts admitting to his mistake, you can bank on Roberts being fired if the Dodgers fail to win the World Series.

Kenley Jansen roasted for comment after Game 4 loss

Kenley Jansen

Kenley Jansen was roasted by Los Angeles Dodgers fans for his comment after the team blew Game 4 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Saturday night.

The Dodgers were up 7-6 in the ninth inning but lost 8-7 to the Tampa Bay Rays on a final play that included a comedy of errors.

Jansen pitched the ninth inning and got a strikeout, single, lineout, and then he walked Randy Arozarena to put runners on first and second with two outs. And then Jansen allowed a hit to Brett Phillips, who batted .196 in the regular season.

The Dodgers’ defense committed two bumbling errors on Phillips’ hit to allow the Rays the victory and give away the game.

Jansen tried to play the victim card after the game as if he had nothing to do with the loss.

“I didn’t give up one hard hit. What can I do?” Jansen asked after the game.

The comment was not well received by Dodgers fans, who promptly responded to the tweet by pointing out everything Jansen could have done.

For starters, many fans pointed out that Jansen failed to back up the catcher as pitchers are supposed to in situations like that. Just being behind the plate might have led Arozarena to reconsider heading home.

Fans pointed out that Jansen gave Phillips a very hittable pitch on a 1-2 count. Jansen also walked Arozarena and missed his 2-2 pitch by about a foot. Doing any of that differently/better might have led to a different result.

So what could Jansen have done? How about any of that, and not ask what he did wrong.

The series is now tied 2-2 with Game 5 on Sunday.

Photo: Ian D’Andrea/Flickr via cc-by-sa 2.0

Video: Rays beat Dodgers on crazy final play in Game 4

Rays Dodgers final play

The Tampa Bay Rays won Game 4 of the World Series 8-7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas thanks to one crazy final play.

The Rays were down 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Dodgers. Kenley Jansen entered the game to try and close things out for the Dodgers. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo struck out to begin the inning, Kevin Kiermaier singled, Joey Wendle lined out, and then Randy Arozarena worked a walk to put runners on first and second with two outs.

Brett Phillips was up, and he dropped a 1-2 pitch into shallow center field. Chris Taylor bobbled the transfer from his glove to his throwing hand, allowing Kiermaier to score the tying run. Taylor regrouped and threw in to Max Muncy, who then sent a relay throw towards catcher Will Smith.

Smith pulled his focus away from making the catch towards trying to put on a tag. As a result, he failed to catch the ball. Arozarena, who tripped and otherwise would have been caught in a rundown, was able to score the winning run.

Somehow only Taylor was charged with an error on the play. Smith deserved one too.

The Dodgers had a chance to go up 3-1 in the series, but they completely collapsed in the field with the comedy of errors on the final play. Now the series is tied 2-2, and the Rays have some momentum entering Sunday’s Game 5.

Video: Dave Roberts had classic reaction to Pedro Baez allowing home run

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts had a classic reaction to Pedro Baez allowing a huge home run in Game 4 of the World Series between his Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Saturday night.

Roberts lifted starter Julio Urias from the game with two outs in the bottom of the fifth and the Dodgers leading 3-2. He pulled Urias despite the bases being empty and Urias having struck out his last two batters. Blake Treinen entered the game and got the final out of the inning.

But in the bottom of the sixth, Treinen got into trouble. He allowed a single and a walk before striking out Austin Meadows. And guess what Roberts did? He once again pulled a pitcher after a strikeout, and he put in Baez. And guess what happened? Baez promptly allowed a 3-run home run to Brandon Lowe to give Tampa Bay a 5-4 lead.

Roberts’ reaction was classic.

The moves stunk of classic over-management by Roberts, which has been a constant complaint from Dodgers fans.

Maybe next time Roberts will allow his starter to work a little deeper in the game so he doesn’t have to cycle through so many bullpen pitchers.