LA Dodgers Win World Series as Kevin Cash’s Blake Snell Call Doesn’t Pay Off
Also, Dodgers star Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19 during the game and was removed
The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series for the first time since 1988 with a 3-1 win on Tuesday night, in large part because relying on analytics and playing Moneyball failed to pay off for the Rays and Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash.
Leading 1-0 in the sixth inning, Cash opted to pull Blake Snell out of the game after he surrendered a single even though the 2018 AL Cy Young Award had been dealing all night and was striking out hitters like a Hall-of-Famer (nine strikeouts in all).
Moments later, the Rays found themselves trailing 2-1 after reliever Nick Anderson, who had allowed a run in six consecutive appearances going back to Game 5 of the AL Division Series, came into the game and promptly gave up the lead by giving up a double to Mookie Betts, throwing a wild pitch and allowing an infield grounder to Corey Seager that allowed Betts to score from third.
“I’m not exactly sure why. I’m not going to ask any questions, but he was pitching a great game,” Betts said of the decision to pull Snell. “It was kind of like a sigh of relief. Had he stayed in the game, he might have pitched a complete game. It was the Cy Young Snell that pitched tonight.”
“The only motive was the lineup the Dodgers feature is as potent as any team in the league,” Cash said. “Mookie coming around for the third time through, I value that. I totally respect and understand the questions that come with it. They’re not easy decisions.”
Two innings later, Betts put the nail in Tampa’s coffin with a solo home run.
The inning before Betts’s game-clinching home run, LA star Justin Turner was removed from the game after the team received word he had tested positive for COVID-19, MLB’s first positive test in 59 days.
Though Turner wasn’t on the field initially as the Dodgers celebrated their title after the final out, he did eventually begin to party with his teammates.
After being named MVP of the League Championship Series, Seager was named Most Valuable Player of the World Series and awarded the trophy by commissioner Rob Manfred, who appeared to have started celebrating the end of the season before the final pitch of the evening was thrown.
Seager batted .400 with two homers, five RBIs and six walks in the six-game series against the Rays.
“To be able to win and to be able to do it with a team like this, it means everything,” Seager said.
LA’s win caps off a shortened MLB season that was played without fans in attendance until the final rounds of the playoffs. Earlier this week, Manfred said MLB had sustained “historic high levels of debt” and that combined operational losses for the league during the 60-game season and expanded playoffs totaled between $2.8 billion and $3 billion.
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