With the Rays’ World Series hopes on the line, manager Kevin Cash made the controversial decision to take starter Blake Snell out of Tuesday’s Game 6 against the Dodgers.
The problem with that is Snell had been absolutely dealing, allowing just two hits and striking out nine through 5.1 innings and with the Rays up 1-0. But Cash went with the numbers move, bringing in righty Nick Anderson to face Mookie Betts.
The move backfired immediately, as a Betts double was followed by a wild pitch and fielder’s choice play at the plate that wasn’t in time. Just like that, on one decision to remove the former Cy Young winner from the game, the Rays went from up 1-0 to down 2-1.
The analytics-based move sparked plenty of reaction from around the baseball world, including from Noah Syndergaard, who tweeted “So who gets to pull the manager?”
Analytics, of course have become a big part of the game, for better or for worse.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone was criticized earlier this month for using Deivi Garcia as just a one-inning opener in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Rays, following Garcia with an ineffective J.A. Happ, who wasn’t happy with how he was used in the loss.
Even for new-aged fans who believe in the usefulness of the numbers, it was still very surprising to see Cash turn things over to the bullpen that quickly, given that Snell had thrown just 73 pitches.