ARLINGTON, Texas – Blake Snell turned away from his manager and yelled an expletive as Kevin Cash headed to the mound. In control all night, the Tampa Bay ace no longer had the ball in his potent left hand.
Soon, the Rays no longer had a grip on the lead, either.
The team that reached the World Series leaning largely on analytics was undone by the data — and a decision sure to become part of October lore.
With Snell still seething, wobbly reliever Nick Anderson was on the mound when Mookie Betts' double started a sequence that led to two quick runs as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied for a championship-clinching 3-1 victory in Game 6 on Tuesday night.
“I guess I regret it because it didn’t work out,” Cash said, later adding, “personally, I thought Blake had done his job and then some.”
Said Snell: “At the end of the day, I see both sides.”
“The hardest thing for me is I was rolling, I was in a groove. I felt like I had them guessing. It’s just tough for me. It’s going to be tough for me to accept that. I really don’t know to look at it. However you look at it, we lost.”
The Rays’ pitching philosophy focuses on not allowing starters to face hitters for a third time in a game, and Snell has gotten in trouble when he's stuck around too long. But the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner was dominant this time, and steaming when he handed the ball to Cash, regarded as one of the bright, young minds in the majors.