Rays' Blake Snell Wanted to Stay in World Series Game 6; 'I Believe in Me'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 28, 2020

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell leaves the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning in Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell struck out nine and allowed just two baserunners over 5.1 innings in 73 pitches during Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

However, Rays manager Kevin Cash pulled Snell when the Dodgers' top of the order came up for the third time and a runner on first in Austin Barnes.

Tampa Bay reliever Nick Anderson proceeded to allow a Mookie Betts double, a Barnes run on a wild pitch and then a Betts run after Corey Seager reached on a fielder's choice to first. The Rays lost 3-1.

After the game, reporters asked Snell about Cash's move.

"For most of the game, I was dominating every outcome possible. ... I wanted to keep going. I was so proud of the way I adjusted the second time (through the lineup)," Snell said.

He also said, "I believe in me. I was dominating."

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Snell struck out the first four batters he saw during the second time through the lineup. He got the first eight batters out during that stretch before allowing a sixth-inning single to Barnes.

The left-hander, who won the 2018 American League Cy Young Award, saw the move from Cash's point of view as well.

"I see both sides," Snell said.

"I don't like being taken out of any game. For the most part, I'm going to side with Cash because of the kind of manager he is. ... For me, I want to be the guy. If they beat me, that beat me. ... Cash is usually right."

The Rays have largely excelled in recent years despite having the third-lowest payroll in the bigs. Cash has played a big part in that effort, and Tampa Bay enjoyed its best season ever in 2020 with a 40-20 record (second-best in MLB), an American League pennant and a strong World Series showing despite losing in six games.

Snell was disappointed in the move, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted, but also made a point to defend his skipper as well.

"If you are going to write bad stories about the decision, he is usually right," Snell said.

The Rays eventually lost by two runs, with Mookie Betts tacking on an eighth-inning solo homer. The Dodgers bullpen also shut the door on the Rays offense, throwing 7.1 shutout innings while striking out 12.