Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The Los Angeles Dodgers are 2020 World Series champions. They clinched the title by winning Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, by a 3-1 score.
The enduring story line from the game will revolve around Blake Snell. The Rays starter was in full 2018 Cy Young form, dominating into the 6th inning with a 1-0 lead, but Tampa Bay inexplicably pulled him early and the bullpen immediately blew it within the first two batters they faced. It’s instantly on the short list of all-time World Series blunders.
Ironically, the Dodgers won using a bullpen game, with starter Tony Gonsolin basically serving as an opener in a strategy pioneered by the Rays themselves on a day in which Tampa Bay needed to do the exact opposite.
The Series MVP award goes to Corey Seager, who batted .400/.556/.700 with two homers overall and also drove in the go-ahead run in Game 6.
The championship is the first for the Dodgers since 1988, breaking a drought of more than three decades since they last won — in an upset over the Oakland A’s. That moves the A’s up to the 10th-longest drought in the majors, at 31 seasons.
Of course, this is 2020, so we couldn’t even get five minutes into a championship celebration without a new scandal emerging. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was pulled during the game due to a positive coronavirus test, but despite being under isolation orders he still came back out to breathe in the moment with his teammates and everyone else on the field.
About as diplomatic as you could hope for, especially for a guy who has let loose in comments on other topics before (click here for video of Snell’s post-game interview)
Blake Snell: "I get it. It's the third time through the lineup. I think I'm going to make the adjustments. I don't know, man. I just believe in me. I believe in my stuff. I didn't walk nobody. ... For most of that game, I was dominating every outcome possible."— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) October 28, 2020
A more candid reaction
If you ever hear the opponent say this, then you probably messed up
Mookie Betts on Blake Snell exit: "Man, it was kind of a sigh of relief. Had he stayed in the game, he may have pitched a complete game. He was pitching really, really well, that's the Cy Young Snell that came tonight. Once he came out of the game, it was a breath of fresh air."— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) October 28, 2020
Ask Grady Little about that (though his wrong call was the opposite in nature, leaving a pitcher in too long)
I hate to say it because I love Kevin Cash, but this is the type of mistake that sticks with a manager forever— Ben Ross (@BenRossTweets) October 28, 2020
Worth keeping in mind
The messed up part in this is that Cash is going to have to answer for a front office.— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) October 28, 2020
But also crucially important
turning the Cash decision into a straight 'analytics are bad' argument is annoying. dodgers just won off analytics. knowledge and info is good and no analytics really support bringing Anderson in there anyway. it was just a bad decision all around.— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) October 28, 2020
A pattern forming
2018-Dave Roberts pulls Rich Hill w/ 4-0 lead in 7th inn of WS Gm 4. Red Sox score 9 off bullpen, win game & series— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) October 28, 2020
2019-AJ Hinch pulls Zack Greinke w/ a 2-1 lead in 7th inn of WS Gm 7. Nationals take series w/ 6-2 win
2020-Kevin Cash pulls Blake Snell w/ a 1-0 lead in 6th...
Just a textbook example of over-thinking
The next three hitters Blake Snell was due to face -- Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Justin Turner -- were 0 for 6 with six strikeouts tonight against Blake Snell.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 28, 2020
Betts just doubled off Nick Anderson. Second and third with one out.
Maybe a slight overstatement but still valid. I’d more fully agree that there’s not a single analytic for pulling Snell for Nick Anderson there.
Pulling Snell there is worthy of losing a World Series. There isn’t a single analytical number that says pull Snell there.— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) October 28, 2020
I nominate Melvin for best manager in the 2020 postseason based on his dominance of Rick Renteria, and the fact that both World Series managers did poor jobs
His name is Bob Melvin. He resides in Oakland. https://t.co/1QmXAENMBm— Jerry Blevins (@jerryblevins) October 28, 2020
In the second inning tonight, the lab doing COVID tests informed MLB that Justin Turner’s test from yesterday came back inconclusive. The samples from today had just arrived and were run. It showed up positive. The league immediately called the Dodgers and said to pull Turner.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 28, 2020
When the Dodgers return to their hotel tonight, everybody will be given a rapid PCR test. On the field right now, as they celebrate, the Dodgers are wearing masks. Unclear as to whether they’ll stay in Dallas area before traveling back to Los Angeles. Situation fluid right now.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 28, 2020
The answer is he went back out and nobody stopped him. He was asked to isolate and didn’t. https://t.co/AFyWN0Xt0b— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 28, 2020
Wait, zoom in on that guy next to Turner
From the man himself
Thanks to everyone reaching out! I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team & unbelievably happy for the City of LA#WorldSeriesChamps— Justin Turner (@redturn2) October 28, 2020
MLB News & Interest
- True Blue LA game recap: The Dodgers are World Series champions
- DRaysBay game recap: The End of the Beginning
- Stephen: The Dodgers’ path to a World Series win was unlike any other in major league history
- Stephen: Corey Seager’s year of relying on feels ends with a World Series MVP award
- Berry: Randy Arozarena’s 10th PS homer extends record
- Casella: MLB players, others react to Snell decision
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
Gotta love that the Dodgers won in time for 92-year-old Vin Scully to still be around
LA being LA
LA fans celebrating the Dodgers World Series right now: pic.twitter.com/dVaUwFyVKW— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 28, 2020
It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Twitter videos became binding legal contracts at some point over the last couple years. Someone should look into this.