Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell was putting on the performance of his life in Game 6 of the World Series, silencing the Dodgers bats over 5.1 innings while striking out nine batters and allowing just two hits.
But that second hit was one too many, and it sent the baseball world into a frenzy.
With the Rays leading 1-0 and one out in the sixth inning, Snell allowed a single to No. 9 hitter Austin Barnes. Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner, was at just 73 pitches but manager Kevin Cash decided to pull his ace in favor of Nick Anderson – one of his hard-throwing relievers out of the bullpen.
Snell was visibly frustrated with the decision, as were many fans watching the game who questioned Cash’s move.
Cash has managed like this all season and postseason, going to his loaded bullpen before the starting pitcher faces the lineup for the third time, even though the next three hitters in line to face Snell were a combined 0-for-6 with six strikeouts.
This time the decision immediately backfired as Anderson allowed a double to Mookie Betts, a wild pitch to tie the game, and then an RBI groundout with Betts beating a throw with the infield in from first base to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
Needless to say, fans on social media, including some current ballplayers, roasted Cash and the Rays for the decision before and after it the tying and go-ahead runs scored.