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Rays’ decision to bypass bullpen early in game backfires

Rays' decision to bypass bullpen early in game backfires

ARLINGTON, Texas — Good news for the old school: The Rays, playing their first World Series game in 12 years, let their starting pitcher work long enough to reach a triple-digit workload.

Bad news? That extended leash shortened the Rays’ room for error in this Fall Classic.

If the Dodgers’ 8-3 victory over the Rays on Tuesday night at Globe Life Field hardly surprised, the manner in which it went down did. In the key inning, the Dodgers’ four-run fifth, the Rays — who got the baseball world chatting with their consistently quick hooks en route to their American League pennant — stuck with starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow despite a rising pitch count and deficit. Glasnow wound up throwing 112 pitches, the most of any Rays starting pitcher this postseason, and allowed six runs on three hits and six walks as he struck out eight.

“I think it was ultimately kind of a lack of strike-throwing right there,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said of Glasnow. “That’s not ideal, especially against a team that can capitalize on free passes.”

Tyler Glasnow
Tyler Glasnow
AP

Did they ever. Glasnow’s leadoff base on balls to Max Muncy in the fourth inning came back to bite him when Cody Bellinger slammed a two-run homer to break a scoreless tie. And in the fifth, after Kevin Kiermaier halved the lead with a solo homer in the top of the frame, Mookie Betts and Kyle Seager drew leadoff walks to set everything else in motion: Following a strikeout of Justin Turner, on which Betts and Seager executed a double-steal, the dangerous lefty swinger Max Muncy came back up.

“For Muncy, it felt like [Glasnow] was the best guy to get a strikeout. It felt like Glas still with his stuff was equipped to get a K,” Cash said. “He ended up getting a ground ball.”

It was a ground ball to first base that Yandy Diaz fielded and relayed home, not in time to get Betts. Then Will Smith singled home Seager before Cash finally lifted Glasnow for Ryan Yarbrough, who allowed both inherited runners to score.

Given the way the Rays have managed this season, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see them lift Glasnow after the fourth, at which point he had thrown 88 pitches. Instead, they went the other way.

“When I got up to 100 pitches, I didn’t feel the fatigue as much.” Glasnow said. “My timing was a little bit weird at the end, but I was physically fine.”

That bodes well for Glasnow’s next turn, should it arrive. Nevertheless, his work shift showed that the best pitching moves, be they old-school or more progressive, are the ones that work.

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Evan Lewis

With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

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