clearn.png
Sunday March 7th, 2021 7:14PM

Cash's bullpen blunder joins Little, others in playoff lore

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Rays manager Kevin Cash stepped out of the dugout, and Blake Snell turned his head to curse.

So too, no doubt, did fans watching on TV back in Tampa, Florida.

Cash pulled Snell after 73 pitches and 5 1/3 sterling innings Tuesday night, turning Game 6 of the World Series over to his vaunted bullpen — a move that backfired immediately as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied for a 3-1 victory to wrap up their first championship in 32 years.

“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.”

Cash was immediately criticized — by fans, broadcasters and players around the majors.

“So who gets to pull the manager?” Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard tweeted.

The decision, driven by advanced analytics, could come to define Cash, just as past pitching moves have followed other managers when they didn’t work out. A look back at other October mishaps:

___

1951 NL PENNANT PLAYOFF GAME 3

Who knows? Bobby Thomson’s famed “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” might never have happened without a bounced curveball in the bullpen.

The New York Giants, having trailed the bitter-rival Dodgers by 13 1/2 games in mid-August, closed fast and forced a best-of-three National League playoff. They split the first two games, and Brooklyn starter Don Newcombe took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth in Game 3 at the Polo Grounds.

After Whitey Lockman’s RBI double with one out made it 4-2 and put runners at second and third with Thomson coming up, Brooklyn manager Charlie Dressen pulled Newcombe.

Dressen picked Ralph Branca, who’d given up a homer to Thomson in Game 1 and faded down the stretch. Carl Erskine was warming up, too — he’d won 16 games in the regular season. But a coach saw Erskine bounce a curve in the ‘pen and the Dodgers left him there.

Branca entered, and the rest is history. Thomson homered, Giants announcer Russ Hodges kept screaming “The Giants win the pennant!” and Branca trudged off.

More than 50 years later, a whisper became a reality when it was revealed the Giants had used a spyglass-and-buzzer system to steal opposing catchers’ signs at the Polo Grounds and relay pitches to their hitters. Thomson always claimed he didn’t get any sign; Branca was never convinced.

2003 ALCS GAME 7

With the season on the line, Red Sox manager Grady Little gambled on Pedro Martinez against the rival Yankees and lost the game and his job.

Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, entered the eighth with 100 pitches and a 5-2 lead at Yankee Stadium. Derek Jeter hit a one-out double and Bernie Williams scored him with a single to bring left-handed hitter Hideki Matsui to the plate.

With lefty specialist Alan Embree warm in the bullpen, Little visited the mound but opted to leave Martinez in. Matsui lined a ground-rule double and then scored the tying run on Jorge Posada’s bloop double — Martinez’s 123rd and final pitch.

Aaron Boone hit a game-ending leadoff homer in the 11th, sending New York to the World Series. Little was fired after the season and replaced by Terry Francona, who led Boston as it ended the Curse of the Bambino by winning the 2004 World Series.

2015 WORLD SERIES GAME 5

Matt Harvey and the New York Mets held a 2-0 lead, needing a win to send the Series back to Kansas City. A fired-up Harvey was at 102 pitches following a 1-2-3 eighth inning and told manager Terry Collins in the dugout — in no uncertain terms — he was going back out for the ninth.

“I wanted it bad,” Harvey said. “The way the game was going, the last thing I wanted to do was not finish what I started.”

Collins relented, and a huge roar went up at Citi Field as Harvey sprinted to the mound in pursuit of his second major league complete game. But he walked Lorenzo Cain on a full-count slider, and Eric Hosmer hit an RBI double.

Harvey was finally pulled for closer Jeurys Familia, and the Royals tied the game with the help of a bad throw by first baseman Lucas Duda. They won 7-2 in 12 innings for their first championship in 30 years.

“Obviously, I let my heart get in the way of my gut,” Collins said. “It didn’t work. It was my fault.”

2016 AL WILD CARD GAME

The Orioles and Blue Jays were tied at 2 after five innings. As the game stretched on and went into extra innings, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter kept All-Star closer Zack Britton in the bullpen, hoping his club would take a lead that Britton could then close out.

The offense never came through, and Toronto finally won on Edwin Encarnación’s three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th off Ubaldo Jiménez — a pitcher with a 5.44 ERA. Baltimore’s season ended, and baseball's best reliever never got in the game after compiling a 0.54 ERA and converting all 47 save chances that year.

Likely watching Cash’s quick hook in Game 6 on Tuesday night, Britton tweeted an emoji of a man shrugging.

2016 WORLD SERIES GAME 7

The Chicago Cubs led the Cleveland Indians 5-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth. Kyle Hendricks, who won 16 games for the Cubs that year with a major league-low 2.13 ERA, walked Carlos Santana with two outs, and manager Joe Maddon pulled the right-hander after just 63 pitches.

The rest of the night was a scramble for Maddon and the Cubs. Jon Lester replaced Hendricks and threw a wild pitch that brought home two runs. Aroldis Chapman allowed Rajai Davis’ tying homer with two outs in the eighth before the Cubs ended up winning 8-7 in 10 innings for their first championship since 1908.

2019 WORLD SERIES GAME 7

Too bad for Houston fans, the last time they saw Gerrit Cole throw, it was in the bullpen rather than on the mound.

Zack Greinke had permitted just two runners and took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning against Washington at Minute Maid Park. But after Anthony Rendon hit a solo home run with one out and Juan Soto followed with a walk, manager AJ Hinch decided to make a change.

Cole was all warmed up in the bullpen — he’d never pitched in relief. But he had gone 20-5 during the regular season, led the majors in strikeouts and topped the AL in ERA. And he was 4-1 in the postseason, including a dominant win in Game 5.

Plus, he wanted to pitch. Instead, Hinch brought in reliever Will Harris, who promptly gave up a two-run homer to Howie Kendrick. The Nationals went on to win 6-2 for their first championship.

Hinch said after the game that he planned to have Cole close in the ninth.

“I wasn’t going to pitch him unless we were going to win the World Series and have a lead,” Hinch said.

Cole became a free agent and signed a $324 million, nine-year deal with the Yankees.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tanzania votes for president amid fears of violence, fraud
Long lines of people in Tanzania are voting in a presidential election that the opposition warns is already compromised by manipulation, deadly violence and a massive internet slowdown
5:11AM ( 3 minutes ago )
Cake Lady helps wounded soldiers heal, one treat at a time
David Wiseman heard Kath Ryan before he met her
5:07AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Divided Belgium turns into Europe's worst virus hot spot
Small, yet so divided, Belgium has been hit hard again by the pandemic, and now presents some of the most worrying statistics in a continent reeling under the virus’ resurgence
4:59AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Dodgers ace Kershaw finally wins elusive World Series title
Clayton Kershaw cut through the critics, just like one of his curveballs through the strike zone
3:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Fitting finale: Dodgers win title, lose Turner to COVID-19
Justin Turner was removed from Los Angeles’ 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 after registering Major League Baseball’s first positive test in 59 days and wasn’t on the field as the Dodgers began enjoying the spoils of a title earned during a most unusual season
3:07AM ( 2 hours ago )
Cashed Out: Rays manager roasted for pulling Snell in Game 6
Rays starter Blake Snell was pulled in the sixth inning by manager Kevin Cash in a decision that could live in infamy in Tampa Bay
2:33AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Snell lifted in 6th, Dodgers take 2-1 lead
The Los Angeles Dodgers pushed across two runs after Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash pulled a dominant Blake Snell in the sixth inning, taking a 2-1 lead over the Rays in Game 6 of the World Series
10:45PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Snell dominating the Dodgers, Rays still up 1-0
Blake Snell is sailing along and dominating the Los Angeles Dodgers as the Tampa Bay Rays hold a 1-0 lead through five innings on Randy Arozarena’s homer in the first
10:19PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Snell in command, 9 Ks in Game 6
Rays starter Blake Snell is cruising through the Dodgers lineup for a second time, helping Tampa Bay maintain a 1-0 lead through four innings
9:47PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
If Trump wanted people to avoid '60 Minutes,' it didn't work
Angry about his interview with Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes,” President Donald Trump released an unedited version of the talk on Facebook three days before the broadcast
5:22PM ( 11 hours ago )
Dodgers 1 win from title after 32 years and more than $3.6B
Since Orel Hershiser struck out Oakland’s Tony Phillips for the final out of the 1988 World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers have played 5,014 regular-season games and 113 more in the postseason in pursuit of their next title
10:40PM ( 1 day ago )
Dodgers hope Gonsolin more than an opener in Game 6
The Los Angeles Dodgers are planning for rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin to be more than an opener in Game 6 of the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays
7:27PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Tanzania votes for president amid fears of violence, fraud
Long lines of people in Tanzania are voting in a presidential election that the opposition warns is already compromised by manipulation, deadly violence and a massive internet slowdown
5:11AM ( 3 minutes ago )
Divided Belgium turns into Europe's worst virus hot spot
Small, yet so divided, Belgium has been hit hard again by the pandemic, and now presents some of the most worrying statistics in a continent reeling under the virus’ resurgence
4:59AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Merkel seeks limited lockdown as German virus cases surge
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing for a partial lockdown as the number of newly recorded infections in the country hit another record high Wednesday
4:27AM ( 47 minutes ago )
Poles join nationwide strike in revolt over abortion ruling
People across Poland are vowing to stay off their jobs as part of a nationwide strike called to protest a top court ruling that bans abortions in cases of congenitally damaged fetuses
4:18AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Divisions turn Belgium into Europe's worst virus hot spot
Small, yet so divided, Belgium has been hit hard again by the pandemic, and now presents some of the most worrying statistics in a continent reeling under the virus’ resurgence
4:12AM ( 1 hour ago )