Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash is getting heavily criticized for his decision to make a pitching change in Game 7 of the ALCS this evening.
The Rays are just a win away from advancing to the World Series. Tampa Bay pitcher Charlie Morton did his part to try and deliver his team a win over the Astros tonight. The right-hander tossed 5.2 shutout innings on just 66 pitches, 48 of which were called strikes, allowing just two hits.
Morton got into an extremely minor jam in the top of the sixth. He issued a one-out walk before George Springer grounded into a fielder’s choice. Jose Altuve then singled, allowing Springer to advance his way third.
Rather than allowing Morton to try and work his way out of the jam – all while the Rays held a 3-0 lead with two outs in the sixth – Cash elected to go to the bullpen. He was clearly paying attention to analytics. Baseball fans are crushing Cash for his decision.
Even if this move ends up working out, I hate it. Charlie Morton has been dominant in the postseason, and has a shutout going at 66 pitches. Give the man a chance to pitch out of runners at the corners with two outs. He’s earned that.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) October 18, 2020
My dad wants you all to know that he is now rooting for the Astros because he wants Kevin Cash to be punished for taking Charlie Morton out.
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) October 18, 2020
Kevin Cash pulled his starter too soon.
— Chris Dixon (@cdixon25) October 18, 2020
Some are even going as far to say the Rays now deserve to lose tonight’s game because of Kevin Cash’s decision. We won’t go that far. But Charlie Morton deserved the opportunity to work his way out of the jam.
Fortunately for the Rays, the pitching change didn’t cost them any runs. Nick Anderson came out of the bullpen and got Michael Brantley to ground out, subsequently ending the inning.
Cash had better hope his team wins tonight’s game. If the Rays fall apart here in the last few innings, the Tampa Bay manager will be criticized for months.