|TB (126) @ pinnacle|
My 10* Game of the Week is on the TB Rays at 8:08 ET.
Following Tampa Bay's improbable 8-7 Game 4 win, the Dodgers took Game 5 by a 4-2 score and now stand ONE win away from the team's first World Series title since 1988. LA staked Clayton to a quick 3-0 lead scored twice in the third to close within a run. Then came the game-turning bottom of the 4th. The Rays had first and third with no outs but Kershaw got a pop up and a strike out. Then, instead of relying on a two-out hit from Kevin Kiermaier, Margot broke for home. Kershaw stepped off the rubber and got the ball to Barnes just in time. The Dodgers extended the lead to 4-2 in the 5th and three LA relievers pitched 3.1 scoreless innings to seal the win.
The Game 6 pitching matchup is a rematch of Game 2, when Blake Snell takes on Tony Gonsolin. The Rays staked Snell to a 5-0 lead and he didn't allow a hit through four innings, while striking out two Dodgers in each of the first four innings. However, Snell's dreams of a no-hitter ended in the 5th. He walked Kiké Hernandez with two out and served up a two-run HR to Chris Taylor. A walk to Mookie Betts and a single by Corey Seager ended Snell's night. However, four relievers held off the Dodgers, allowing two runs over 4.1 innings, as Tampa Bay evened the Series at one-all with a 6-4 victory. Snell won the Cy Young in 2018 but was a modest 4-2 in the 2020 regular season with a 3.24 ERA over 11 starts (Rays were 7-4). In five starts during this postseason, Snell is 2-2 with a 3.33 ERA (Rays are 3-2)
I found the choice of starting Gonsolin in Game 2 a little strange. He was 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA in nine games (eight starts / team was 5-3) during the regular season. However, in his two outings this postseason against Atlanta, he'd allowed SEVEN earned runs in 6.1 innings for a 9.95 playoff ERA. Gonsolin just threw 41 pitches in a Game 7 (allowed two runs in two innings) in which the Dodgers won 4-3 to complete their comeback from being in an 0-3 'hole' against the Braves. he was pitching on just two days' rest in Game 2 of the World Series and got just four outs, throwing 29 pitches while allowing a solo HR and one walk. He hasn't pitched since, so he takes the mound well-rested but having allowed eight ERs over just 7.2 postseason innings in 2020, on six hits with almost as many walks (7) as strikeouts (9). His ERA is 9.39 and his WHIP is 1.70.
Up 3-2, LA is a strong favorite to the series, with emerging ace Walker Buehler waiting to pitch on full rest in Game 7. However, I'll discuss a Buehler/Morton rematch on Wednesday, AFTER the Rays win Game 6 on Tuesday.