First Pitch: World Series Thoughts

What an amazing finish to an amazing game.

The Rays and Dodgers now head to a best-of-three series for the 2020 World Series.

Tyler Glasnow will take the mound tonight, going up against Clayton Kershaw. The former Pirates prospect hasn’t done well in his normal starts, although he did throw 2.1 no-hit innings in the deciding game against the Yankees. He might have a bigger assignment in front of him tonight.

What I liked about last night’s Rays win was the entire team effort it took. The Rays used six relievers, plus five bench players to get the win in nine innings. The winning hit came down to one of the least expected contributors. The winning pitcher is a middle reliever who was signed by the Rays as a minor league free agent before emerging as a potential fixture on the roster going forward.

That kind of effort can lower the expectations for players going forward. Glasnow’s final start against the Yankees was another team effort. A similar approach tonight could make it easier for Glasnow, allowing him to focus on dominating early, without the need to extend that performance a set amount of innings.

Makes me think about the “three pitches or less” approach the Pirates had, which was aimed against getting strikeouts and the high pitch counts that go with them, and aimed toward getting six or seven innings from the starter. It’s a great idea in theory, but it’s not exactly easy for a starter to shut down an opposing team for the majority of a game. It’s much easier to ask that same starter to dominate for a short amount of time, with a reliever or two who can come in and do the same, getting that six or seven inning result from multiple sources.

The 2020 Prospect Guide returns to print for our tenth  we are releasing three variant covers, featuring Mitch Keller and Ke’Bryan Hayes. Visit our shop page to order these extremely limited items!

First Pitch