Rays win the battle of the bullpens
Perhaps the Dodgers were prepared for cycling through pitchers, but the execution was lacking as the Rays batters achieved ten hits in World Series Game 2. Starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin was soon out of the game, Brandon Lowe’s big homer in the first inning giving the Rays an early lead.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was forced into pitching changes and used seven pitchers. The Dodgers failed to stem the tide of hits, and runs, with Dustin May being particularly leaky. His 1.1 IP saw four hits and three runs before making way for Joe Kelly.
In contrast, the Rays pitchers gave up five hits in the game. Nick Anderson, Pete Fairbanks, Aaron Loup and Diego Castillo kept the Dodgers at bay. In game one, the Dodgers’ offense was rampant but game two was a different story. Corey Seagar blasted a homer on the 8th inning but it was too little, too late.
Rays’ runners on bases cause pressure
Tampa Bay has caused itself many offensive problems recently by not getting runners into play. Against the Astros in ALCS, it could have cost them the series. With Randy Arozarena in such hot form, it’s understandable while the Rays looked to hit their way out of trouble. However, such a tactic does not always pay off.
In World Series Game 2, the Rays seemed more content to get the ball into the gaps and get runners on bases. As they did, pressure built on the Dodgers’ defense. Kevin Cash will not mind if the Rays leave runners on bases because it means that his team is creating chances to score.
Moreover, runners on bases means that Dodgers’ pitchers are giving up hits and making Dave Roberts consider pitching changes. In game one, Clayton Kershaw gave up two hits in six innings. He is a class act and the Rays’ offense did not get started. If the Rays are to win the World Series, hits are doubly important.