Rays 6, Dodgers 4 – World Series Game 2: Too many mistakes

After the Dodgers took Game 1 of the 2020 World Series, they faced perhaps their worst matchup of the series against the Rays in Game 2 with a lefty in Blake Snell on the mound against essentially a pen game.

Unfortunately, it went about as poorly as could be expected as Snell dominated early, the important pen guys folded for the Dodgers, and the Rays big arms came through in a 6-4 loss.

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Tony Gonsolin has had a rough postseason thus far, perhaps mainly due to a long layoff, but regardless of the reason he was looking to get back on track. Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned in the 1st, as his command continued to cost him after he got behind Brandon Lowe 3-1 and then grooved a fastball to him that was deposited over the left-center field wall for a 1-0 Rays lead.

After a walk and a steal to start the 2nd, Gonsolin got a fly out that advanced the runner to third and that was the end of the night for him, presumably planned for one time through the order but he didn’t look sharp.

Dylan Floro entered in relief, which was a bit of a shock as a contact pitcher and somebody who hasn’t been all that effective in the playoffs. However, he did his job by inducing a grounder with the infield in and Margot on a contact play for whatever reason was gunned down easily at the plate. The inning then ended when Will Smith provided Floro with a caught stealing.

Floro continued in the 3rd, getting the first two batters before exiting, which also happened to be the first time through the order and all Gonsolin was going to get anyway. He got four perfect outs and gave the Dodgers some relief.

Victor Gonzalez was next in, throwing just one pitch to get out of the inning. He then continued in the 4th, getting an out and then issuing a walk to Randy Arozarena on a questionable call. He rebounded by inducing a double play ball to Enrique Hernandez, but he bobbled it and only got the lead runner.

That would prove pivotal as Victor was relieved by Dustin May, who promptly gave up a single to Manuel Margot and then a double to Joey Wendle to drive in two and make it 3-0.

May continued in the 5th and got the first two outs, but then gave up a single to Austin Meadows and hung a 0-2 slider to Lowe who hit his second homer of the day to make it 5-0.

Of course, there’s a zero up there because of Blake Snell. He was threatened by the Dodgers a bit in the 2nd thanks to a lead-off walk from Max Muncy and a one-out walk from Cody Bellinger, but the Dodgers were unable to do anything with it. Through four innings that was all Snell gave up.

The Dodgers finally got something going against Snell in the 5th. After two outs, Enrique Hernandez drew a walk and Chris Taylor immediately made it a game again with a two-run oppo shot to cut the lead to 5-2.

Mookie Betts followed with a walk and Corey Seager singled, knocking Snell out of the game.

Nick Anderson entered to face Justin Turner and that matchup went about as I figured.

https://twitter.com/ChadMoriyama/status/1319100863344902144

In a surprising move, Dave Roberts went to Joe Kelly in the 6th, presumably taking a chance in the back of the pen to not waste bullets. Kelly gave up back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners and then gave up a sac fly to Wendle to make it 6-2, but he did get out of it without further damage.

The Dodgers quickly got it back in the 6th as Anderson continued and hung a curve to Will Smith, who deposited it into the left-field stands to make it 6-3.

Alex Wood then tried to keep it that way and did so over the 7th and 8th, giving up two hits and an intentional walk but not allowing any runs. Jake McGee was tasked with the 9th and issued a walk and gave up a single but avoided further damage.

Meanwhile the Dodgers continued to claw back in it, now against Peter Fairbanks, who got a six-pitch 7th inning. However, Corey Seager started the 8th by crushing a homer to dead center to make it 6-4.

Justin Turner then followed by dunking a bloop double between three fielders and they seemed to be in business. However, Muncy flew out on a 3-2 pitch and Smith crushed a ball down the line but right at one of the three (yes, three) infielders. Amazing.

Aaron Loup then relieved Fairbanks and got Cody Bellinger to end the threat. He also got two batters in the 9th before Diego Castillo was summoned, and threw just three pitches to get a strikeout and close it out.

This one stings a bit given the mistakes made and the chances wasted that easily could’ve closed the gap. That’s baseball, I guess.

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1-1.

After an off day tomorrow (AN OFF DAY IN THE PLAYOFFS), Game 3 will start at 2:08 PM HST/5:08 PM PST/8:08 PM EST on FOX. Walker Buehler will face Charlie Morton in the matchup of postseason reputations.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times