Blake Snell keeps Dodgers at bay in Game 2 of World Series – Press Enterprise

Blake Snell keeps Dodgers at bay in Game 2 of World Series – Press Enterprise

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell didn’t etch his name in history alongside Don Larsen, the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the World Series. He didn’t even pitch long enough to earn the victory. Still, for the better part of five innings on Wednesday, it wasn’t clear if or how the Dodgers would score.

Snell struck out nine batters in only 4⅔ innings in the Rays’ 6-4 win at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. He didn’t allow a hit until Chris Taylor’s two-run home run put the Dodgers on the scoreboard.

In a game that saw 12 pitchers take the mound, only Snell pitched more than two innings or faced more than nine batters.

Snell joined another left-hander – Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, in 1963 – as the only men to strike out eight batters without allowing a hit through four innings of a World Series game, according to Stats Perform.

The Dodgers’ offense was a shadow of itself compared to Tuesday, when they jumped out to an 8-3 victory in Game 1. Only four hitters put the ball in play before Taylor’s home run. The Dodgers offered no viable threat to end the no-hitter until it was over.

“He was outstanding,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Snell. “Blake was really really good. I know him and Kyle (Snyder, the Rays’ pitching coach) talked a lot leading into the game about a game plan. He followed it. He executed pitches. The slider looked like it was a really big weapon for him. He was awesome. He gave us everything we needed.”

After the home run, Cash allowed Snell to face Mookie Betts and Corey Seager, each of whom was batting for the third time. When they reached base via a walk and a single, respectively, Snell’s day was done.

Nick Anderson led a parade of four relief pitchers who preserved Tampa Bay’s lead.

“I just had a good game plan for these guys,” Snell said. “I just wanted to attack them, make them start swinging.”

Snell, the 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner, made two starts in the ALCS against the Astros, winning one and losing another.

This time, he made an important adjustment. His success typically rests on getting opposing batters to chase pitches out of the strike zone, something the Dodgers rarely do. On Wednesday, he was able to fill the strike zone with his fastball, curveball, slider and changeup without getting hammered.

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