Oct. 27, 2020, 9:29 p.m. ET
Alex Wood produced the Dodgers’ first 1-2-3 inning of the game — against the heart of the Rays’ batting order, no less. Wood has traditionally been a starter, but has pitched mostly out of the bullpen this season. Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts will most likely need Wood for several more innings as a bridge to the back end of the bullpen — Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol and Kenley Jansen.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Dodgers made Blake Snell work for the first time. Chris Taylor led off with a single, but Snell wriggled out of the inning with some help from third baseman Joey Wendle, who is a standout defender because of his quick first step and sure hands. Wendle snared a line drive by A.J. Pollock and made a nifty play down the third base line on a ground ball by Austin Barnes. Snell struck out Mookie Betts with a high 98 m.p.h. fastball for the third out.
If there has been any weakness in the Dodgers’ offense, which led the major leagues in runs scored during the regular season, it has been against left-handers. They posted an .837 on-base-plus-slugging percentage against right-handed pitchers, second best in baseball. But against southpaws, they had a .778 O.P.S., seventh best.
Oct. 27, 2020, 9:07 p.m. ET
If the Rays are going to force a Game 7, they will need more help from hitters not named Randy Arozarena. Kevin Kiermaier, who has had a good World Series at the plate, is now 7 for 17 in the series after his second-inning double with one out. But the Rays did nothing else with a runner in scoring position as Mike Zunino struck out, Ji-Man Choi walked and then Arozarena struck out.
Reliever Dylan Floro, not starter Tony Gonsolin, faced Arozarena. Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts didn’t want Gonsolin facing Arozarena again, as Arozarena homered off him in the first inning. Gonsolin faced 10 batters, got five outs, surrendered three hits, walked two, struck out four, threw 48 pitches and was pulled. Floro fanned Arozarena on three pitches, all changeups.
Blake Snell, the Rays’ starter, has looked as sharp so far as he has in any other start this postseason. He located his hard fastball well, while also showing good feel for his changeup, curveball and slider. He has induced some bad swings from Dodgers hitters and struck out five through two innings on only 24 pitches. Remember: Snell hasn’t completed six innings this postseason. The Rays may need that tonight.
Oct. 27, 2020, 8:02 p.m. ET
Enrique Hernandez, a Dodgers utility player since 2015, said this when asked what the talk around the team was entering Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday: “That we hope the roof is closed because it’s freezing.”
It was expected to be around 40 degrees and foggy in Arlington, Texas, by first pitch. Hernandez and the Dodgers got their wish: The roof at Globe Life Field has been closed.
Hernandez said this year’s Dodgers were actually better than the ones that also reached the World Series in 2017 and 2018. The biggest difference: star outfielder Mookie Betts, who was acquired in a trade with the Boston Red Sox over the winter.
“I feel like there’s been a lot of times where we’ve sat as a group or we’ve sat in front of you guys and talked internally and to you guys about how this is the best team we’ve ever played on,” Hernandez told reporters before Tuesday’s game. “This season, I think we can all agree that this is the best team we’ve seen since we’ve been here.”
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