Cash defends career-high pitch count by Glasnow

    Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers MLB for ESPN.com.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash defended his decision to stay with starter Tyler Glasnow in a crucial fifth inning in Tuesday’s 8-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series at Globe Life Field.

Glasnow ended up throwing a career-high 112 pitches, giving up six runs on six walks. Four of those runs came in the fifth.

“Just trust that he had plenty of stuff to keep us right there,” Cash said after the game. “The walks are definitely not ideal, but we didn’t do a good job of holding the runners on. We can’t allow the double-steal right there.”

With the Dodgers leading just 2-1 at the time, Cash opted to let Glasnow keep pitching after he walked both Mookie Betts and Corey Seager. Betts stole second, then both runners pulled off a double-steal, opening up the inning for Los Angeles. Glasnow was at 99 pitches after the two walks — his fifth and sixth of the night — but kept going.

“I felt relatively good,” Glasnow said. “Any pitcher at the end part of the [outing], you want to be left in. That’s the competitive nature … I think the adrenaline takes over. When I go to 100 pitches, I don’t feel the fatigue that much.”

It was a curious move mostly because it went against the trend Cash had set all year. The Rays’ bullpen ranked third in innings pitched during the regular season and ranked first in stranding inherited runners. In fact, their 19% of inherited runners scored percentage was 14 points below league average.

After the double-steal, Cash figured Glasnow was his best bet against Max Muncy with a man on third and fewer than two outs.

“I felt like we needed a strikeout, and there might not be anyone better equipped to get a strikeout right there than Glass,” Cash said.

Muncy grounded to first, scoring Betts from third, which was followed by a run-scoring single from Will Smith that finally ended Glasnow’s night. Reliever Ryan Yarbrough took over for him.

“If I could go back and strike [Muncy] out, it would be great, but it didn’t happen that way,” Glasnow said. “I felt a little weird at the beginning. Just too many walks, not executing enough.”

Glasnow is the first pitcher in World Series history to allow six earned runs and walk six batters, becoming just the third hurler to do so in the postseason. His 4.1 innings of 112 pitches were the fewest innings pitched by a pitcher in an outing of 110-plus pitches in a postseason game since pitches were first tracked in 1988. It was also the most pitches thrown by a Tampa Bay hurler this season.

The Rays insist he was fine to remain in the game in the critical inning.

“I thought he was throwing the ball extremely well,” catcher Mike Zunino said of the fifth inning. “Couple free passes, but he landed the breaker, threw some great change-ups. He has a high ceiling with strikeouts, so he has the ability to get us out of jam.”

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