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Tampa Bay Rays’ Kevin Cash goes against trend, leaves Tyler Glasnow in to throw career-high 112 pitches

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

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 less 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 any pitcher in an outing of 110-plus pitches in any 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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Philadelphia Phillies lost $145M during 2020 season, report says

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PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies lost $145 million during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season played without fans, a source told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The Phillies are searching for a general manager to replace Matt Klentak and face important decisions regarding catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius. Both players are free agents, and Phillies managing partner John Middleton said last month the league’s economic climate will impact the team’s ability to spend money in the offseason.

The Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a $330 million, 13-year deal in 2019.

Philadelphia finished 28-32 last season, one game shy of ending a nine-year postseason drought. The Phillies haven’t had a winning season since taking five straight division titles, two pennants and one World Series between 2007-11.

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Tampa Bay Rays OF Randy Arozarena released in Mexico

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Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena was released by Mexican authorities Thursday after his former partner told a judge in Yucatan state that she did not want to press charges.

Arozarena had been detained Tuesday for a situation involving custody of his daughter, just weeks after he was named MVP of the American League Championship Series.

The Yucatan state prosecutors’ office confirmed Thursday that Arozarena was released because the former partner said any damages had been settled.

Arozarena has made no public comment, and it was not clear whether he had a lawyer.

The Yucatan state prosecutors’ office said Tuesday that Arozarena was detained “for problems relating to his ex-partner.”

It was not clear whether he was formally charged with any crime. Mexican law allows a two-day period for prosecutors to decide whether to bring charges. Normally suspects are held in jail pending that decision.

Local media reported that Arozarena married a Colombian woman earlier this month in Merida, the Yucatan state capital.

The Rays had said Tuesday that they were aware of the reports that Arozarena had been detained.

Arozarena hit .377 with 10 home runs and 14 RBIs in 20 postseason games for Tampa Bay.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Atlanta Braves’ Charlie Morton has faint memories of previous stint with team

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ATLANTA — Charlie Morton is back with the team where his big league career started.

Not that he has a lot of memories from that rookie season with the Atlanta Braves.

“That was 11 years ago,” Morton said Wednesday.

Actually, it was 12.

“I don’t remember a whole lot about it,” he continued. “I was only with the Braves in the big leagues for about four months.”

Morton returned to the Braves after agreeing to a $15 million, one-year contract, further bolstering the rotation of a team that came within one victory of reaching the World Series.

While only a handful of people Morton knows are still in the organization, he said he was impressed by what he saw from afar.

“This is as talented a group as you’re going to find,” he said. “I’m excited to get in that clubhouse, be around them and get to know them.”

Morton, 37, lives in Bradenton, Florida, and had hoped to return to the Tampa Bay Rays for a third season. But the team declined his $15 million option, so he settled for the next best choice.

Returning to the Braves.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos made it clear right away that he was interested in Morton, especially after the Braves struggled throughout the shortened 2020 season to put together an effective rotation.

“They were aggressive early,” Morton said. “They were one of the first teams to call. Alex was checking in frequently.”

With four young children, Morton said proximity to home was the most important factor in his decision. Atlanta is a short flight from the Tampa Bay area. The Braves’ spring training complex in North Port is less than an hour’s drive away.

“My hope was that we could stay close to home,” Morton said. “The situation in Tampa was awesome.”

Morton was called up by the Braves in 2008. He made 15 starts on a team that lost 90 games, going 4-8 with a 6.15 ERA.

He was back in Triple-A the following year when the Braves dealt him to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a package of prospects for Nate McLouth.

Morton turned out to be quite the late bloomer, breaking through with the best years of his career well into his 30s. He went 29-10 over two seasons with the Houston Astros, making the All-Star Game for the first time at age 34. He moved on to the Rays in 2019, going 16-6 with a 3.05 ERA and making the Midsummer Classic for the second time.

Along the way, Morton has become one of baseball’s greatest postseason pitchers. The right-hander is the first hurler in big league history to earn four victories in winner-take-all playoff games.

After going 2-2 with a 4.74 ERA in nine starts this past season, he burnished his clutch credentials by winning three more games in the playoffs. His streak of seven straight postseason wins finally ended with a Game 3 loss to the Dodgers in the World Series.

Morton certainly has a chance to get back to the playoffs with the Braves, who have captured three straight NL East titles. He joins another free-agent acquisition, Drew Smyly, in a rotation led by Cy Young contender Max Fried and rookie sensation Ian Anderson, who is only 22.

Atlanta is also counting on the recovery of another budding star, 23-year-old Mike Soroka, who went down this past season with a torn Achilles. When the rotation is at full strength, it should be one of the best groups in all of baseball.

“They’ve got some really good pitchers,” Morton said. “I didn’t realize how young they were were. I looked them up and I was like, ‘Dang.'”

You’ll have to excuse his lack of knowledge about the Braves.

It’s been a while.

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