Rays manager Kevin Cash made a controversial decision pulling ace Blake Snell in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday. Snell was dealing (5 1/3, two hits, one run — charged to him after he exited — and nine strikeouts), and the Rays' bullpen surrendered a 1-0 lead in a 3-1 series-clinching win for the Dodgers.
How would Jon Lester, who's officially a free agent, react if he was a similar spot as Snell and the manager came to pull him?
"We're gonna have two pitchers on the mound but I don't know what would happen when the other pitcher got to the rubber," Lester said, laughing, on ESPN 1000's "Waddle & Silvy" on Friday. "There would be some argument and you'd see some emotion."
The Rays have found great success relying on their bullpen, one of the game's best. Seeing one of their starting pitchers exit a game relatively early isn't new. That philosophy is a big reason they got to the World Series, in fact.
"It wasn't just Game 6 that Cash came out there and took Snell out," Lester said. "I don't think it should have been as big of a surprise as people made it to be just because it was that team."
Lester noted even when analytics may say otherwise, sometimes the eye test may be a better tool for determining which move makes the most sense in certain spots. Snell was dominating, and removing him was the best thing the Dodgers could have hoped for.
But even if Lester was in a similar spot as Snell and disagreed with leaving the game, it's ultimately the manager's call, he said.
"At the end of the day, the manager is your boss," he said. "No matter what you say and how you feel, they're making the decision for the betterment of the team.
"You can voice your opinion and we're all grown men and can handle that, but the boss makes the decision."