Joe Kelly on Blake Snell decision: 'That was the only way we were winning'

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E

There have been hints, eye-rolling and smirks from the Dodgers side of things when asked about the Rays’ decision to remove Blake Snell in the sixth inning of Game 6 of the World Series.

But appearing on the Bradfo Sho, Joe Kelly cut to the chase, leaving no room for interpretation.

“I stood up on the top of the fence and was taking my hat off to give him a tip of the cap, a thank you, because the only way we were winning that game is if that happened,” the former Red Sox and current Dodgers reliever said. “So I was taking my hat off and screaming at the top of my lungs. We were all ecstatic. Every single person in that stadium knew. Kevin Cash got a standing ovation from the whole stadium.”

The move in question came with one out in the sixth with the Rays leading 1-0 and Snell cruising at 73 pitches. But after giving up his second hit of the game — a single to Austin Barnes — Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash decided to remove his starter in favor of reliever Nick Anderson to face Mookie Betts.

Betts, who had struck out twice against Snell in his first two at-bats, rifled a double down the left field line. And after a wild-pitch from Anderson tied the game, a fielder’s choice allowed for the eventual game-winning run, propelling Los Angeles to its world championship.

“One hundred percent,” said Kelly when asked if the Dodgers felt they were on their way to victory after the pitching change. “That’s what everyone thought, that was the only way we were winning. And he got taken out and it turns into instant, ‘Oh, there is no way we lose now. They just did it for us’ type thing.”