If there was any doubt if Blake Snell still could pitch, all reservations were removed following Wednesday night’s Dodgers vs. Padres matchup.
Snell was sensational, and even though the Dodgers earned the victory over 16 innings, the wing deserves a tip of the cap. Unfortunately, he did not receive the win, but it was a pitching performance that will be remembered for a long time.
World Series Blake Snell
Snell’s final start of 2020 came in game six of the World Series for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tampa Bay was facing elimination, and Snell was delivering on the biggest stage before Rays manager Kevin Cash pulled him from the game.
This move was very controversial from Cash, but it was the strategy that helped the franchise make it to the World Series with a minuscule payroll. The pitcher was pulled in the bottom of the sixth after allowing a hit to Austin Barnes.
Snell finished the night throwing 73 pitches with nine strikeouts and no walks over 5.1 innings. He was dominant in game six of the 2020 Fall Classic, but Cash did not care. This substitution was one of the factors that sent Snell to San Diego in the offseason because he did not want to remain in Tampa Bay.
The Rays were able to free up $39 million of Snell’s contract in the deal, and they have not lost much value after the pitcher’s performance in 2021.
2021 Blake Snell
Blake Snell in 2021 has performed on all sides of the spectrum. He has been great, good, average, bad, and awful throughout the season. Yet, most of his performances have been towards the bad side of the scale, which is unlike Snell.
Snell won the Cy Young Award in 2018 when he went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA. This was an outlier season compared to his other numbers, but the 28-year-old has still pitched well during his big league tenure.
Nevertheless, Snell has garnered a 6-5 record with a 4.58 ERA in 2021 over 114 innings. He is leading the league in walks with 65, surpassing his career-high of 64 in 2018.
The left-hander has fanned 149 batters in his time on the hill, but his command has been lackluster all season. He has walked batters and allowed home runs, which is never a good mix.
San Diego has been waiting for Snell to deliver, and this finally occurred against the Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Wednesday Night Blake Snell
Snell kept the Dodgers in check all night until he gave up a homer to Will Smith in the eighth inning, tying the game at one. Other than this mistake, the pitcher was flawless on the hill.
He finished the game with 122 pitches over 7.2 innings, which was the longest outing of his career. He retired the first 11 batters of the game before Justin Turner broke up the streak with a single.
Snell gave up three hits, and one earned run over 7.2 innings. The most remarkable stat of the night was that he did not walk one Dodger throughout the longest start of his career.
Snell was brilliant, and it was a wasted performance from his offense, who only had four hits in the 16-inning game. The amazing start from the pitcher is a good sign for the Padres, who are in a dog fight for the final National League Wild Card position.
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