Snell clobbered once again as Yankees sweep

by Gary Shelton on June 20, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Snell got only one batter out all day./TIM WIRT

Thursday, 3 a.m.

Hello, Blake.

Cy Young is on the phone.

He says he wants his trophy back.

The rough-and-tumble season of Blake Snell continued Wednesday, when the vaunted New York Yankees kicked him about severely in a 12-1 thrashing that made you forget all about Snell's Cy Young season of a year ago.

Snell got out  one batter out all day (he faced seven) and gave up six earned runs in the humbling loss. By comparison, Daniel Robertson -- an infielder just up from the minor leagues -- got three batters out as the team's ninth pitcher of the day.

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Pham had two of the Rays' three hits./TIM WIRT

For Snell, 4-6, it was been a rude season. He has four starts where he didn't make it to the fifth inning, although Wednesday's was the briefest. He gave up two hits -- one of them a three-run homer to Gary Sanchez -- and walked four batters. He got out only Aaron Hicks on a fielder's choice; there was no word if Hicks has been sent to the minors.

It was the culmination of an embarrassing week for the Rays, who lost all three games to the Yankees. They were outscored 21-6 and outhit 28-14 in the three games.

"Blake continues to work," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "I think it’s fair to call it a rut. We didn’t see two of these starts back to back at all last year. He’s bunched it together where it’s been a rough go. We’re confident he can get it going and be that guy who can get it going for us.

"I don’t think it’s confidence, I think he's frustrated. I think he’s p.o.'d  a little."

The Rays are 2-7 in their last nine games, and they've fallen to a season-worst 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Rays are 0-2-1 in their last three series.

Snell is counted on to stop such losing streaks. Wednesday, he barely offered resistance.

"You lose two games and then you get Blake coming into pitch, you go into it thinking he’s going to give you a chance to win, and he just didn’t," Cash said. "It happens. They had a bunch of good at bats. They laid off some good pitches. Blake wasn’t sharp. but give credit to those guys for laying off some good pitches. Obviously not a lot went well. It’s a good thing this loss only counts as one and not more. Sometimes, it feels like it should count more. "

It isn't unusual that a Cy Young winner struggles the next season. But one out?

"I’d like to see him attack more with strikes," Cash said. "I’m not going to go get into the second guessing of the pitches. You go back and look at September. His  pitch distribution was the same. Obviously, no one said anything during that period.

"He can’t land a breaking ball the way we’ve seen him in the past.  The changeup is not there for him. He generally throws that pretty well behind in the count. A lot of it is the command. The stuff has not changed whatsoever."

Well, except for the fact that he can't get it over the plate.

"Just walks," Snell said. "That's the frustrating part. I’ve got to figure it out.  I kind of pitched backwards. I've got to be more in the zone and more aggressive. A lot of it is me not being as aggressive. I’ll figure it out. I’m confident of that.

"I've got to make them come to me. I've got to learn to get better. That's got to start happening now. I've always trusted my instincts. I'm not going to stop because of what people say. I have to do it and stop talking about it."

The Rays have been in a funk for a while now.

"We have not played good baseball for the last 10 days," Cash said. "We’ve got to fix it. Something has to give for us to get rolling a little bit. We’re getting close to the  midway point. We’ve done so many good things. We haven’t done it as of late. "

The Rays now move to Oakland for a three-game series against the A's. Charlie Morton will pitch for the Rays tonight at 10:07 p.m. against Oakland's Frankie Montas.


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