Snell embarrassed again in most recent assault

by Gary Shelton on June 26, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Snell's struggles continued for the Tampa Bay Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Was last year a mirage?

Did we dream it? Was it all slight-of-hand? A mass illusion?

Was Blake Snell really that good s year ago? And if so, why he so embarrassingly bad this season?'

Snell continued to perform like the worst pitcher on the Rays' staff, and one of the worst in the American League, with another awful performance Tuesday night. Snell got only 10 outs against the Minnesota Twins, and gave up 11 hits and seven earned runs in a 9-4 defeat. In his last five starts, Snell has given up 23 earned runs. In five starts this season, he has failed to reach the fourth inning.

Snell has won just twice in his nine starts since May 12, and he's 2-4 with an ERA of 6.40, which would make it the seventh highest in the AL. He's allowed six runs or more four times in his last 11 starts.

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"Generally, he limits hits and hard hit balls," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Today, he gave up  six or seven two-strike hits. That was uncharacteristic. We know they're a good-hitting team, but you scratch your head a little bit about Blake and his struggles right now."

Snell has won only once in his nine starts since May 12.

"Blake’s stuff is totally equipped to go out there and have success against any offense it is," Cash said. "I. know it’s not happening right now for him. We’ve got to get him back to that point for sure. It’s a sign of a guy where not much is going his way. It’s easy to pick out when you’re not throwing strikes. That’s all over the scoreboard. Today it was the hits. Minnesota’s good, but Blake is a good pitcher. That confuses you a little bit. "

It was the sixth loss of the road trip.

The Rays trailed 8-0 going into the sixth inning before they scored four runs.

 “Everything was working," Snell said. "I felt really good, I can’t lie. I really do feel good. Results-wise, it sucks. A bunch of jam shots. (Jonathan) Schoop  hits a home run on a good pitch. You've got to tip your hat to that. Not a lot of hard contact.

"I can’t be too  hard on myself. I”ve been very hard on myself. I liked the way I used the fastball. Their swings were late. They got a bunch of hits. That just went their way. I’m happy with the way I pitched.  I’m happy with everything I did except for the outcome. I had good results last year, but. I think people think I'm crazy if I tell them I feel better right now than I did last year."

Snell said he considered this game a step forward.

"Yeah, of course," he said. "I threw like 80 percent strikes. I attacked them and made them hit the pitches I wanted them to hit. It just went their way."

The Rays send Charlie Morton to the mound tonight to face former Ray Jake Odorizzi. The game begins at 8:10 p.m. at Target Field.


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