The Undercards: Blake Snell Rebounds, Justin O’Conner, Tyler Goeddel Keep Surging

By Robbie Knopf

Just one game on Wednesday night in the Rays system. Bad news: there’s much less outstanding performances by Rays prospects to fawn over. Good news: you’ll finish reading faster and move on to more productive things. I’ll try my best to make the next minute-and-a-half of your life somewhat worthwhile.

Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 11, Dayton Dragons (CIN) 6

While the Rays reverted back to normalcy with a 2-1 loss, the Hot Rods kept up with the recent trend as they won a blowout. The biggest thing in the game, though, may just have been a pitcher. Matt Moore wasn’t the only highly-touted Rays lefty to get completely disjointed following a rain-shortened start–that described Blake Snell quite accurately as well. Snell had a 2.97 ERA through his first nine starts of the season, but he left after just 2 innings (perfect ones at that) in his ninth start and proceeded to struggle tremendously after that, allowing 9 runs across 8 innings in his next two starts, allowing just 8 hits but striking out just 3 while walking 7. But in his third start following the rain, Snell finally got back on track, going 5 innings allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits, striking out 4 while walking 2 and managing a perfect 6-0 groundout to flyout ratio. Great to see Snell rebound, and hopefully Moore can follow suit.

Some funny stuff happened when the bullpen relieved Snell, but luckily the Hot Rods offense had itself quite a night. Justin O’Conner and Tyler Goedeel have ben playing out of their minds of late–or from another perspective, living up to their lofty potential–and they just delivering versus Dayton. O’Conner drilled a 3-run home run, marking his third straight game with a homer and fourth in his last five while Goeddel followed up his 4-hit performance Tuesday by going 3 for 6 with a triple, a stolen base, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. O’Conner is currently winning the “who’s demolishing pitchers more” contest, but it isn’t as lopsided as you would expect. O’Conner has a 6-game hitting streak going with a .400 average (1o for 25), 4 homers, a double, 11 RBI, and a 7-4 strikeout to walk ratio while Goeddel has a 5-game streak with a .435 average (10 for 23) with a triple, a double, 2 stolen bases, 7 RBI, and a 3-2 strikeout to walk ratio. O’Conner and Goeddel weren’t the only Hot Rods to have great games offensively, though, as Andrew Toles went 2 for 5 with a double, a walk, 2 stolen bases, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored and Patrick Leonard went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles, an RBI, and a run scored. Luke Maile had 2 more hits while Thomas Coyle had 2 more RBI. There is just no stopping this Bowling Green offense right now as they have scored 51 runs in their last five games, and seeing players that have long been struggling getting into the act makes it only more satisfying.