Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell has been in the news the past two weeks for reasons other than his play on the field. Here’s part two of the month-by-month breakdown of his best season.
Tampa Bay Rays: Blake Snell 2018 – June
Snell made five starts in June, beginning with six-inning shutout of the Mariners in Seattle, piling up 12 strikeouts and nary a walk in 100 pitches. It was his third-straight scoreless outing.
The start was his first game pitching in his hometown of Seattle. He struck out the first seven batters he faced. Six days later he squared off against the M’s again and allowed just one run in six innings.
The lowest amount of innings he pitched in the month was 5.0 when he took a loss to the Yankees on four runs allowed. He still struck out eight batters in the outing.
Snell ended the month with a seven-inning shutout of the Nationals followed by a seven-inning shutout of the Astros.
His season ERA now rested at a tidy 2.31 with a 10-4 record and 113 Ks in 101.1 innings. Most guys finish June with an ERA that low and it’s inevitable that the ERA can only go up from there. In fact, you could almost bet on it.
Against Blake, it was a bad bet.
Tampa Bay Rays: Blake Snell 2018 – July
Snell made three more starts in the runup to the All-Star game. Incredibly, Snell was not selected to the initial team despite having a 12-4 record with a 2.09 ERA. The controversy subsided when he was named as an injury replacement. We nearly had a Cy Young winner not make the All-Star team in 2018.
Unfortunately, Snell required a 10-day sting on the disabled list with fatigue in his shoulder on July 23. A little rest was just what the doctor ordered.