Blake Snell made his case even stronger with Wednesday’s game against Indians at Tropicana Field. He proved he no doubt is the best pitcher American League has to offer when he kept the Indians with no run as far as to seven innings in Rays 3-1 win.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He was just outstanding, really a strong start.”
Terry Francona, Indians manager added: “Oh man, he’s got the whole package. He’s got velocity. Breaking ball. Changeup. Just seeing how much he’s developed from one year to the next, that’s somewhat special.”
The Rays are at 9-2 from the start of September which includes 2 out of 3 wins against the Cleveland Indians who hold the AL Central lead. Meanwhile, they have extended to 66-36 with only 17 games left, Rays made the move to be eight games behind Oakland for second wild card spot in AL.
Snell is been in the CY Young Awards conversations lately, being a strong candidate for it he even held Indians at bay till seven straight innings but then Jose Ramirez hit a leadoff homer to end his streak in the seventh. With that been said, Matt Garza remains the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter in Rays History.
Snell admitted he knows he was in for a no-hitter but he says his main focus is on winning. On the other hand, he is extremely optimistic regarding his pitch to Ramirez, he said, “I’ll look at the video to see what I could have done differently, but I like how I pitched to him.”
All in all, he still won his 19th win of the season, in which he allowed one run on one hit and two walks whereas struck out nine in seven innings. During that time he his ERA Dropped to 2.03 from 2.06.
Though the Snell has a big hand in this win he obviously was not alone. Ji-Man Choi hit a two-run homer to aid his teammate in the first inning off starter Carlos Carrasco of Indians and Kevin Kiermaier added to it by hitting a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning which top the Rays with a 3-0 lead.
“Every at-bat where you can hit a home run, you feel great,” said Choi expressing his feelings on his two-run homer “Especially, when helping toward a win for Snell. He’s aiming for the Cy Young Award, so I hope he gets it at the end of the season. I feel great in how I helped bring him the win.”
He has hit three home runs in his last five games and all of them with bases loaded though his first four home runs with Rays were solo shots. He is been hitting .333/.424/.679.
“I know that we are winning and that’s the most important thing. That’s what I’m focused on, that’s what we are focused on. All the individual stuff, I’ll look at later.” Said Snell expressing his feelings on the 19th win.
Rays will be starting a three-game series with A’s on Friday at Tropicana Filed at 7:10 PM and Diego Castillo will be starting for them. He also started on Monday in which he pitched two innings allowing only one run.