Blake Snell (31, San Diego Padres) heated up Petco Park with a pitch worthy of a Cy Young Award winner.
Snell started in the ‘2023 Major League’ game against the Colorado Rockies held at Petco Park in San Diego, California on the 20th (Korean time) and pitched 7 innings with no hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts, and no runs, and retired without a win or loss. This is because he did not receive any scoring support. His earned run average for the season was lowered to 2.33, and he set a personal record for most in a single season with 225 strikeouts.
The fall in San Diego actually became difficult, but Snell pitched a pitch that fans who visited his home stadium were excited about. Although Snell had his ups and downs this year, he performed at an ace level, recording 14 wins, 9 losses, 167 innings, 217 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.43 in 30 games. On this day, the pitching content was so good that it would not be an exaggeration to say that it was the best since the San Diego trade transfer in 2021.
Snell threw 104 pitches, throwing a mix of fastballs (44), curves (38), changeups (21), and sliders (1). The highest speed of his fastball reached 97.9 miles (about 157.5 km), and the average speed was 96.9 miles (155.9 km).
He dominated the Colorado lineup with a strikeout show from the start. He struck out all three batters in the top of the first inning, recording a three-way strikeout. After two outs, third batter Kris Bryant returned the game with three balls. He received a strike call by throwing a 97.8 mph fastball on the first pitch and a 97 mph fastball on the second pitch low, and induced a missed swing by throwing a 97.9 mph fastball high in the strike zone on the third pitch.
In the top of the second inning, the control shook sharply. After sending out leadoff hitter Nolan Jones on a walk, he even allowed a steal of second base, and even walked the next hitter, Elias Diaz. With no outs on first and second base, he struck out again. He struck out Elephuris Montero and Hunter Goodman in succession with missed swings and held on until 1st and 2nd bases with 2 outs. Second base runner Jones stole third base again and was in danger of giving up a run, but he ended the inning by grounding out Alan Trejo to third base.
Snell continued to pitch no hits and no runs. He showed off his good condition by recording three-strike innings in a row in the top of the 3rd and 4th inning. In the top of the 5th inning, Trejo was sent out with a walk after 2 outs, and a wild pitch sent him to second base, but the momentum was broken when he grounded out Brenton Doyle to shortstop. In the top of the 6th inning, there was another three-way strike.
Snell faced the final crisis when he walked leadoff hitter메이저놀이터 Jones in the top of the 7th inning. Jones stole second base when Diaz was treated with a fly ball to center field and the next batter, Montero, was struck out on a swing. It was the moment when Jones was allowed to steal his third base that day. The no-hit, no-run streak was not broken. Snell struck out Goodman on a swing and miss, completing his sixth 10-strikeout game this season.
He could have attempted a no-hitter and no run, but he didn’t overdo it as he threw 7 innings and 104 pitches. Snell handed the mound to Luis Suarez ahead of the defense in the top of the 8th inning when the game was tied 0-0.
Snell won the American League Cy Young Award in 2018 with the Tampa Bay Rays, recording 21 wins, 5 losses, 180⅔ innings, 221 strikeouts, and an ERA of 1.89 in 31 games. And his reputation as a Cy Young pitcher was damaged as he failed to exceed the 10-win mark for four consecutive seasons from 2019 to last year.
The American media unanimously agree that Snell is good enough to aim for his second Cy Young Award this year. That’s because he already surpassed the 2018 Cy Young season record with 225 strikeouts. He also excels in other indicators such as wins and earned run average.
Annie Heilbrun of the San Diego Union-Tribune, a local San Diego newspaper, commented, “Snell continued his season in which he is likely to win the Cy Young Award by pitching 7 scoreless innings against Colorado and allowing no hits.”
‘Cody Pie Baseball’, which provides major league statistical data, said, “Snell has made it difficult not to vote for him in the National League Cy Young Award voting,” and said that he is having a good second Cy Young season in his career.