Training wheels are off for Blake Snell in Padres’ 4-1 loss

Padres Blake Snell

Credit: AP Photo

Padres Blake Snell
Credit: Sports Illustrated

Despite being charged with three runs on Tuesday, Blake Snell gave the San Diego Padres a fantastic outing with zero limitations going forward.

The San Diego Padres offense failed to show up in the team’s 4-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday evening. However, starting pitcher Blake Snell showed tremendous progress in working his way back from a groin injury that kept him out for the first month and a half of the season. The 29-year-old southpaw had his longest outing of the year, tossing 5.1 innings of three-hit ball while fanning seven batters and matching reigning Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes through the first five frames.

Snell, who threw 84 pitches in only 3.2 innings in his 2022 season debut, threw 104 pitches on Tuesday, with 63 going for strikes. He made quick work of the Brewers in the top half of the first inning, needing just five pitches to record the first two outs before striking out Christian Yelich on an 87 mph slider to end the inning.

Padres Blake Snell
Credit: Baseball Savant

Overall, Snell’s arsenal consisted of 55 fastballs, accounting for 53 percent of his pitch usage. He generated three whiffs and 14 called strikes. Complemented with a nasty slider that yielded eight swing-and-misses on 35 pitches, the Padres’ lefty kept the Brewers lineup in check until he ran into some trouble in the fifth inning. Snell allowed a leadoff home run and followed with a walk to Keston Hiura on five pitches before dancing out of further trouble.

In the sixth inning, Snell walked Andrew McCutchen on five pitches, got Luis Urias to ground into a forceout before allowing a single to Christian Yelich, and his day was done. Craig Stammen came on in relief and allowed a three-run homer to Tyrone Taylor, with two of the three runs charged to Snell.

“He kept his velocity, had a good breaking ball, mixing in some changeups,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said after Snell’s outing on Tuesday. “A true three-pitch guy today. Unfortunately, we didn’t come away with a win, but I thought he was fantastic and just kind of sets him up for the next time, where I don’t think there’s any limitations on him all.”

Despite the runs charged to his statline after exiting, Snell was impressive on Tuesday. With the groin injury now behind him, Snell needs to continue giving the Padres quality outings or somewhere close to it, especially with Mike Clevinger hitting the injured list again.

“I love it,” Snell responded to Melvin’s comments about zero limitations going forward. “You get to see what type of pitcher you truly are. You get to see what kind of dog is inside of you. That’s very exciting. I want to pitch, and I want to pitch deep into games.”

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Ryan Sikes
Padres writer/editor for East Village Times. LA Kings writer/editor for Hockey Royalty. IBWAA member.

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