Blake Snell had a tough time finding his command, as the Tampa Bay Rays fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 10–8.
Takeaways from Thursday’s ball game:
— Brad Miller, who got the start at short, drove in runs in every at-bat. In the first inning, Miller hit a sacrifice-fly to right to plate Logan Morrison. A groundout in the third again drove in Morrison, and an opposite bomb in the fifth (his first of the spring) gave Miller one run and three RBI on the day.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 9, 2017
— Snell was limited to two innings and 49 total pitches due, in part, to an inefficient 37-pitch second. Snell allowed two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three.
The southpaw blamed his outing on a lack of command, saying,
…A lack of command, I’d say. I liked my changeup a lot today, so I kept throwing it. But yeah, I just need to command the zone better. I feel like I know what I need to do, and I’m looking forward to the next one.
(Audio Courtesy of Rays Radio)
Until he can nail down his command on a regular basis, he will be susceptible to outings like this.
— David Carpenter and LHP Justin Marks each threw two scoreless innings. Marks, a LOOGY candidate in the 2017 bullpen, has now made four spring appearances without allowing a run. He has given up just six hits total, has not allowed a walk, and fanned four. In the words of the inimitable Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times), “Though he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, he could give the Rays a multi-inning option, with the potential to face a tough lefty when needed.”
— Maile gunned down Allen Hanson trying to steal second to end the top of first inning. As Topkin also pointed out, the catcher is making a strong bid for a catching job.
Maile finds himself in a three-way race (along with Curt Casali and Jesus Sucre) for the two catching spots with, one of which is temporary until Wilson Ramos returns from rehabilitation for knee surgery at some point after May. The backstop dropped weight and improved on what has already been called impressive work behind the plate.
The New What Next
The Rays visit the Pirates in Bradenton on Friday, with Matt Andriese taking the mound for the first time this spring. Drew Hutchison will toe the rubber for Pittsburgh. Also scheduled to pitch are Jaime Schultz, Ryne Stanek, Chih-Wei Hu and Hunter Wood. Steven Souza Jr., Nick Franklin, Tim Beckham and Curt Casali are scheduled to make the trip too.
Rays 3/10/17 Starting Lineup