After a tough loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to bounce back and take the series this afternoon in Toronto. The Blue Jays are just 1-5 in their last six games following a win, and 1-4 in Marcus Stroman’s last five home starts.
Snell was terrific on Saturday and has allowed just one run total in his last three starts. The lefthander didn’t allow a hit over the first five innings, fanning eight while walking one. After Snell notched a ninth punch out to start the sixth, Luke Maile lined a 1-0 fastball into left field for Toronto’s first hit of the game. However, Freddy Galvis grounded into an around-the-horn double play to end the threat four pitches later. That ended Snell’s day after just 82 pitches (52 strikes, 63% strikes rate). His pitch selection and usage follows:
- Fastball: 40 thrown, 30 Strikes (75% strike rate), 7 whiffs
- Curveball: 25 thrown, 17 strikes (68% strike rates), 9 whiffs
- Changeup: 15 thrown, 5 strikes (33% strike rate), 3 whiffs
- Slider: 3 thrown, 1 strike (33% strike rate), 1 whiff
Many were befuddled by Kevin Cash’s decision to pull Snell after only six innings of work and 82 pitches thrown. On one hand, the overarching mantra going into the season has been to win that day’s ballgame, and if the Rays end up missing out on a postseason berth, who’s to say that Saturday’s contest will not make Cash and the team regret the decision? On the other hand, though, the conservative handling of Snell — which worked well in 2018, mind you — was behind yesterday’s decision and falls in line with the team’s approach to keeping the southpaw healthy all season. The Rays skipper defended his judgment call after the game.
Blake threw a tremendous ball game. He probably had more in the tank. But I like the way that we have stayed consistent to our thought process coming out of the gate. … The thought is we’re going to benefit from that throughout the season.— Kevin Cash
Even though Snell had thrown 102 and 100 pitches in his previous two turns, he was working on four days’ rest rather than an extra day as the team would prefer to give him. As a result, pitching coach Kyle Snyder and Cash had Snell on a six-inning and/or 85 pitch limit yesterday.
We want to win the marathon, not the sprint. As important as pitching and the health of a staff is in 2019, I’m always going to err on the side of being conservative with our guys. That was the case last year, and I’m not going to change this year.— Kyle Snyder
For his part, Snell was fine with the decision.
It was a shorter week for me to get ready. This is their plan, and I believe in it 100 percent. I think it’s all about longevity.— Blake Snell
At the end of the day, the Rays stranded six men on base and went 1-11 wRISP. Had they taken a commanding lead with Snell on the mound, the move wouldn’t look nearly as controversial as it had. Instead, they couldn’t push across crucial runs when they needed too, while Chaz Roe — who previously allowed just one run all season — looked rusty, culminating in an ugly loss.
Turn the page.
The New What Next
The Rays will try to end their opening road trip on a high note with Charlie Morton (2-0, 2.25 ERA) on the mound. He’ll be opposed by Marcus Stroman (0-2, 2.41 ERA).
Charlie Morton gave up a two-run shot to Yoan Moncada in the bottom of the third inning, although he otherwise kept the White Sox off balance by leaning on his fastball (both two and four-seam, 46 thrown, 29 strikes, 63% strike rate), curveball (30 thrown, 15 strikes, 50% strike rate), and his cutter (14 thrown, 11 strikes, 79% strike rate).
The two runs were all that Morton allowed across five innings of work. The right-hander scattered three hits and three walks while striking out seven.
Marcus Stroman continues to look for his first win of the season. The right-hander has recorded 18 strikeouts over his first three starts of the season. In his last start against Cleveland, Stroman surrendered three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six across six innings. The right-hander relies primarily on his 85 mph sweeping slider with two-plane movement, a 93 mph sinker with natural sinking action, and a 91 mph worm-killer cutter. Stroman is 5-5 with a 4.58 ERA in 13 career starts against Tampa Bay. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (2-2, RBI), Ji-Man Choi (1-4), Avisail Garcia (5-9, 2B), Kevin Kiermaier (9-31, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB), Michael Perez (1-2, 2B), Tommy Pham (1-1, RBI), Mike Zunino (1-3, HR, 2 RBI)
You can read about the series in our preview.
Rays 4/14/19 Starting Lineup
- Meadows LF
- Diaz DH
- Choi 1B
- Garcia RF
- Lowe 2B
- Robertson 3B
- Kiermaier CF
- Adames SS
- Perez C
- Morton RHP
— Free today?
On Sunday, April 14, 2019 X-Rays Spex and Golden Dinosaurs Vegan Deli will team up to host a shirt release celebration and Rays watch party, when the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Toronto Blue Jays, in Toronto. We’re bringing all the camaraderie of the game, and some delicious foodstuffs, at one of the areas best new restaurants!
First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 pm, so be sure to get down to Golden Dinosaurs early to grab a bite to eat and an ice-cold brew. Don’t forget to snatch our newest shirt design (pictured) titled “The Legend of Dan Johnson,” so you can wear it to the Trop the following weekend when our guys take on the reigning World Series champs.
Throughout the afternoon Golden Dinosaurs will offer some select specials. We’ll also raffle off some great Rays swag between the innings, among other fantastic things. Mention X-Rays Spex and get 10% taken off your order.
See you April 14, and be sure to tell a friend!