When he won the 2018 American League Cy Young Award with Tampa Bay, Blake Snell averaged more than 11 strikeouts every nine innings. He might be even better in San Diego.
Snell made his Padres debut on Friday night against the Diamondbacks and, while he wasn’t as sharp as he’d probably like to be, he showed his stuff is utterly dominant in a 4-2 win over Arizona.
Snell only recorded 14 outs but eight of them were strikeouts. He was pulled after 4.2 shutout innings when his pitch count got to 86. The Padres say they’re going to give Snell chances to go deeper into games than the Rays did, just not this early in the season.
Veteran Craig Stammen came in and threw two pitches, getting a pop-up to end the 5th.
San Diego gave Snell some offensive support early. Jurickson Profar drove in Jake Cronenworth with a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning to make it 1-0.
In the 3rd, Eric Hosmer went deep again. The 1st baseman followed up his solo shot from Opening Day with a no-doubter 2-run blast on Friday that brought home Manny Machado and made it a 3-0 game.
In an interesting turn of events, Stammen stretched out like a long reliever. He tossed a perfect 6th inning with a pair of strikeouts, ended up hitting for himself (he struck out bunting the ball foul with two strikes), and went back out for the 7th. Stammen ended up throwing 32 pitches.
It was one pitch too many. Ketel Marte hit an opposite field 2-run homer to cut the lead to 3-2 and chase Stammen. Taylor Williams replaced Stammen and punched out Christian Walker to end the 7th inning.
In the bottom half Hosmer continued to terrorize Arizona with another RBI single. Hos went 3-3 with 3 RBI and has seven hits in eight at-bats to start the year.
Emilio Pagan threw a scoreless 8th inning and Mark Melancon got the save for the 2nd straight game.
The Padres are 2-0 and since the Dodgers beat the Rockies, San Diego is alone in 1st place in the National League West. That’s something we’d like to see stay the same for the next 6 months or so (it’s fun to note their Magic Number is 160).
Grossmont High School alum Joe Musgrove makes his Padres debut on Saturday night in game 3 of the series against Arizona.
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