I’d be lying if I told you that Blake Snell has impressed me all season long. The talent is clearly there, and he’s shown it in flashes, but his earlier season appearances left quite a lot to be desired.
Snell has seemed to put it together more and more of late, but today... today was Blake Snell’s masterpiece.
Snell gave up just 2 hits and no walks, while striking out 13 over 7 shutout frames. He took a perfect game into the 5th inning, and was truly dominant for 100 pitches.
The bullpen took over to finish off the shutout, as Boxy & Chaz Roe (who sounds like the protagonist of a late-80’s video game) combined to seal the deal in the final two frames.
On a day when Snell looks this sharp, the offense doesn’t need to do much, but they wanted to go out with a bang as well.
Curt Casali’s solo homer in the 5th was all they would need, but the Rays tacked on five bonus runs in the 8th as well as Brad Brach and Mike Wright imploded in the penultimate inning (h/t Nomo).
I’m sure there will be many musings over the 2017 season to come, so I’ll limit mine to this.
This year’s team had talent. This team had a shot. They could have been an interesting team to watch in the postseason. But alas, they didn’t quite have enough.
Here’s to hoping for an offseason of progress, in player development and personnel, as well as in our seemingly never-ending stadium saga.
Go Rays. Tampa Bay forever.