Blake Snell made the first relief appearance of his career on Tuesday, earning a save in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Houston Astros, and for his part Snell both loved and hated the experience.
Speaking with the press before tonight’s winner-moves-on Game 5, the Rays fourth elimination game faced this playoffs, Snell reflected on what it was like being in the bullpen. That is, it was boring.
Yeah, that’s not for me. I’m not going to lie. It was weird. I walked out with them. I just followed their whole bullpen routine.
It was like where do I sit? I’m not trying to sit in anyone’s spot, which is impossible, I sat in Diego’s spot. Yeah, I mean it was weird... it’s just super boring. That’s the truth. It’s boring. There’s not a lot to do. You just kind of look around.
I get the advantage of I sit in the dugout and it’s right there in front of me. And when I go in the bullpen it’s like Reddick is in front of me or Avisail is in front of me, and I’m looking at the game so far away, it’s like you’re in la la land. It’s not for me. I don’t like it.
It was cool towards the end when I knew I had a chance to pitch and I was excited. But the first seven innings, yeah, I was pretty bored.
Also missing from the bullpen are the same boxes of snacks and drinks available to the players in the dugout, with eating sunflower seeds being a clear favorite of the Rays pitchers looking to pass the time during games.
So when Snell went to the bullpen, he was armed with snacks.
I had some gum, some seeds. Normal snacks. I brought beef jerky. I had applesauce on the way down, too. So it was an exciting time for me food-wise, but watching the game, a little boring.
And yet Snell was full of assurances that tonight he will not be too bored when he’s not the only one expected to be in the bullpen again for Game 5. According to Kevin Cash, everyone will be available.
Yeah, I’m excited. It’s good to see that everyone can go, especially Chuck. I want to see him throw again, wouldn’t that be cool?
But, I mean, everyone is excited. It was a very calm flight over. We left at noon. I watched a movie and passed out. Other guys were playing dominoes. It was just very chill. And then the bus ride was very calm, as well.
We’re ready to play. And I think this moment is where we thrive best. But we’re very calm and relaxed, and I think that’s what makes it even more exciting for us.
Tyler Glasnow has the first pitch tonight at 7:07 on FS1; everyone to follow.