Last night was another unsurprising Blake Snell first half of the season start. He couldn’t make it into the sixth inning, walking five (for the second time this month) and allowing four hits on 105 pitches.
He wasn’t the reason why the San Diego Padres lost though, as the offense didn’t score any runs for the fourth time in their last nine games. It’s still frustrating though to see Snell struggle in the first half because we all know the talent is there.
The 30-year-old has a 2.68 ERA after the All-Star break since he debuted in 2016. That’s good enough for third-best in Major League Baseball behind Justin Verlander (2.08) and Jacob deGrom (2.54).
What might make this year’s struggles more frustrating for Padres fans is that there was hope he was going to pitch better throughout the season because he’s in a walk year and Bob Melvin said before the season that Snell had prepared better than the year before.
“He’s come in, I think, with a little different focus about 162,” Melvin told the media in Spring Training. “He’s had a history of getting off to some rough starts and then being about as good as anybody. I think there are a lot of reasons for him to be motivated this year to have a good year. I think he probably started his process a little bit earlier. And certainly his mental process about each game is going to be the same for him, whether it’s game one (or) whether it’s game 25. So I expect him to get off to a little better start this year.”
That better start hasn’t happened. It has actually been worse compared to last season through five starts.
Blake Snell through his first five starts: fewer innings, more hits, more walks, higher ERA compared to last season pic.twitter.com/i6VTxBQl2J— Talking Friars (@TalkingFriars) April 26, 2023
Snell doesn’t seem to be concerned with another slow start. “I really like where I’m at,” he told the media after last night’s shutout loss. “Obviously, the walks and the result is frustrating. But looking at the long season, where I’m at right now, moving forward I’m really excited about what I’ll be able to do to help the team win.”
“When you trust the process, trust what you’re doing and stick by it, you’ll be rewarded. And when you’re rewarded, you can’t be excited about those results, because sometimes you had a terrible game but the results will say something completely different.”
I understand what he’s saying about trusting his process but the fans don’t see the process. They see the results and the results are maddening for many Padres fans who see an ace in the second half and a totally different guy in the first half of seasons.
When are we going to see the results match his process? We’ll probably have to wait until the second half of the season because it’s Blake Snell.