Blake Snell of the San Diego Padres is a good pitcher. In 31 appearances this season, he has a 2.33 ERA. That’s first in both leagues in ERA. His 227 strikeouts in 174 innings also show that he’s a good pitcher.
Nevertheless, Snell is far from a good pitcher. He doesn’t throw strikes, which is a prerequisite for a good pitcher. His velocity fluctuates wildly from game to game and inning to inning. You can’t help but feel uneasy watching him. His 97 strikeouts and 13 walks this year are the most in the majors.
Snell is a pitcher who straddles both extremes. This year, Snell will become the seventh player in Major League Baseball history to win the American League Cy Young Award.
All-time American League Cy Young Award pitchers
- Gaylord Perry
- Roger Clemens
- Randy Johnson
- Pedro Martinez
- Roy Halladay
- Max Scherzer
Scherzer got off to a rough start. In his first nine games of the season, he went just 1-6 with a 5.04 ERA. It was a period in which he collapsed before he could even go toe-to-toe with batters. He walked 27 batters in 45 innings, a rate of 5.4 batters per nine innings. In general, pitchers with bad pitches are more likely to be shaky with runners on base. Early in the season, Snell was not able to get beyond this general zone.
But Snell didn’t falter. After May 26, he was a completely different pitcher. This was largely due to a decrease in his four-seam fastball and an increase in his curve, changeup, and slider. The resurgence of the changeup in particular was crucial. Snell is now 13-3 with a 1.26 ERA in his last 22 starts. Here’s Snell’s ERA breakdown over the same period.
0 ERA – 12 games
1 ERA – 4 games
2 earned runs – 4 games
3 earned runs – 2 games
Over his last 22 games, Snell hasn’t failed to complete five innings once. Since May 26, Snell’s 129 innings pitched are tied for the fourth-most in the majors behind Logan Webb (136), Zach Galvin (131) and Luis Castillo (130⅔). Snell wasn’t just managing a low ERA with fewer innings pitched; he also led FanGraphs.com in pitcher wins during this time.
Pitcher Wins Above Replacement since 5/26
4.0 – Blake Snell
3.6 – Zack Eflin
3.5 – Zack Wheeler
3.2 – Logan Webb
3.2 – Spencer Strider
Of course, even after becoming one of the league’s best pitchers, 토토사이트 Snell couldn’t stay away from the strikeouts. With 70 walks in 129 innings, he allowed 4.9 walks per nine innings. While he was still walking runners, he was stranding them on base. In fact, Snell’s “strand rate,” or the percentage of runners left on base, was an astounding 91.9% over that span.