The San Francisco Giants put together a strong body of work over the offseason, but they waited until right before the start of the 2024 campaign to make their biggest signing of them all in the reigning National League Cy Young winner Blake Snell. After missing virtually all of Spring Training, Snell took a little longer to get himself ready for the season, leading to him making his season debut on Monday against the Washington Nationals.

Hopes were high for Snell in his debut with the Giants, as the Nationals aren't exactly a playoff contending team. Instead, they made Snell work quite a bit in his first action, as he only lasted three innings while giving up three runs on three hits and two walks, while also striking out five. After the game, Snell labeled the outing as “weird“, saying that there were several different factors that led to his struggles.

“Honestly, it was just weird. I'm facing big league hitters, I was aware of that. I was being more careful than I usually would. Usually, I would just throw it over the plate. Then I was really amped up too. I was really excited to pitch. Bad combination I guess…There's a lot going through my head right now, but I would just say I was pretty amped up, and I was trying to nitpick the zone too much. I made the bullpen have to cover a lot of innings that they shouldn't have had to cover.” – Blake Snell, ESPN

Blake Snell hoping get back into the swing of things with Giants

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Blake Snell (7) pitches against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Oracle Park.
Mandatory Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

There's always going to be some butterflies associated with making your first start of the season, especially when you are a prized free agent that is signing with a playoff-hopeful in the Giants. To expect Snell to come out and mow down the Nationals was probably far-fetched, and sure enough, he was lifted from the game after throwing 72 pitches over three innings.

Everyone is still getting into the swing of things with the new season, and that is certainly true for Snell, who is a bit behind where everyone else is given how late he signed with his new team. The good news is that he's gotten this first start out of the way, and given his struggles, chances are things will only go up from here for the talented southpaw.

The season hasn't started the way San Francisco was hoping for as a whole, but they've only played in 11 games, meaning there's tons of time for them to turn things around. Snell will certainly be looking to get back on track after a rough debut outing, and given how good he's been over the past few seasons, it's safe to assume he will look much sharper the next time he's on the mound.