Afterwards it was revealed that Snell did something only three others have done since 1961. He struck out nine batters or more for the second time in two starts. The feat places him in elite company with Randy Johnson, Jacob deGrom, and Pedro Martinez.
Blake Snell struck out all 9 starters for the 2nd straight start, becoming the 4th pitcher to do so since 1961. The others:
– Jacob deGrom (2021)
– Pedro Martinez (1999 & 2000)
– Randy Johnson (1992 & 1999) pic.twitter.com/d42Y89xVgc
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 18, 2023
Snell has a record of 3-6 so far on the season with a 3.48 ERA and 93 strikeouts. He struck out five of the first six Rays batters he faced and continued the momentum into the sixth inning.
The Padres moved to 34-36 on the season, eight games out of first place in the NL West behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. Snell became emotional after the incredible performance and spoke highly of his bond with his teammates. Snell has particularly taken a liking to Gary Sanchez, the team's catcher.
“A lot of those guys were in it from the day I walked in the door as a professional,” Snell said. “So yeah, emotional. It's cool to pitch in front of people that have supported you, raised you, challenged you. There's just a lot that they've done that made me who I am today.”
Snell has an ERA of 0.60 over his last five starts. He appears to be recapturing the form that made him a Cy Young winner in 2018 with the Rays.
“Many of us have seen Blake throw very well,” Rays Manager Kevin Cash said. “That was a very strong outing. He had everything going.”