Two of the best pitchers in baseball made their debuts for teams that are expected to be competing for a division title in the National League West. Former American League Cy Young award winner, Blake Snell, came over to the San Diego Padres from the defending AL champs in a blockbuster trade back in December. And the reigning National League Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer, signed a three-year $102 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in February.
Both teams with extremely high expectations, the Dodgers are the defending World Series champions & the Padres look like a contender on paper. Both Bauer & Snell made their first starts for their new teams, and both had stellar outings:
Snell: 4.2 IP, 8 K’s, 4 hits, 2 walks vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Snell took the mound against the D-Backs, in his first time wearing another uniform that wasn’t for the Tampa Bay Rays. It must have been weird for the veteran lefty, as he said on the Chris Rose Rotation, “All I knew was being a Ray”. But, it didn’t look like it bothered Snell, as he struck out Arizona’s Tim Locastro to start the game, and that would be the first of eight batters he fanned in just under five innings of work. According to Baseball Savant, The average velocity on his fastball was great (95.1) & his potent slider looked nasty per usual. Padres manager Jayce Tingler did take Snell out in the fifth inning, but it was his first start of the year and 86 pitches were enough for the skipper to go to the bullpen, where the Padres eventually pulled out a 4-2 win.
Bauer: 6.1 IP, 10 K’s, 4 earned runs, 3 hits
Though the game took place in Colorado, it seemed like it might’ve been a Dodgers home game the way it sounded on TV. Every time Bauer struck out a Rockie hitter, you could hear the roar of Los Angeles fans cheer. And he had everything going through the first six innings against Colorado. He threw his fastball & cutter for a combined 82% of his 96 pitches, with the other 18% being his slider & knuckle curve, according to Baseball Savant. Bauer was very good those first six innings, before Trevor Story broke up the no-no with a single to left field. Story’s knock was followed up by Charlie Blackmon’s 2-run homer just a batter later. And then Ryan McMahon hit a 2-run shot of his own shortly after, and Bauer struck out one just before Dave Roberts went to David Price in the pen. Bauer’s not did not end so great, but the Dodgers still won 11-6, thanks to that loaded LA offense. Statistically, the four earned runs don’t look great, but Bauer dominated for 90 percent of his start and still mowed down 10 hitters. A good start in Dodger Blue.
Featured Image: AP Photo/David Zalubowski