Impressive debut for Rays Blake Snell: 1 run in 5 innings
The kid was better than all right.
Rays top prospect Blake Snell made an impressive big-league debut Saturday at Yankee Stadium, allowing one run over five innings and leaving with a 2-1 lead. He would not get a win however as the Yankees tied the game in the seventh.
Snell, 23, was called up to fill an open spot in the Rays rotation and showed in his cameo appearance he is worthy of the hype.
Mixing an easy 95-mph fastball with a deep-bending curve, Snell allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out six.
He looked a bit unsettled in the first, getting two outs but then walking Carlos Beltran on four pitches and allowing a 1-2 single to Mark Teixeira on the corners. He got ahead of Alex Rodriguez 0-and-2, but then bounced a 1-2 pitch to Alex Rodriguez that eluded catcher Hank Conger and let Beltran score. He had another scare when Rodriguez flied to deep left, but Desmond Jennings made a leaping catch.
Snell came out much calmer and in command in second, striking out the side. For record-keeping, his first was Brian McCann looking at one of those nasty curves.
Snell got in a little bit of trouble in the third, when Jacoby Ellsbury reached on single up the middle and went to second on another wild pitch, and then out of it by retiring Brett Gardner and then Beltran.
For the day, Snell - wearing his favorite No. 4 - threw 90 pitches, 53 strikes, a quality show for the 12 relatives and friends, including his mom and girlfriend, who made the trip from Seattle.
He was the first Ray to make his big-league debut at Yankee Stadium as a starter, and the 33rd visiting pitcher overall. And he was the third Rays pitcher to make his debut in the Bronx, following Bobby Seay (2001) and David Price (2008).