ST. PETERSBURG - Blake Snell has spent enough time reflecting on what he didn’t do well in his opening day loss to the Astros, most frustratingly throwing too many curveballs and not having the proper mix or sequencing of his pitches.
And he made clear in talking with several reporters on Monday how eager he is to get back on the mound tonight against the Rockies.
"I can’t wait,'' Snell said. "I’m ready to go. I’m excited. "I’m ready for (Tuesday) to be here. But I’m definitely excited to learn a lot from today.''
Once Snell got over his frustration, mainly with himself, from his opening day loss to the Astros, he set about doing better in his next outing.
"I need to mix some pitches up, attack like I do, use the fastball more,'' he said. "I like how I was in the zone. There were two batters I was pretty bad on. But I like how I was in the zone. I felt very comfortable, I was happy with that. Just attack like I do, mix pitches and pitch like I know I can.''
Snell says he can draw on his start against the Rockies in 2016, when he worked six no-run, one-hit innings and struck out nine.
“They have a tough lineup, another big-league lineup that I’m excited to face,'' Snell said. "I faced them before, a majority of these guys so I’m happy with that, knowing that. But these guys, they’ve all evolved, they’ve all gotten better. That was was two years ago. But looking at them now there’s a lot of similarities from what I’ve already seen. But I’m excited to get going, excited to face them.''
Snell planned to watch the Rays pitchers in Monday’s season opener, to see how they did and how the hitters reacted, that he wanted "to really make sure my game plan is as strong as I think it is.''
Since Thursday, all Snell has been able to do is lead the cheers in the dugout.
Not that watching was too terrible.
“That was awesome,'' he said. "To see everyone play as good as they played and the pitchers pitch as good as they pitched, the bullpen do what everyone knows they can do it was awesome, I enjoyed it a lot. And it just made me more hungry to get better.''