Monday, September 24, 2018


Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Marc Topkin has covered baseball for the Times since 1987 — from the lengthy effort to secure a team, to the awarding of the Tampa Bay franchise in 1995, and through each of the Rays seasons starting in 1998. He has traveled throughout the United States with the team, as well as to Canada, Venezuela, Mexico and Japan, and has covered All-Star Games and the World Series, as well as Super Bowls and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Blake Snell was eyeing his 21st win while pitching against the Blue Jays Sunday in Toronto. [AP]

Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

TORONTO — Blake Snell doesn't look like he can be stopped.He pitched again for the Rays in Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays, he dominated again and he won again.That's both a major-league-leading and...
Published: 09/23/18
Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter C.J. Cron, right, is congratulated by teammate Joey Wendle after hitting a solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during eighth inning baseball action in Toronto, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) FNG510

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Part of what makes LHP Blake Snell so good is his deep, high-quality repertoire, having four above-average pitches, which is more than most. When fastball command isn't sharp, he can still beat you with an assortment of...
Published: 09/23/18
Brandon Lowe, right, celebrates his two run home run with Rays teammate teammate Joey Wendle against the Blue Jays on Sept. 23, 2018. (The Canadian Press via Associated Press)

Rays journal: Teammates come through for Blake Snell

TORONTO — LHP Blake Snell knows he is the one getting all the attention for the remarkable season he has compiled, but he wants to make sure his teammates get some of the credit."It's cool that it's under my name,'' Snell said,...
Published: 09/23/18
Rays ace Blake Snell delivers against the Rangers during the first inning on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. [Associated Press]

For starters: Rays at Jays, with Snell seeking No. 21

UPDATE, 12:14: Snell takes the mound today leading the AL in wins, ERA (1.97) and opponents average (.179). … Cash noted that Snell "is in elite company now with the Rays, and he has the chance to stand alone."...
Published: 09/23/18
Rays starter Tyler Glasnow pitches to the Blue Jays on Sept. 22, 2018. (The Canadian Press via Associated Press)

Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

TORONTO — There was no drama, no emotional rescues after Saturday's game.After feeling, appropriately, crushed after they gave away Thursday's game, blowing a six-run lead in the ninth, then bouncing back Friday, the Rays on...
Published: 09/22/18
Updated: 09/23/18
Jesus Sucre celebrates his solo home run during seventh inning against the Blue Jays on Sept. 22, 2018. (The Canadian Press via Associated Press)

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

OF Tommy Pham insists he doesn't feel locked in at the plate. Interesting, since it's hard to imagine he could get much hotter: 345 in 31 games since coming to the Rays and .402 while reaching base in 24 straight games, a...
Published: 09/22/18
Rays ace Blake Snell shares a laugh in the dugout during a game earlier this year at the Trop. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]

20 things about Mr. 20 Blake Snell, including, yes, blocking his mom on his phone

TORONTO — Twenty things about Blake Snell as he takes the mound Sunday for the first time as a 20-game winner.Snell …• Is the first 20-game winner in the majors since 2016.• Will have the fewest...
Published: 09/22/18
Blake Snell takes a drink during the third inning of the Rays' victory over the Rangers Tuesday in Arlington, Tex. [AP Photo/Mike Stone]

Rays Tales: And the winners are …

This season won't end up among the most successful in the Rays' 21-year franchise history, but I'd make the case it might be the most interesting.From the winter/spring purge of the veterans, dire predictions for 100-plus losses, frigid...
Published: 09/22/18
Rays starter Tyler Glasnow gave up a two-run homer to Rowdy Tellez in the fourth inning. [AP]

Rays lose again to Jays, 5-2, end is in sight

TORONTO – Friday's bounce back didn't carry over for the Rays, and after a 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday, they are close to being officially bounced from the race for the final American League playoff spot.The Rays opened...
Published: 09/22/18
Austin Meadows had three hits and a stolen base on Friday. [AP]

For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, with Meadows in the lineup

UPDATE, 2:41: Cash said Kiermaier was "a little banged up" from a slide on Thursday so he gave him the day off vs. the lefty but is available, and that allowed Meadows to be in the lineup. … Cash also said Ji-Man Choi,...
Published: 09/22/18