Snell (12-5) allowed three earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out two across three innings to take the loss Thursday against the Twins. Snell suffered his shortest outing of the season -- he has two other starts this season in which he lasted only 3.1 innings -- marking the first time since May 13 that he failed to pitch at least five innings. Control was his downfall, as he walked three batters -- one of which came around to score -- and threw a wild pitch moving another runner into scoring position in the third inning. His velocity was in line with his season-long norms so this start can be chalked up as an outlier, though it does highlight the risk that Snell presents on a game-to-game basis due to his continued issues with control.
Snell (12-4) allowed six hits and three walks while striking out nine across 7.1 scoreless innings to earn the win Saturday against the Mets. Snell generated an impressive 16 swinging strikes and stayed out of trouble by also generating 10 groundouts. Although the Mets struggle against southpaws, Snell has been particularly dominant in his last three starts, striking out 29 batters across 21.2 innings. That's only added to his impressive breakout campaign as he ranks among the American League leaders in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, ERA and WHIP.
Snell, who's now 10-4 with a 2.31 ERA through 17 starts, attributes a lot of his improvement to an adjustment he made to his foot placement on the pitching rubber late last season, Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports. Snell was lining up on the third-base side of the rubber for the first 14 starts of 2017, a stretch during which he generated a 4.98 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 5.1 BB/9. The young left-hander subsequently adjusted his positioning to the middle of the rubber, and the improvement in his control and overall performance was evident. The aforementioned figures dropped to 2.84, 1.02 and 3.1, respectively, over his last 10 starts of 2017, and he's been similarly impressive throughout the majority of this season. Snell boasts a 28.1 percent strikeout rate and 13.5 percent swinging-strike rate so far in 2018.
Snell (10-4) tossed seven scoreless innings to earn the win Monday against the Nationals, striking out 10 while allowing one hit and four walks. Snell was extremely effective against one of the toughest lineups in baseball, inducing a whopping 23 swinging strikes while recording seven groundball outs in this gem of an outing. He actually walked the first two batters he faced, but he buckled down and coasted the rest of the way off a large early lead. Though Snell has been outstanding of late, he's now walked 15 batters across 19 innings over his last three starts and will need to curtail the free passes to sustain this type of success. He'll look to do just that as he face a tough Astros lineup this weekend.
Snell (9-4) got the win Tuesday, allowing one run on three hits and seven walks while striking out six over seven innings against the Astros. Snell wasn't at his sharpest with a season-high seven walks and only just over half of his pitches going for strikes (57 of 102), but he allowed just three singles and was helped out by his defense with a couple of double plays and another out on the basepaths when Alex Bregman attempted to stretch a single into a double. The lefty's nine wins trail only Corey Kluber and Luis Severino in the AL, and he now sports a sterling 2.48 ERA. He's struggled with command a bit of late with a 15:13 K:BB in 18 innings over his last three starts, but on the year he's now at 9.8 K/9. Next up is a home date with the Nationals on Monday.