Giants Observations

What we learned as Snell roughed up in Giants' loss to Rays

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After a rough Giants debut on Monday, Blake Snell said his adrenaline got the better of him. It was surely there on Sunday, too, as Snell pitched at Tropicana Field for the first time as a visitor, and once again he left early and with an ugly line in the box score.

Snell lasted just four innings in a 9-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing seven earned runs for the first time since July 28, 2021. Through two starts in orange and black, Snell has given up 10 earned runs in seven innings. He is a notorious slow starter, but this is still not what he anticipated as he threw multiple tune-up games to simulate spring training.

On Sunday, Snell ran into the same issue that sunk him Monday, repeatedly going to three-ball and full counts. He faced 20 batters and went full on five of them.

A day after hitting five homers, the Giants scored three batters into the game. But overall it was another quiet day for a lineup that struck out five times in the first two innings against opener Shawn Armstrong.

Here are the takeaways from a loss that drops the Giants to 6-10 this season:

Making Snell Sweat

Snell needed 72 pitches to get through three innings on Monday, including 26 in the first inning. On Sunday, he also threw 26 pitches in the first, and this time he gave up three runs.

That made the rest of the day an uphill battle for the lefty, who briefly righted the ship with a 14-pitch second and 11-pitch third. The Rays again pushed him hard in the fourth, and it wasn't until Snell's 67th pitch of the day that he recorded his 10th out. The fourth was his final inning, and after those 27 pitches, Bob Melvin had seen enough.

Snell has needed 150 total pitches to get through his seven innings this season.

The Damage

The last time Snell gave up a home run, he was a San Diego Padre and Jorge Soler was a Miami Marlin. Soler took his future teammate deep last Aug. 22, but Snell had gone 44 innings since that day without a homer, the second-longest active streak behind New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz, who missed last season with an injury.

It took just five batters Sunday for Snell to give up a homer. Amed Rosario had been 0-for-11 off him with six strikeouts, but Snell grooved a 3-2 changeup and Rosario hit a low liner over the left field fence. In the fourth, Snell went 3-2 on No. 9 hitter René Pinto, and this time it was a fastball that left the yard.

The two-homer game was Snell's first since last May 19.

Be Like Mike

Michael Conforto has cooled down after a scorching-hot first road trip, but he had some good swings on Sunday.

In his second at-bat, Conforto hit a 369-foot fly ball to center that was caught on the edge of the warning track. The next time up, he added a bit more distance and found a more amenable part of the yard.

Conforto jumped on a hanging cutter from lefty Tyler Alexander, hitting a moonshot into the seats in right. The homer was the fourth of the year for Conforto, who is more than a quarter of the way to last year's total. He already has two homers off lefties after hitting three all of last season.

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