Padres' Blake Snell bids to bolster resume in clash vs. Dodgers

Field Level Media
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Sep 10, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) walks to the dugout before the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Sep 10, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) walks to the dugout before the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Image: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres left-hander Blake Snell will get another chance to close in on a bit of baseball history when he faces the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road Wednesday night.

A National League Cy Young candidate, Snell is looking to become the seventh pitcher to win pitching's top award in both leagues. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 2018 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.


Snell (13-9, 2.52 ERA) is on a run of 20 consecutive starts in which he has allowed three runs or less, and he gave up three in just two of those outings. He has 1.40 ERA going back to a start against the Washington Nationals on May 25.

One of those outings in which Snell gave up three runs came during an Aug. 5 no-decision against the Dodgers. It was Snell's only no-decision over his last 10 outings.


Now comes another chance to get the best of the Dodgers after he gave up two runs over six innings in an 11-2 win against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Los Angeles (88-56) had its offense in high gear Tuesday, with Freddie Freeman getting a homer among his four hits in an 11-2 victory over San Diego (68-78).

"I love playing the best teams," said Snell, who is 1-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 12 regular-season starts against the Dodgers. ... "I love the challenge because I can figure out how good I am."

If there is an area of concern, it is with Snell's major-league-leading 92 walks. He has allowed 12 walks over his last three outings but also has 25 strikeouts in that stretch while winning all three starts.


Snell's prime Cy Young Award competition figures to come from Zack Wheeler (Philadelphia Phillies), Justin Steele (Chicago Cubs), Zac Gallen (Arizona Diamondbacks) and Spencer Strider (Atlanta Braves).

"I haven't seen some of these other guys as much, but watching games every day, I don't know that I've seen better," Padres manager Bob Melvin said of Snell.


The Dodgers will counter with a relative newcomer in right-hander Ryan Pepiot (2-0, 0.86), who made his major league debut last season but remains a rookie with just 13 overall appearances and nine starts.

Pepiot looked like a seasoned veteran in his most recent outing, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning on the road last week against the Miami Marlins before giving up a lone hit. It was just his second big-league start this season after opening the year on the injured list with an oblique issue.


The outing was a welcome sight for a rotation that lost Tony Gonsolin to an elbow injury in August, while Julio Urias was put on indefinite suspension last week amid domestic-violence accusations. The club also announced that Walker Buehler won't return from Tommy John surgery this season after all.

"It was really fun to watch," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Pepiot. "Command all night, strike one, pitch efficiency, pounding the strike zone. (Catcher) Austin (Barnes) was fantastic with him. A lot of weak contact. You could see guys trying to get in and out of the at-bat. Didn't walk anybody."


Pepiot's only appearance against the Padres came last season when he gave up an unearned run on three hits over two innings.

—Field Level Media