Retraction: The Oakland A’s suck less than previously reported | Worst of the Week Countdown
Starting for Tampa Bay will be Zach Eflin, who was the Padres‘ first-round draft pick in 2012 and was considered one of San Diego’s top prospects but never played for the team
Although Snell’s disappointing record is partially the product of limited run support, Eflin has benefited from a change of scenery this year after spending seven seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He also has been helped by the Tampa Bay offense.
Snell will face Tampa Bay for the first time. Eflin is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in five career starts against the Padres
“There’s always something extra in a game where you are facing the team that drafted you,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s how you process that.
And while Eflin has performed beyond expectations all season for the Rays, Snell recently has shown the form that has kicked in over the second half of his two previous seasons in San Diego
In his eight starts since the beginning of May, Snell is 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA — 15 runs allowed on 30 hits and 19 walks with 55 strikeouts in 46 innings. And in June, he has given up one run on five hits and three walks with 20 strikeouts in 13 innings.
“We’ve seen this before,” Melvin said. “This is how Blake’s always pitched in the second half. It’s just come a little quicker. His slider has come around and is sharp. The fastball is there. He has the curve and the changeup. When he’s pitching like this, getting strike one, he’s as good as any pitcher in the major leagues.”
In eight starts since May 1, Eflin has a 5-2 record and a 3.40 ERA — 19 runs allowed on 39 hits and eight walks with 51 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings.
“He’s a really good pitcher who knows how to execute pitches at a level that’s really, really high,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said recently of Eflin. “Since the start of May, it’s been six-plus innings almost every time out. That’s very important.
“It’s a veteran savvy approach that works for us,” Cash continued. “When he has everything going, it’s the front-door sinker going to lefties, the cutter going away to righties … a good mix.”
The loss was San Diego’s second straight after a two-game winning streak.
–Field Level Media