He didn’t shy away from facing the Los Angeles Dodgers. San Diego Padres left-handed ace Blake Snell, 31, showed why he is a frontrunner for the National League (NL) Cy Young Award.

Snell picked up his 14th win of the season on April 14 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, tossing six innings of one-hit ball with one walk and eight strikeouts to lead San Diego to a 6-1 victory.

He was dominant against the Dodger lineup. Dodgers leadoff hitter Mookie Betts singled in the first inning and walked in the third. Snell, who retired the next four batters in order, threw 91 pitches, topping out at 97.5 mph (156.9 km/h) and averaging 96 mph (154.5 km/h) with a four-seam fastball (42), curve (19), changeup, and slider (15+). Six of his eight strikeouts came on his breaking ball.

Through 30 games (167 innings) this season, Snell is 14-9 with a 2.43 ERA and 217 strikeouts in 167 innings. Snell, who passed Justin Steele (Chicago Cubs – 2.49) for the NL lead in ERA, was first in batting average (.187), second in strikeouts and tied for fifth in wins. He allowed the most walks in the league (93), but was at the top of the league in the other categories.

The NL Cy Young Award frontrunner actually could have skipped the Dodgers game. According to MLB.com, San Diego pitching coach Ruben Nivella suggested earlier this month that Snell take an extra day of rest and pitch against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday instead of the Dodgers.

It was a physically exhausting time of year for Snell, who is in the midst of a Cy Young race, and the team considered rescheduling the game so that he could face Oakland, which is in fifth place in the American League (AL) West, instead of the first-place Dodgers in the NL West. Oakland is 46-100 (.315), the second-worst winning percentage underdog in the league behind the Kansas City Royals (46-101, .313).

But Snell opted to go toe-to-toe with the Dodgers, refusing to take the extra rest, and as you can see, he made his presence felt, picking up the win against the Dodgers. After the game, Snell said, “I enjoy the challenge, that’s why I play against the best teams. It’s the only way I can truly know how good I am.”

“Snell is a Cy Young dominator,” said San Diego manager Bob Melvin. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “Snell is having a Cy Young-caliber season. There aren’t many offenses that can do anything against a pitcher like that.” Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor agreed, saying, “I’ve faced him quite a bit, and today was the best I’ve ever seen him.”

We’re not at the point where we’re 100 percent comfortable with Cy Young. Steele is closing in on Snell with a 16-3 record and 2.49 ERA in 27 games (159 innings), good for second in the division. “I don’t pay attention to the other guys,” Snell said. I’m just going to focus on what I need to do and help the team win,” Snell said. 메이저사이트

Snell last won the AL Cy Young Award in 2018 with the Tampa Bay Rays. If he wins again, he will become the seventh player in history to win a bi-league Cy Young Award, joining Gaylord Perry, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, and Max Scherzer.