Rays starter Chris Archer racked up double-digits in strikeouts and issued no walks for a third consecutive start, helping the Rays fend off the Mariners 3-1 on Sunday. It’s the first time in the modern era that a pitcher has put together three straight starts in which he’s struck out at least 10 and walked none, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Archer allowed only one run on seven hits while walking none and striking out 11. Now with 108 strikeouts, he’s the third to cross the 100-strikeout threshold on the season, joining Corey Kluber and Clayton Kershaw.
Archer, 26, has held the opposition to one or zero runs each of his last five starts and in nine of 13 starts overall. He sports a terrific 1.95 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP and a 108/20 K/BB ratio in 83 innings. Among qualified American League starters, only Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray (1.65) and Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel (1.85) have posted a better ERA. Archer is only in his third full season in the majors and is well on his way to earning his first All-Star nomination.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.