UPDATE: Jose Ramirez led off the seventh for Cleveland, took Snell to a 3-0 count, Snell evened it up at 3-2 and then . . . Jose Ramirez broke it up with a homer to left field. It was Ramirez’s first homer since August 17. With it he ended that home run drought, the no-hitter and the shutout.
As you were.
2:46 PM: Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell is having a fantastic season. One that has him in the hunt for the Cy Young Award. He’s bolstering that case so far today down in St. Petersburg, where he has a no-hitter going through six innings against the Cleveland Indians. The Rays are up 3-0.
Snell has walked two batters so the perfecto is out of reach, but he’s struck out eight. He’s currently at 82 pitches, so even if he keeps the Indians hitless, there’s a chance he’ll run out of gas before he can complete this bad boy, but we’ll see. His season high pitch total is 114, which he’s reached twice.
The last time anyone no-hit the Indians was when Ervin Santana of the Angels did it back in 2011.
Coming into today’s game, Snell was 18-5 with a 2.06 ERA in 27 starts.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.