SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Blake Snell set to debut for Giants vs. Nationals

Apr 8, 2024, 6:13 AM | Updated: 7:12 am

Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres talks with Blake Snell #7 of the San Francisco Giants pri...

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 28: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres talks with Blake Snell #7 of the San Francisco Giants prior to an Opening Day game at PETCO Park on March 28, 2024 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brandon Sloter/Getty Images)

Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell is scheduled to make his season debut on Monday night when the San Francisco Giants open a three-game set against the visiting Washington Nationals.

The series matches teams that have staggered out of the gate, although the Giants took a step in a positive direction with two home wins over the San Diego Padres in the past three days.

Snell, who was 14-9 with a 2.25 ERA for the Padres in 2023, wasn’t deemed fully prepared for either Giants series against San Diego this season. He had a late start to his spring training after signing with San Francisco on March 19.

He did not make any appearances in spring training. Rather, the Giants had him face their Double-A team before pitching a simulated game — an estimated five innings — against his new teammates while the club was in Los Angeles at the beginning of last week.

Snell said afterward he would have loved to have made his against the Padres or Dodgers, but it wouldn’t have been in anyone’s best interest.

“I’m just not ready,” he said last Wednesday. “There’s no point to push it this early and then risk anything. I did the best I could, but you just can’t simulate being here every day.”

By being patient, Blake Snell gets to open against a team to which he’s never lost, going 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in five starts. The most recent of those outings was last May in the nation’s capital, when he limited the Nationals to one run and four hits in five innings in a no-decision.

The Giants will be riding the momentum of a second dramatic win over San Diego in three days.

On Sunday, the key play came in the eighth inning on a hard slide by Jorge Soler into Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim, knocking the ball out of his glove to allow the tying run to score and set up Matt Chapman’s go-ahead hit.

“Sometimes you need a little luck,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said afterward. “And a big baserunner.”

The Giants won the series despite scoring just six runs. They did not homer in their first three home games of the season and had just four extra-base hits, all doubles.

The Nationals had similar hitting issues in their just completed three-game home series against the Philadelphia Phillies, when they totaled just five runs. Fortunately for them, the three they recorded on Sunday were just enough to salvage a win.

Washington had just three extra-base hits off Phillies pitching, including Joey Gallo’s second homer of the season in Saturday’s 5-2 loss.

Outfielder Lane Thomas, who had two hits on both Saturday and Sunday, came away encouraged from three competitive efforts against the Phillies.

“It’s early,” he said. “We can play with these teams. Going forward, we’re going to get better.”

Right-hander Trevor Williams (1-0, 3.38), who pitched well in his season debut, is slated to get the ball in the opener of a nine-game trip. He started the second of just three Nationals wins so far, holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to two runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 5-3 win on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old California native has pitched well in San Francisco in his career, going 1-0 with a 2.01 ERA in four games, including three starts. Overall, he’s 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA against the Giants in six career encounters.

Upcoming schedule for Blake Snell and the San Francisco Giants

  • Friday, April 5th-Sunday, April 7th – vs. San Diego Padres
  • Monday, April 8th-Wednesday, April 10th – vs. Washington Nationals
  • Friday, April 12-Sunday, April 14th – @ Tampa Bay Rays
  • Monday, April 15th-Wednesday, April 17th – @ Miami Marlins
  • Thursday, April 18th-Sunday, April 21st – vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

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–Field Level Media

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