D-backs' bats held at bay by sharp Snell

September 1st, 2021

PHOENIX -- The D-backs managed to avoid getting no-hit Tuesday night, but they couldn't avoid another loss, as they fell, 3-0, to the Padres at Chase Field.

Padres starter Blake Snell was dominant through seven innings, holding the D-backs hitless while walking two and striking out 10. With Snell’s pitch count at 107, Padres manager Jayce Tingler turned to reliever Pierce Johnson to start the eighth.

Johnson retired pinch-hitter to open the frame, but pinch-hitter followed with a bloop single to left field to break up the combined no-hit bid.

The D-backs got another pair of hits in the ninth against closer Mark Melancon with and delivering two-out singles to bring the potential tying run to plate before Melancon struck out to end the game.

"You never want to get no-hit," D-backs shortstop said. "I was rooting for everybody to get a hit in that spot, especially after it gets after the fifth, sixth inning. What we did well off Snell, if we did anything well, was we worked at-bats well enough to get his pitch count up and get him out of the game.

“We didn’t win the game, but we got their closer in the game. He’s thrown two days in a row, so, hopefully, get in a close game tomorrow and it’ll be a situation where we’ve seen him twice where he may not pitch. We take one positive out of that."

It would have been quite a feat if either Snell alone or Snell along with some relievers tossed a no-hitter Tuesday given that D-backs left-hander Tyler Gilbert had no-hit the Padres at Chase Field on Aug. 14.

This time, though, it was the D-backs’ offense that could do very little against a lefty on top of his game.

"I thought it was an aggressive fastball at the top and bottom of the zone," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of Snell’s performance. "It was a curveball over slider until probably the sixth inning when he started to mix in the slider. He had a three-pitch mix going and had a good day."

Snell has had quite a bit of success against the D-backs in his career. He has started five games against Arizona and has a 0.61 ERA over 29 2/3 innings. Four of those starts have come this year, when he has allowed two earned runs over 23 2/3 innings.

Given that he's under contract for the next couple of seasons in San Diego, the D-backs will have to face him plenty in the near future. So they will need to find a way to get to him.

"We haven’t figured him out," Ahmed said. "Obviously, he’s got a good track record of being a really good pitcher. I don’t think his numbers this year are as good as he has been in the past. He’s pitched really well against us. We’re not going to see him again this year, I don’t think, but if we see him again in the future, we’re going to have to come up with a better game plan."