HOUSTON -- As Blake Snell made his way to the Rays' bullpen before Game 4 of the American League Division Series, he had a bunch of questions. Snell, who threw two-thirds of an inning to earn the save on Tuesday in his first big league relief appearance, spent the game
HOUSTON -- As Blake Snell made his way to the Rays' bullpen before Game 4 of the American League Division Series, he had a bunch of questions. Snell, who threw two-thirds of an inning to earn the save on Tuesday in his first big league relief appearance, spent the game with the expectation that he would enter the game at some point with Tampa Bay's season on the line.
“I’m not going to lie. It was weird,” Snell said with a smile. “I just followed their whole bullpen routine. I was like, 'Where do I sit?' … I mean it was weird, it’s just super boring. That’s the truth. It’s boring. There’s not a lot to do.”
As Snell found some comedy in the situation, the left-hander also understands that the Rays will ask for him to be ready to pitch at some point during Game 5 of the ALDS against the Astros on Thursday.
“The first seven innings, yeah, I was pretty bored,” Snell said. “I had some gum, some seeds. Normal snack. I brought beef jerky. I had applesauce on the way down, too. But it was cool toward the end when I knew I had a chance to pitch, and I was excited.”
The Rays used six pitchers in Tuesday’s 4-1 win over the Astros and had two others warm up but not enter the game. Game 3 starter Charlie Morton was the only pitcher off-limits for the Rays then, but on Thursday, Tampa Bay has Morton, Snell and the rest of its pitching staff available out of the bullpen.
“Everybody will be available,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We’ll be ready.”
• TB-HOU: Game 5 lineups, matchups, FAQ
Tyler Glasnow will get the start in Game 5 and Cash believes the right-hander is fully capable of getting through at least five innings in Houston. Glasnow went 4 1/3 innings in Game 1, which was his longest outing since returning on Sept. 8 after missing nearly four months with a mild forearm strain.
But regardless of how Glasnow performs, the Rays' bullpen phone will be on alert as early as the first inning.
“We’ll just see how it goes,” Cash said. “That’s kind of what we’ve done with all these guys that have been coming back from injuries. I think you go in with a game plan, a thought process, but you gauge off how the ball is coming out and how they’re feeling.”
• Rays' bullpen more than a match for 'Stros staff
ALCS times announced
The Rays have to take care of business in Houston before thinking about a potential AL Championship Series against the Yankees, but the times for Games 1 and 2 for the ALCS were announced on Wednesday.
In the event Tampa Bay completes the comeback, the Rays will travel to New York for Games 1 and 2 at Yankee Stadium. Game 1 will be on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on FOX, while Game 2 is set for Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on FS1.
Game 3 would be on Tuesday at Tropicana Field.
Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.