With the pressure on Ian Snell looked competitive and showed resilience in his Mariners debut. Snell's ability to step up and perfrom well in his most important start of the 2009 season, was a sigh of relief for Mariners fans who have been sceptical over his recent acquisition.
He threw 84 pitches, lasting six innings, giving up two runs on only three hits, while striking out four. Although Texas took the game from Seattle in the seventh inning of the 2-4 loss, Snell gave his team a chance to win, which is an encouraging sign to Mariners fans.
He did surrender three walks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he was struggling with his control. None of the passed batters came around to score, and walking a batter in Arlington, a hitter’s friendly ballpark, can definitely be more constructive than allowing the long-ball hitting home team, to capitalize in a hitter’s count.
Manager, Dan Wakamatsu was happy with Snell’s performance. “To come into this ballpark and give up three hits or so against this lineup … I thought he did a tremendous job.”
His two earned runs both came on mistakes leading to solo homeruns. The first, against DH and three spot hitter, David Murphy, on a fastball left over the middle of the plate, with two out in the first. Then Michael Young tallied his 17th jack on the year, on a hanging inside slider, with no outs in the sixth. Texas, especially at home, is not a team a pitcher can afford to leave the ball up or over the plate against.
It was a relief to Mariners fans to see a solid first performance by Ian Snell on his first start back in the majors. Texas was good team for Snell to face in his return to the majors serving as a reminder that big leaguers will make mistakes hurt, even if it is only two. If he can eliminate those two mistakes, he throws six scoreless innings.
Any outing where a pitcher gives his team the opportunity to walk away with a win is a successful performance. Snell felt good about his debut, but still felt the sting of a loss. “I am very pleased with the way I pitched, but we came out in the short end,” Snell commented after the game. “My job is to keep the team in the game, and I did that.”
In Snell’s debut wearing his new uniform, even though it has only been one game, Mariners fans can rest a bit easier knowing that the team has picked up a guy that looked, at least for in his first game, to be a reliable starter.