Mains: Rays have set a pitching trend; will any other teams follow?

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on August 16, 2018:

Friday night, Rays left-hander Blake Snell cruised through five innings against the Blue Jays, allowing no baserunners and throwing just 45 pitches. It was his second start back from the disabled list, following a four-inning, 59-pitch effort on August 4.

And he got pulled, joining Bob Knepper, Daniel Norris, and Rich Hill as the only pitchers in MLB history to be removed from an ongoing perfect game of five or more innings.

Take away the of five or more innings qualifier, though, and he gets company. His teammate, Sergio Romo, pitched a perfect first inning against the Angels on May 19 before giving way to Ryan Yarbrough in a 5-3 Rays win. And another teammate, Ryne Stanek, has subsequently—albeit with less fanfare—been removed from perfect games after 1 2/3 innings three times (May 26, June 18, August 3) and after two innings once (June 12).

The Rays’ unusual use of pitchers this year is not a revelation, of course.

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Originally published: August 16, 2018. Last Updated: August 16, 2018.