Robbie Ray went 6 innings in his 1st start as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the offense kept up its performance from earlier in the day to take a 5-1 win and sweep the doubleheader at Coors Field.
After a dominating performance by the offense in the first game, the Diamondbacks again hit well despite not performing well with runners in scoring position. They went 3 for 13 which on most other nights might not have been enough, but with Robbie Ray dealing and a rested bullpen behind him, it did the job.
Through the first 3 innings, there wasn't much going on for both sides. Robbie was flashing a fastball at 97 mph and Jordan Lyles had his sinker working, getting lazy flyballs and strikeouts from a team that couldn't be stopped just an hour before. In the 3rd, the Diamondbacks threatened with back to back leadoff singles but Ray failed to get down a sacrifice bunt and Inciarte grounded into double play to end the threat.
In the bottom half of the 3rd with Ray dealing, Walt Weiss had some words with Bill Miller about the strike zone. At the time I thought he had an argument, as some strikes looked fairly up in the zone, but take a look for yourself.
Not that bad right? Walt probably just wanted to spark his team after his ejection and well, it didn't really work. In fact, Paul Goldschmidt was a main beneficiary of that as he would homer in his next at-bat in the 4th to give the D-backs a 1-0 lead and end an 0 for 6 stretch.
In the bottom of the 4th, Ray faltered for the first time. A leadoff single from Tulowitzki was followed by two flyball outs but Michael McKenry doubled into the left-center gap to drive in Tulo and make it a 1-1 game.
But the D-backs had the young starters back in the next half inning. Tuffy Gosewisch and Cliff Pennington would hit back to back singles and Robbie Ray would execute the sacrifice bunt this time to move the runners over. After a lineout from Inciarte, David Peralta drove a ball to the wall in right field, just outside the reach of Charlie Blackmon for a 2 run double. After a wild pitch, Paul Goldschmidt blooped a single to left to score Peralta and make the score 4-1, which was plenty enough for this pitching staff today.
Ray would keep dealing, having 1-2-3 innings in both the 5th and the 6th. His day would end after that with his line as follows: 6 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, and a 5:0 k-to-bb ratio. Despite his ERA for Reno, Robbie was better than advertised in this start. Prior to the season, John Sickels of Minor League Ball had this to say about the lefty:
12) Robbie Ray, LHP, Grade C+: Age 23, acquired from Tigers, will be in mix as back-end starter, posted 4.22 ERA with 75/44 K/BB in 100 innings in Triple-A, but 8.16 ERA with 19/11 K/BB and 43 hits in 29 innings in the majors. Classic low-90s fastball/change-up pitcher with inconsistent breaking ball.
We definitely saw a different Robbie Ray than was expected, as he was sitting 93 with his fastball throughout the game and flashed 97 in the 1st.
Our other young lefty, Andrew Chafin, came on in the 7th and was just as good if not better. He went 2 innings and his only blemish on the day was a 2-out walk to Drew Stubbs in the 7th but a strikeout of Carlos Gonzalez ended the threat.
In the 8th, back to back singles from A.J. Pollock and Aaron Hill put runners on the corners and after a Chris Owings strikeout, Tuffy Gosewisch laid down a bunt to 3rd that would score Pollock and give the D-backs a 5-1 lead. That bunt single was his 3rd hit of the day.
A clean 8th inning was followed up by Addison Reed (!!!) in a non-save situation and was clean, with 1-2-3 9th inning to shut the door and clinch the doubleheader sweep for the good guys.
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A less lively gamethread for the 2nd game, but still decent enough as 27 of you guys came out and talked about guys in pants hitting stitched balls with round wooden sticks. Comment of the thread goes to diamondhacks for his quib about Tuffy's first stolen base of his career.
The Diamondbacks return back to face the Padres in a 4-game series with the Padres. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. for tomorrow's game as Odrisamer Despaigne faces Rubby de la Rosa in the opener.