After a disastrous August for Robbie Ray, he started September with two great starts against the Cubs and Dodgers and looked to build on that against a Padres team that had lost 5 of its last 6 games. Unfortunately for him, the Padres were ready for him.
In reality, Ray was pretty solid through the first 3 innings, giving up two hits and two walks but allowing his stupendous defense to go to work, with 2 double plays in that same span. It came back to bite him in the 4th however, with Brett Wallace doubling to right with 1 out. Gyorko lined out for the second out of the inning and with a chance to escape the inning, Cory Spangenberg singled to center field on a 2-2 fastball, giving the Padres a quick 1-0 lead.
The offense responded immediately. A David Peralta double was sandwiched between strikeouts of Paul Goldschmidt and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and with 2 outs, the wunderkids Jake Lamb and Brandon Drury walked to load things up for Chris Owings. He'd cash in with a single to right field, scoring both Peralta and Lamb and giving the D-backs a 2-1 lead through 4.
Robbie Ray actually started the 5th inning well, getting Austin Hedges and Andrew Cashner to ground out and strike out respectively, but you know what they say about those 2-out walks right? Yangervis Solarte singled to put 2 runners on and 2 outs with the dangerous Matt Kemp up and he made Ray pay with a moonshot to right-center field that ended his night. He finished with 102 pitches thrown, with 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB and 4 K's. If there's one thing Ray can take from this season, it's how effective you must be in order to pitch long into games. He's shown he can pound the strike zone earlier this season, but just hasn't been able to replicate that success after the All-Star Break.
The D-backs were quiet again on offense until the 6th, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia hitting his 4th straight home run in games he's started, to make things 4-3. After not showing much of anything earlier this year, he's shown to be quite the compliment to Welington Castillo. Since the start of the 2nd half, D-backs catchers have combined for a 125 wRC+, tied for 1st in the entire MLB. What was starting to look like a terrible situation has turned into an apparent strength thanks to the Castillo/Salty time share behind the plate.
Unfortunately for the D-backs, the offenses would quiet down after that, with each team getting just one runner at 2nd base in the last 3 innings. :( All that really means is both bullpens' did their job, with San Diego and Arizona combining for 6 scoreless relief innings, including Craig Kimbrel getting a 4 out save, all but securing the 4-3 victory for San Diego.
Sunrise: Chris Owings (+10.9%)
Sunset: Robbie Ray (-28.6%)
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Not many showed up tonight, including myself, with 21 daring souls combining for 265 comments. I didn't see much of anything to be proud of so no COTN. Do better.
The D-backs take the road for a series with the San Francisco Giants in spoiler mode, as the Giants have the slimmest of chances to retake the division crown. Can they do it? Stop by on Friday to find out.