|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||CINCINNATI REDS|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Billy Hamilton - CF|
|David Peralta - RF||Zack Cozart - SS|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Joey Votto - 1B|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Adam Duvall - LF|
|Chris Owings - SS||Eugenio Suarez - 3B|
|Brandon Drury - 2B||Scott Schebler - RF|
|Daniel Descalso - LF||Jose Peraza - 2B|
|Chris Herrmann - C||Stuart Turner - C|
|Robbie Ray - LHP||Sal Romano - RHP|
The Diamondbacks turn to Robbie Ray as they seek to end the longest skid of the season. They were just swept out of Atlanta, and have lost three series in a row, going 1-8 over their last nine games. They still have a significant cushion in terms of the wild-card picture, but ending the streak this afternoon would be a help in terms of calming nerves across an increasingly (and not without some cause) skittish fanbase, some of who appear already to be making other plans for October.
Still, likely nobody better than Robbie Ray to turn to. Last time, in Dodger Stadium, he struck out 13 batters in just six innings, to become only the third D-backs’ pitcher to K two per frame or better in a start (Randy Johnson did it seven times, and Max Scherzer once). There were a few more walks (four) than I’d probably like. But after a trio of starts where his K:BB ratio combined to be 21:13, it was good to see Ray better than double that, especially against a tough line-up like the Dodgers. We’ll be looking for strong performances from him and Zack Greinke in the first couple of games this series, hopefully to right the ship.
I’m feeling hopeful. We generated a goodly number of chances with runners in scoring position over the Braves series (29 at-bats), but were largely unable to take advantage of them. I think the hitter-friendly surroundings of Somewhat Satisfied American Ballpark will also help awaken an offense which has only hit two homeruns over the past two hundred at-bats. So, I’m calling it: The streak ends here. For ish95’s sake, since he’s doing his first recap as a married man, I certainly hope that’s the case, at least!