|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS|
|David Peralta - LF||Kelby Tomlinson - 3B|
|Ketel Marte - SS||Joe Panik - 2B|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Hunter Pence - RF|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Buster Posey - 1B|
|J.D. Martinez - RF||Nick Hundley - C|
|Daniel Descalso - 2B||Austin Slater - LF|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Brandon Crawford - SS|
|Chris Herrmann - C||Orlando Calixte - CF|
|Robbie Ray - LHP||Jeff Samardzija - RHP|
Diamondbacks magic number for post-season play: 9
Diamondbacks magic number for home-field advantage: 10
Diamondbacks anti-magic number for division: 7
One score today has already gone in the D-backs’ favor, with the Cardinals losing to the Cubs. However, the Dodgers seem to have come out of their funk and are soundly beating the NL East champion Nationals, so it does appear they are back on track. Shame: I was thoroughly enjoying the epic meltdown, both of the team, and their fans. Elsewhere, the Brewers are facing the Marlins, and it will be the Rockies’ turn to face the Padres, at Coors Field. That’ll be under way not long before this gets posted: it’s a late game here, not getting under way until 7:15pm. Guess we won’t be seeing much of the East coasters for this one. :)
Robbie Ray has struck out 10 or more batters in each of the last three starts, and will very likely join Zack Greinke in the 200-K club this season tonight, needing four strikeouts. It’ll be the first time we’ve had two such pitchers since the Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling pairing of 2002 - insanely, both men that season reached three hundred strikeouts! Ray should also have a shot at breaking his own career high, of 218, set last year (needing 22 more). That’s particularly impressive, given the time Ray has missed this year. He has upped his K-rate from a highly impressive 11.3 per nine innings, to a truly stellar 12.3 per nine this year.
Ray doesn’t quite count as a qualifying pitcher - he should probably get back above the 1 IP per team game necessary tonight, however. His current K-rate puts him in the top 10 of MLB all-time for qualifying pitchers. Specifically, he’d be #9, with the Big Unit occupying four of the spots above him, including the top position (13.41 K/9 in 2001). Also present are Jose Fernandez, Kerry Wood, Chris Sale and Pedro Martinez. That’s some pretty elite company for Ray to be among. And he’s still only 25, which makes him younger than everyone else on the list bar Wood, who fanned 233 in his rookie season as a 21-year-old. Here’s to a few more K’s for Robbie tonight.