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Diamondbacks 3, Cardinals 6: Not What We Hoped to See

An anemic offensive performance couldn’t save Robbie Ray from a very rough first inning

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Things started off rough for Robbie Ray in his second start since returning from the disabled list. Cardinals’ first baseman Matt Carpenter hammered the first pitch of the ball game into the right field corner for a double. The next two batters reached on a walk and a single, loading the bases before Robbie recorded his first out, catching Marcell Ozuna looking on a low third strike. Throwing strikes was actually not a problem for Ray—overall, he threw first-pitch strikes to twelve of the first thirteen batters he faced—but in the first inning, he was catching way too much of the plate. Yadier Molina and Jedd Gyorko followed with two more singles, before shortstop Yairo Muñoz hit a double off the wall in right. This led to the second out of the inning, however, as Jon Jay hit his cutoff man and Daniel Descalso, playing second base tonight, turned and fired a strike to John Ryan Murphy to cut Gyorko down at the plate. Kolton Wong then grounded out to first to bring an end to our pain. 4-0 CARDINALS

It looked like we might get it all back in the bottom of the frame, as Jay, Paul Goldschmidt, and Jake Lamb hit back-to-back-to-back singles, with Lamb’s driving in Jay. AJ Pollock, in his first at bat back from the DL, flied out to center, but not deep enough to allow Goldy or Lamb to tag up and advance. David Peralta struck out swinging, and Descalso unceremoniously popped out to second base for the third out. 4-1 CARDINALS

Ray gave up another leadoff double to start the second, this time to Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez, but started to settle in, recording two strikeouts and a fly out to right. In fact, he really looked locked in after the rocky first inning, retiring ten in a row after the Martinez double. He looked really solid.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks offense continued its recent fizzling ways, with Goldy’s one-out single in the third getting erased when Lamb promptly grounded into a double play. In the fourth, Peralta smashed a ball deep in the right-center gap that rolled to the wall for a triple, again with one out. Descalso unceremoniously popped out to third, and Murphy struck out swinging, stranding the Freight Train. We did manage to get a run closer in the bottom of the fifth, though, with Nick Ahmed drawing a leadoff walk. He was bunted to second by Ray, who took the at bat despite being at 87 pitches on the night. One out later, Goldy singled to right, allowing Ahmed to score from second. 4-2 CARDINALS

Robbie Ray, sadly, gave the run back, with interest, when he came back in to start the sixth. Yadier Molina led off the inning with a home run to left. Gyorko followed with another, this one just over the wall in right. The Molina dinger was a no-doubter, but Ray threw a very good pitch to Gyorko—high heat, just off the outside corner. Gyorko managed to cue it off the end of his bat, but with just enough force to allow it to get over the wall. That, of course, ended Robbie’s night. Andrew Chafin came in and, three grounders later, was out of the inning. 6-2 CARDINALS

Not much to report after that, sadly. Newcomer Joey Krehbiel came in with one out in the seventh and, after walking his first batter he faced, retired the next five for a nice MLB debut appearance. AJ Pollock, who was hitless, did at least reach in the eighth, and scored on a David Peralta single to right, so that’s nice. 6-3 CARDINALS

Other bright spots in this disappointing loss include Goldy going 4 for 4, and the four innings of work that Robbie Ray put in between the disastrous first and the unfortunate sixth. Thing is, if the first inning hadn’t happened, Ray would have gotten a win in spite of another fairly anemic performance by the D-Backs’ offense. He’s still shaking the rust off. What can you do?

Courtesy of FanGraphs.com

Ray of Sunshine: Paul Goldschmidt, +19.8 WPA
Sting Ray: AJ Pollock, -12.1 WPA
Death Ray: Robbie Ray, -29.3 WPA (pitching)

Fairly lively Game Day Thread for a Monday, with 533 comments from 25 commenters. Present and accounted for were AzDbackfanInDc, BobDolio, DORRITO, Fangdango, Gilbertsportsfan, GuruB, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MikeMono, MrMrrbi, Rockkstarr12, ShirtOffYourBack, The so-called Beautiful, asteroid, coldblueAZ, edbigghead, gamepass, kilnborn, lildbackfan21x, onedotfive, shoewizard, smartplays, and suroeste.

No CoTN, as the only one in Sedona red was not game-related. I will share it, though, because it sounds like good news might be in the offing soon for GuruB:

This was a rough one, but we have Zack Greinke taking the mound tomorrow, and with any luck he’ll be able to help us stop this little skid we find ourselves in. First pitch is 6:40pm. Go Diamondbacks!