Without looking, when was the last time these two teams met in a game this season? If you thought June, you’re wrong thanks for playing. The actual date was May 9th and it was a breath of fresh air facing anyone other than the Dodgers. By that date, the teams had played 12 games, with the D-backs winning 8 of them. Of course, Dave Roberts proclaimed “When it’s all said and done, the Dodgers will be at the top of the division”, all but dooming them to miss the playoffs. :)
Robbie Ray was our starter for this one, and while this season is a clear downgrade from his 2017, he’s been a decent enough starter for this team in recent month. Yes, he hasn’t pitched deep into games. Yes, his control is non-existent, but that doesn’t stop Ray from keeping his team in the game. For a team fighting for its playoff life, that’s about all you can ask for.
On the mound for the Dodgers was Rich Hill, who likes to yell at puppies and children in his spare time.
The D-backs did not start well. Souza and Pollack struck out, and after Goldy singled, Peralta flew out to end a quiet 1st inning.
Ray was not as sharp, walking both Justin Turner and Manny Machado to give the Dodgers a chance at an early run. Kemp and Hernandez had other plans, matching strike outs to end the inning.
That seemed to spark a pitcher we haven’t seen in a while, with Ray attacking hitters and racking up the easy outs. A rare throwing error from Goldy allowed Puig to reach 1st, but a wide turn and excellent backup from Murphy to nab the runner for a TOOTBLAN. A 1-out single in the 3rd was erased by a double play, and while he ran into trouble again in the 4th, he settled down to get a Chris Taylor strike out and weak grounder from Puig to end that threat.
The offense matched the Dodgers in futility, stranding a runner in scoring position in the 2nd and another 2-out single from Goldy in the 3rd. Escobar was HBP to lead off the 4th, but the D-backs wanted no part in scoring runs, going down weakly to Hill, who was on his game.
Things finally shifted in the 5th, with Robbie Ray dumping a single into left field to start things off. Souza singled to right, giving the D-backs a chance at breaking the deadlock. Pollock grounded out to 3rd, and thanks to a errant throw from Turner, ruined a chance at a double play. Goldy fouled out for the 2nd out and David Peralta did what the train does best.
Ray stepped up in the bottom half of the inning, retiring the side in order via strikeout.
Unfortunately for the offense, that was all they could muster this night. They certainly had their chances. In the 7th they squandered a 1-out double from Souza and in the 8th, 3 straight singles with one out were left on the bases.
Ray finally faltered in the bottom of the 6th. After a 9-pitch strikeout of Turner to lead off the inning, Manny Machado pounced on a 90mph fastball to deep left. The pitch before Ray came up limping, but shook off a mound visit and he paid the price. 3-1 D-backs.
Brad Ziegler came on in relief and after a single, allowed an absolute rocket to Goldy at first, who calmly stepped on the bag for the lucky double play.
The bullpen was pretty good the rest of the way, with 5 relievers (Ziegler, Jake Diekman, Yoshihisa Hirano, Andrew Chafin, Brad Boxberger) A combining for 3.2 IP of shutout baseball. They allowed 4 hits but struck out 6. When you add in Ray’s 9 K’s, the team struck out....15 Dodgers. That total was the second highest they’ve accomplished in 9 IP. The highest this season was 16 against the Phillies in April.
☆☆☆ - DAVID PERALTA (1 for 4, HR, 3RBI) +26.8%
☆☆ - Robbie Ray (5.1 IP, 4H, 2BB, 1ER, 9Ks) +19.8%
☆ - The bullpen (3.2 IP, 4H, 6Ks, 0ER) +28.4%
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Lots of chatter in the GameThread, we even had a Giants fan pop his head in. Hop on the bandwagon, there’s plenty of room!
The D-backs kick off the 2nd game of this pivotal 4 game series starting at 7:10pm AZ time. BE LOUD AND SUPPORT THIS TEAM!