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Diamondbacks 8 Blue Jays 2: A Most Excellent Sweep Indeed

Dbacks have a big 3rd inning, Robbie Ray Dominates

The Diamondbacks scored 8 runs in the 3rd inning, their most in an inning since 2017. Robbie Ray worked 623 strong innings, allowing just two runs on 5 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts, and a solo homer. Ray improved his record to 5-3 on the season.

Ray struggled a bit with his command early in this one, (stop me if you’ve heard this before). He allowed a solo home run to Lourdes Gurriel, ironically on a well located slider down and in that Gurriel golfed out to left. He allowed a base hit and struck out two in the first inning, needing 23 pitches to complete the frame. In the second he allowed a one out single to Freddy Galvis, and then nearly threw the ball to the backstop on a pitch WAY up in the zone. Having advanced to 2ndon the wild pitch, Galvis scored on a double to left by Blue Jay’s catcher Danny Jansen. Ray struck out Brandon Drury and Eric Sogard to end the inning with 42 pitches thrown, but five K’s and zero walks.

Old foe Clayton Richard was the polar opposite to start off. Working efficiently and getting hitters to swing early at his sinker, he stranded a couple of 2 out hits in the first and second, a double by Eduardo Escobar in the 1stand single by Nick Ahmed in the 2nd. He needed just 26 pitches to navigate the two frames. This efficiency would not last however.

With one out in the 3rd, Ketel Marte fouled off a couple of tough pitches and then hit a 1-2 slider into the left field stands for his 15th homer of the season.

Ildemaro Vargas stretched his at bat out to 7 pitches before grounding out. But the DBacks then loaded the bases on a single by Escobar and walks to David Peralta and Christian Walker. Kevin Cron stepped and “singled” to left on a 114 MPH line drive, knocking in two runs to give the DBacks a 3-2 lead. It was the first single of Cron’s career, his previous 6 hits being four doubles and two homers.

Jarrod Dyson came in to pinch hit for Nick Ahmed out of nowhere. His injury was described as “left foot soreness” . Torey Lovullo said post game it was precautionary and they didn’t think he’d need an x-ray and he is day to day. He hurt it in the batters box yesterday, and kept it to himself and didn’t receive treatment. But he let it be known during the game today he was hurting.

Despite Homeplate umpire Mike Everett’s best efforts to help Richard out of the inning by calling two pitches off the plate for strikes, Dyson managed an infield single to re load the bases for Tim Locastro. TL ripped a sharp ground ball over the 3rdbase bag and into the corner for a bases clearing triple, making it 6-2 Diamondbacks. That ended Richard’s day as he was unable to escape the 3rd, having thrown 44 pitches that inning.

Carson Kelly, who lead off the inning, greeted reliever Thomas Pannone by blasting the 1stpitch he saw for a homerun to left, his 7th of the year, and it was 8-2 DBacks. Ketel Marte flew out to finally end the inning with the Dbacks having brought 10 men to the plate. Here is a nice video collection of the highlights from the inning:

Working with the big lead, Ray started attacking the strike zone with more efficiency, getting on a “Robbie Roll” needing only 27 pitches to retire the side in order in the 3rdand the 4thinnings. He walked the leadoff hitter in the 5th, but retired the next 3 in order. He followed that up with a 6 pitch 6th inning. Coming out for the 7th inning with just 93 pitches thrown, Ray got the first two, but gave up a single to Jansen, and was pulled from the game. In all he threw 107 pitches, 66 for strikes. Archie Bradley came on and got the final out of the inning on one pitch, a ground out to Vargas.

Ray has now walked just 2 while striking out 19 in his last two games. It was the 19th career double digit strikeout game for Robbie, his 3rd of 2019. He lowered his ERA to 3.54 in the process, and his FIP to 3.18 just for good measure. His K/BB ratio is now a very healthy 101/37. (2.73)

The DBacks loaded the bases for Cron again in the 4th, but this time he was a little over aggressive, striking out on a changeup in the dirt, and they were not able to add to the lead. He had another RBI chance in the 6thwith two out and David Peralta on 2nd, but he popped out to first.

After that, it seemed for a while like both teams were eager at the plate and trying to finish up the game. The DBacks did not tack on any more runs, nor did they need to, as Archie Bradley and Yoan Lopez combined to pitch 2 13 scoreless innings.

Eduardo Escobar reached base five times today, on three hits and two walks. That brings his triple slash up to .289/.349/.563. .912 OPS, 133 wRC+. Have you Voted for him yet for the all star game ? David Peralta, Ketel Marte, Carson Kelly, Adam Jones, Nick Ahmed, & Christian Walker all await your votes as well. Hey, this is the system MLB uses, so lets be homers and get out there and vote for your Dbacks.

The sweep gives the DBacks a 4 game winning streak. With Colorado losing today, they are now tied with the Rockies for 2nd in the NL West 10 games back of LA, and 2.5 Games back of Atlanta for the 2nd Wild Card Spot.

They move on to Philadelphia tomorrow, where Taylor Clarke will face off against Jerad Eickhoff. First pitch is 4:05 PM Arizona Time, 7:05 Eastern.

Fangraphs Box Score

Righteous WPA Dudes: Tim Locastro +.195, Kevin Cron +.157, Ketel Marte +.69, Eduardo Escobar +.59

Bogus WPA Score: Robbie Ray -0.30 David Peralta - 0.32

400 comments by 23 posters today

Several Red comments today, but the landslide winner with 8 recs must have borrowed the Phone Booth Time Machine: