Robbie Ray recorded his 200th strikeout, joining Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling as the only other Arizona pitchers to reach that level in three different seasons. Shortly after, Ray was lifted from the game with a developing blister on his finger. Ketel Marte hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning to give Arizona the lead. Archie Bradley walked the highwire again, but managed to secure the save, giving Arizona its fifth consecutive win and its tenth in the last eleven games.
With one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the fifth inning, Robbie Ray threw a pitch and felt his middle finger warm up. A motion to the trainer was all that was needed for Locullo to also come to the mound and explain to the competitive left-hander that his night was over. Avoiding a fully-developed blister on his middle finger, the Diamondbacks are hopeful the move will keep Robbie Ray available for his next start on Wednesday against the Mets.
With Robbie Ray being lifted from the game early on Friday night, the bullpen was tasked with holding a four-run lead for 4 2⁄3 innings. Things didn’t start off so hot. Stefan Crichton was the first to come on in relief of Ray, beginning his work with a man on first. Two batters later, he surrendered a home run before finally escaping the inning with a one-run lead. The Arizona offense provided an insurance run in the eighth, which may have been key to how the bullpen was allowed to pitch the eighth and ninth innings. Kevin Ginkel and Archie Bradley had some adventures, especially Bradley, but they managed to close the door and hand Arizona the victory.
Winners of their last five and ten of their last eleven, the Arizona Diamondbacks, a week into September are 2 1⁄2 games out of a Wild Card berth, with no teams between them and the second WC seed.
The surging Arizona Diamondbacks are changing the playoff picture with each win of this hot streak of theirs.
MLB’s official pitch tracking database now has Chicago Cubs’ pitcher, Yu Darvish on record as having spun ten different types of pitches this season. That’s two more in a single season than any other pitcher has thrown since the tracking began in 2008. Former Diamondback, Zack Greinke is one of two pitchers to have reached eight in a season, having done so this year.
Let me take a stab at this one. Justin Verlander is a hard-thrower who works up in the zone. He doesn’t like to nibble, so he tends to tough the heart of the plate with some pitches. Oh, and the ball is juiced. Is it really that big a mystery? Also, does it really make him “merely” the fourth best pitcher in the AL?