PHOENIX, Ariz – Robbie Ray arguably coming off his best start of not only the season, but his career when he pitched his first shutout and complete game of his career last outing beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0.
As in Pittsburgh, Chris Herrmann will be catching Ray. This is a formula that has worked during Ray’s recent success. Over past starts, Ray has a 24.2-inning scoreless streak, which is second in the major leagues this season behind Alex Wood of the Los Angeles Dodgers (25.1).
Ray, is also climbing up franchise records. From September 7-27, 1998 Andy Benes had a scoreless streak reach 27.1 innings. Then Brandon Webb had two streaks. The first of 30.0 innings from May 20-June 5, 2006, and then 42.0 from July 20-August 17, 2007.
The game started with Ray dominating as he’s done in recent starts. He went 3.2 innings before allowing a solo home run to Hunter Renfroe, his 12th of the season. On the night, Ray went on to pitch into the seventh inning, scattering just three hits with 11 strikeouts on the night.
His performance allowed him to lower his ERA from 3.00 to 2.85. Tonight made it back to back starts where Ray (6-3) reached double digit strikeouts also having 10 against the Pittsburgh Pirates in last start, it also marked the fourth time he accomplished this in 2017, and seventh time in his career.
On his start, and having success, Ray replied with “Was my tempo and fastball command. I’m feeling pretty good. I got a good game plan with my catcher(s). It’s almost get the ball back, and whatever they throw down, I feel comfortable with it. Throwing my curve ball is huge; it keeps guys off my fastball. I can bury it when I need to, it’s been a big pitch for me.”
Torey Lovullo was pleased with Ray on the night as well. “Another solid outing by Robbie. Really paced us the entire day. 6 2/3, 108 pitches, 11 strikeouts. He was using his secondary stuff as much as I have seen him this year. I thought it was a really good day where he pitched the ball. He didn’t throw, he pitched. “
Arizona (35-25) provided more than enough run support for Ray on the night. With a pair of runs on the first inning, then erupting for five runs in the second inning, the big blow being a three run home run by Chris Owings, his seventh of the season and extending their lead to 7-0.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Diamondbacks were back at it with a three run inning, highlighted by Daniel Descalso two run single. This increased the lead for Arizona to 10-1, and eventually winning the game 10-2.
On the run support, Lovullo was pleased “it was an outstanding effort offensively. Jake (Lamb) paces us with four RBI. The big three run homer was the dagger by Chris Owings. “
Even slugger Jake Lamb is impressed with his starting pitcher’s performance “He’s a stud man. He’s locating his fastball and getting ahead. His secondary is unreal. He’s got to be one of the best pitchers in the game as far as the past few starts. He’s lights out right now. ”
San Diego (23-36) was baffled by Ray and Tom Wilhelmsen on the night. After Ray allowed the three hits, Wilhelmsen was even more stubborn with allowing just one run and two hits in the final 2.1 innings. The one bright spot for the Padres was Renfroe with a multi-home run night, hitting his 13th in the ninth inning.
Next up is game two of the series Wednesday night at 6:40 MST