A more efficient Robbie Ray
He could not finish the sixth inning and threw 95-plus pitches, but Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray was more efficient and kept hitters on their heels.
Ray said before the game he wanted to throw his offspeed pitches for strikes more often. He did that in his first start of 2017. Last season, especially in September, Ray was throwing his fastball around 70 percent of the time.
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Last season, especially in September, Ray was throwing his fastball around 70 percent of the time. Hitters came to the plate sitting on a fastball. Most of the time, they either didn’t hit it and struck out or connected for a high exit velocity.
Last night, Ray was a different pitcher. He set down the first six batters in order and did so throwing a lot of sliders and mixing in the fastball. Ray threw 38 fastballs, 13 sinkers and an unusual 34 sliders. He threw 20 of those sliders for strikes.
Other than his last 1.2 innings of work, in which he threw 19 and 23 pitches respectively, Ray was more efficient because he wasn’t a one-pitch pitcher. His strike percentage in the fourth was low, but he only threw 13 pitches because Giant hitters did not know what was coming.
Jeff Mathis’ game calling probably makes a difference, but Ray looked like a different pitcher. He did walk three and all of them scored.