The Dodgers did well in their 9-5 opening game victory over the Dbacks on Friday evening at Dodger Stadium. But they face another tough test in game 2. Perhaps this could be their toughest test of the series as they face left hander Robbie Ray. Curveball expert Rich Hill will take the mound for the Dodgers in the battle of southpaws.
Ray has been public enemy number one to the Dodgers. He’s been their kryptonite, beating the boys in blue three different times this season. In five starts this season against the Dodgers, Ray has a 3-0 record, a 2.27 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 31.2 innings pitched. In 13 career starts Ray is 6-3 with a 2.89 ERA against the Dodgers. He’s struck out 105 in 80.1 innings pitched. Ray also has a 1.81 ERA in 7 career starts at Dodger Stadium.
Ray has nasty stuff. He’s averaged 11.8 K/9 when he faces the Dodgers. If you remember he struck out 13 against the Dodgers on July 6, and then whiffed 14 in seven shutout frames on September 4. He also finished the season winning his final six decisions. Overall Ray finished with a 15-5 record, and posted a 2.89 ERA while striking out 218. He’s also a pretty good hitter too. He batted .245 (13 for 53). I really hate him.
Dodgers Lineup vs. Arizona –NLDS Game 2
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 7, 2017
Robbie Ray-15-5 vs. Rich Hill-12-8
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) October 7, 2017
Game Time – 6:00 PM PST- TV- TBS
If there is an Achilles heel for Ray, it’s hard to find one. He’s 8-1 with a 1.86 ERA on the road this year. He has given up 23 home runs, so that might be his one weakness. That and he’s never pitched in the postseason before the wild card game last week. The Dodgers have hit six home runs against Ray. Enrique Hernandez has three dingers. Otherwise the Dodgers are only hitting .198.
Ray vs. Dodgers
On the other side, Rich Hill looks to keep his second half momentum going as he tries to pitch the Dodgers to a 2-0 series lead. Hill pitched so much better in the second half, and the final month of the season. Hill posted a 1.86 ERA in September while also posting a 7-4 record with a 3.01 ERA in the second half. July was his greatest month, as he went 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA to win NL pitcher of the month honors.
Hill has faced the Snakes four times in 2017 and is 0-3 with a no-decision. Hill has made 9 career starts against Arizona and is 1-5 with a 4.78 ERA. He has struck out 9.0 per nine and walked just 14 in 49 frames. The Snakes have hit five home runs against Hill, but are hitting just .180 (16 for 89) with a .641 OPS .
Hill vs. Snakes
The Dodger’s lineup takes a different look with a left hander on the mound. The first four are the same. But Enrique Hernandez takes over left field and bats fifth behind Cody Bellinger. Yasiel Puig is dropped to eighth in the order, and Austin Barnes takes over behind the plate. Oh and hey the Dbacks and coach Ariel Preto got fined for wearing apple watches in the dugout. This was back in the wild card game though. I guess the Snakes didn’t get the memo that Apple sucks.
The Dodgers still have work to do, so let’s not get cocky. We’ve been here before.