Can Robbie Ray hold the Dodgers in check for the Diamondbacks to tie the series?
The Arizona Diamondbacks fought hard through the Colorado Rockies to make it to the NLDS. They hit hard off Clayton Kershaw starting in the third inning with a solo home run from A.J. Pollock. But that was to start a possible comeback as the Dodgers went up early with four runs in the first inning.
In a pitching matchup of Clayton Kershaw versus Taijuan Walker, the Dodgers were heavily favored. Kershaw had an 18-4 regular season with a 2.31 ERA, whereas Walker went 9-9 with a 3.49 ERA. Although both pitchers gave up four runs, Kershaw forced those four runs over six innings. Walker gave up those four runs in one recorded inning.
After Kershaw’s six innings and four runs, the bullpen for the Dodgers was shut down only giving up three hits and one run, which came in the ninth. Zack Godley, reliever for the Diamondbacks went five innings, giving up three runs, only two of them earned along with five strikeouts. Three more pitchers came into the game after that giving up two more runs in the eighth inning.
The Dodgers were up 9-4 going into the top of the ninth and unfortunately for the D-Backs, they could only muster one run in the ninth, which wouldn’t be enough. Along with Pollock, J.D. Martinez, Jeff Mathis and Ketel Marte all hit dingers. Even with four home runs, the Diamondbacks efforts were not enough to beat out the Dodgers.
Coming into Game 2 tonight at 9:00pm EST, the Diamondbacks have left-hander Robbie Ray on the mound. Ray went 15-5 on the season with a 2.89 ERA and 218 strikeouts. He’s on three days rest from throwing 2 1/3 innings in the NL Wild Card game. In five starts against the Dodgers this season, Ray only gave up eight runs, while striking out 53. It seems like Ray has this line up in his sights.
For the Dodgers, the 12-8 lefty Rich Hill takes charge. Hill had a 3.32 ERA with 166 strikeouts. This will be his fifth postseason start. When at home, Hill had a 2.77 ERA versus his 4.06 ERA while on the road making this start for him advantageous.
My prediction is that Robbie Ray shuts down the Dodgers just like he has all season. Hill throws four innings, giving up five runs before being pulled. The Dodgers will score one run while Ray runs the game, then two more after his exit. The Diamondbacks win 5-3 tying the series 1-1.