Ray strikes out 11, as Deadline decisions loom

Lefty pitches solid game as D-backs consider whether to be sellers

July 28th, 2019

MIAMI -- The D-backs are six games into a seven-game stretch against a pair of last-place teams that looked likely to make or break their status as National League Wild Card contenders, and after Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to Miami at Marlins Park, they are 3-3.

That’s in line with their season record, which once again fell to .500 at 53-53.

The D-backs took two of three from the last-place Orioles last week at Chase Field, but they’ve dropped two of the first three games in this four-game set with the Marlins.

“I think we all had better expectations over the course of those series,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “That’s the beauty of baseball. The records don’t indicate what’s going to happen on a baseball field. You’ve got to get [the] job done. I think that’s why I’m probably a little frustrated. I don’t think we played our best baseball today.”

The D-backs probably had to dominate both the Orioles and Marlins for management to decide not to look seriously at selling at Wednesday’s Trade Deadline.

’s name has been mentioned prominently in trade rumors and the left-hander did nothing to hurt his value, as he struck out 11 and did not walk a batter over six innings. Ray allowed three runs, only two of which were earned.

“I felt good,” Ray said. “I felt like I was pounding the zone, getting ahead of guys. I think there were a lot of foul balls, but overall no walks, got through the sixth inning, kept us in there and gave us a chance to win. It just didn’t work out.”

Ray no doubt is tired of answering questions about the possibility of being traded, but he was once again asked about it postgame.

“Like I said, I’m going out there to pitch every fifth day, so whatever happens, happens,” Ray said. “I feel like I’ve put myself in a good situation pitching really well lately, so we’ll just have to see.”

Ray, who came to the D-backs in a trade prior to the 2015 season, is due for a big raise from the $6.05 million he earned this year, via salary arbitration this offseason. He is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.

“He takes the ball every fifth day, he’s extremely competitive, he’s got great edge when he’s on the mound and he’s got tremendous balance when he’s away from the ballpark and I think that’s what makes him a special player,” Lovullo said. “He’s a tough man. He’s an extremely talented man and I love watching him work every five days.”

What Lovullo did not enjoy watching Sunday was his offense, which managed just one run on four hits.

“It was a situation where we didn’t really come to life with the bats,” he said. “It’s a tough game. it’s a frustrating game. It’s a hard game, I know that. I feel like with the group of guys that we have in there, we have to be better, can be better. I don’t want to disrespect any Major League pitching staff, but I know we’ve got a better offensive team than we showed today.”

As Arizona’s players wait to see what will happen before Wednesday’s deadline, Lovullo will try to keep them focused on the task at hand.

“I get frustrated when we don’t perform the way I think we can,” Lovullo said. “Maybe it’s highlighted right now. I’ll take the temperature of that room in the next several minutes and tomorrow and see what they think and make sure we’re ready to play.”