By: Derek Montilla- contributing writer
PHOENIX— On an emotional night for the Arizona Diamondbacks where they retired Randy Johnson’s number 51, the current team pursued an avenue Johnson was all too familiar with in his time by failing to produce runs to support their starting pitcher.
Robbie Ray was on the mound for the D-Backs, a seemingly daunting task for any pitcher on this celebratory night honoring one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game. But even with the on field events occurring, Ray was focused and effective, not allowing a run through his first three innings pitched.
Ray then proceeded to give up a double to Marlon Byrd in the fourth inning followed by a home run to Eugenio Suarez, which put the Reds up by a score of 2-1. It was all the offense Cincinnati would need on the night.
Ray went six innings, giving up five hits and three earned runs. He struck out eight batters, and walked one.
“I felt like I pitched well, you know. It was two pitches that got me tonight,” Ray said after the game. “If I could take those two pitches back, I would.”
Manager Chip Hale seemed to agree with Ray’s assessment during his post game press conference. “It’s just the way the game is. Good hitters like that are going to take advantage of mistakes, and they did.”
“Other than that, he pitched very well,” Hale added. “He threw his breaking ball a lot tonight. He’s getting better command with it as he throws it more. So it’s part of the process.”
More importantly, the lack of offense by Arizona kept them grounded tonight. Paul Goldschmidt continues his recent slump, going 0 for 4 with a strikeout. Since August 1st, Goldy has three hits in twenty three at-bats with only one RBI.
Hale also commented on Goldschmidt’s struggles. “It’s just a matter of he can’t always be the guy to save us. We always sort of count on him to be that guy, and it’s not that easy to do all the time. They’re pitching him pretty well.”
Reds won by a score of 4-1. The Diamondbacks go for the series win on Sunday with Patrick Corbin starting.