When the Mariners signed Robbie Ray in the offseason, there was an expectation that he was going to be the new face of the rotation. Able to go six innings, providing the team a great chance to win every game he took the mound, all the while mowing down hitters with a healthy strikeout rate.
It’s another case of getting a false narrative when you look at his overall numbers without better context.
He should have a 3.47 ERA on the season if you take out the White Sox game. You know, the one where it was raining insanely hard, puddles were on the field, and it seemed like a slip-n-slide for adults. Expecting someone to throw a ball 95 MPH with control is ridiculous and dangerous, and the league should be a bit ashamed that they didn’t at least delay the game for a bit until the hard stuff stopped coming down.
That’s not today’s point though, I want to look at last night and talk about how dominant he was vs the Phillies.
Robbie Ray had his first double-digit strikeout game and looked great while doing it
It was funny listening to the game on the radio. At one point in the game, Robbie Ray had eight strikeouts, all of which were guys who went down swinging. On the other side, Nola had six strikeouts, and the Mariners all went down looking.
He would finish with ten strikeouts on the night, providing the Mariners with the kind of dominance that they had been hoping for ever since the first start of the season when Ray when seven innings and shut down the Twins.
The Phillies are an aggressive team and one that is easily capable of putting a lot of runs up on the board in a short period of time. It’s exactly the type of team that Ray can see a lot of success against, but one that can make you pay if you miss. It took Ray some time to get there, as he would end up throwing 104 pitches through 5.2 innings. Later in the year, Servais likely would’ve let him finish the inning, but he pulled him after a Bryce Harper double.
Even though he had 10 K’s, it was his second-best Game Score of the season, just behind the Twins game I referenced earlier, with scores of 65 and 68. I would expect to see some more double-digit strikeout games soon from Ray, as he had 10 of them in 32 starts last year. He was also close in another four starts in which he racked up 9 ks. HAlf the time, Ray is going to flirt with double-digit Ks. As the weather warms up, I think the K’s are going to heat up as well.
Remember, Ray had a 11.5 K/9 rate last season to go along with a career rate of 11.1, the best of all time! (according to Baseball-Reference, at least)
Robbie Ray will likely get his next start in the series finale in New York against the Mets this coming Sunday. I’m calling it now and saying that we see another double-digit strikeout game against the Mets. Robbie Ray is starting to look like his Cy Young self once again, and it’s a great sign of things to come as we approach the quarter mark of the season. Go Mariners!