I was checking out Mariners stats after the long weekend and was surprised to see how low Robbie Ray had gotten his ERA on the season. It’s down 3.45, which is pretty good for how rough things were for a while for Ray. There was a decent-sized population online that wanted him moved to the pen (again, dummies) early in the year. Yet, here we are in September, and Robbie Ray has been every bit the Ace we hoped for.
Sure, the numbers don’t look the same as they did last year. But, I’m breaking this season into two different sections. The Mariners themselves did it, so why can’t I? I could go back a bit further to put more weight onto my case for Robbie Ray and his dominance, but I’ll keep it at the tipping point of the Mariners season. It helps to have a superstar like Julio Rodriguez, but I’m focusing on the pitching aspect today.
Robbie Ray has dominated for the Mariners, and has been instrumental in them turning it around.
Back on June 19th, the Mariners finished up a series with the Angels having lost the final three games of the series despite a gem from Robbie Ray in a game one win. They were 29-39, and Ray was sitting with a 4.25 ERA on the season. Sure, it’s not bad, but it’s not CY Young good, nor 5 yr-$115 million good.
Well, since then, the Mariners are 47-20, holding one of the best records in baseball over that stretch. It brought them from way out of the playoff conversation to battling for the number one wild card spot in baseball. From 6.0% to make the playoffs all the way up to 99.1%, which is where they sit midday on September 6th. Amazing what winning 70% of your games over such a long stretch will do for your odds.
Robbie Ray has been at the forefront of that charge by the Mariners. The Mariners have gone 10-3 in those 13 starts, and Ray has compiled a 2.57 ERA, holding opponents to a .209 BA and a .357 SLG, with a BB rate of 2.8 per 9 and a K rate of 10.8 per 9. It’s exactly what you want, and what they needed, from someone at the top of the rotation.
There were a couple of blips, as he struggled in back-to-back starts against the Astros soon after the All-Star break. Those were the only outings in which he didn’t throw 6+, and further shows just how dominant he has been. In the other 11 starts, he has a minuscule 1.51 ERA, and the team’s only loss was in an extra-inning game to the Angels in which he gave up one run in seven innings.
If this is the Robbie Ray that the Mariners are going to get throughout September and, hopefully, into the playoffs, then fans are in for a treat. Ray is looking special out there and leading the way. With how deep he goes into games, it helps every other starter on the roster and helps that dominant Mariners bullpen to shine.
It looks like we should see five more starts from Ray, as he will throw against the Braves, Angels, Athletics, Rangers, and Athletics to finish out the season. He also is set to throw the first playoff game, pending any change in order to the rotation. Things are looking great for the Mariners, and Robbie Ray has been leading the way at the front of the rotation.