Robbie Ray dominates Cardinals, Goldy in first game of second half

Jul 12, 2019, 8:17 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2019, 7:21 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray throws during the first inning of the team's baseb...
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray throws during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, July 12, 2019, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was the headline going into Friday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

But it was D-backs starter Robbie Ray that dominated both the game and Goldschmidt in the 4-2 victory. The lefty allowed only one run on two hits in 6.1 innings pitched to go along with eight strikeouts, two of which were at the expense of the former Diamondback.

Goldschmidt went 0-for-4 on the night, failing to hit a ball out of the infield, including grounding out to third as the go-ahead run to end the bottom of the eighth.

“I said hi to a couple guys today before batting practice and maybe I’ll see a few more,” he said on FOX Sports Arizona before the game.

“I think tomorrow maybe, we’ll have the second game of the series, once everyone kind of gets settled I’d like to say hi more earlier in the day. Once BP starts and everything, I feel like you’re trying to get in game mode and competition mode and that’s part of it. I’m excited to see these guys and go out and compete and see what happens.”

Friday night was the first time that Goldschmidt faced his former team since being traded to the Cardinals this past offseason.

“It’s going to be a little bittersweet for me,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo told CBS Sports. “Obviously we were very close. May put the voodoo whammy and try to do something extra malicious to have him get no hits over three games. I always wish him the best.”

Coincidentally, it was his replacement, Christian Walker, who started off the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning.

With two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Cardinals lefty Andrew Miller was brought in to face left-handed hitter Jake Lamb. Arizona’s third baseman was able to take the lefty-specialist deep, giving the D-backs a 2-1 lead. Lamb was the only batter that Miller would face.

All-Star second baseman Ketel Marte tripled the Diamondbacks’ lead in the top of the eighth with a mammoth shot to right. The two-run bomb is the switch hitter’s 21st on the year.

Those two insurance runs would prove to be the difference in the game, as St. Louis was able to get one back in the bottom of the eighth.

With two outs and runners on the corners, Goldschmidt stepped up to the plate as the go-ahead run. But D-backs reliever Yoan Lopez was able to get him to ground out to third to end the inning.

Closer Greg Holland would come on to shut the door and get the save, his 15th of the season.

Walker now has 17 home runs on the year, breaking his tie with Goldschmidt on the 2019 campaign. The D-backs first baseman is also leading the Cardinals first baseman in batting average, RBI, OPS and WAR.

Not only do Walker’s numbers speak for themselves, but catcher Carson Kelly, one of three recipients in the Goldschmidt trade, is batting .276 with 10 home runs, an .890 OPS and a 1.4 WAR coming into Friday night’s game. Since May 4, Kelly has the best OBP (.414), SLG (.639), and OPS (1.053) of all MLB catchers, while his .319 average ranks second.

That only poses the question: did general manager Mike Hazen get it right by trading Goldschmidt this past offseason?

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Robbie Ray dominates Cardinals, Goldy in first game of second half