Robbie Ray is an average MLB starter. Robbie Ray also happens to be left-handed, and because of that, he was well above average on Tuesday night against a Rangers team that has struggled horribly against southpaws over the past month.
Ray worked a career-high 7 2/3 innings on Tuesday night as the Rangers struggled to solve him and didn't make him work deep into counts. They finally scratched a couple of runs against him in the eighth inning, chasing him from the game, but he only needed 91 pitches to almost through eight complete innings. He struck out four and walked one while allowing four hits on the night.
He was the latest left-handed starter to dominate the Rangers' lefty-heavy lineup, which has struggled horribly since the calendar turned to June, hitting under .200 against left-handed pitching.
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“We didn’t swing the bat well against another left-handed pitcher,” manager Jeff Banister told reporters after the loss, the Rangers' seventh straight in Arlington. “We have a left-handed heavy lineup, but we had all the guys in there that we wanted. I don’t think it was the structure of the lineup that was the reason he pitched a good game. His fastball had some hop to it and it moved well.”
There is some good news. The Rangers will face right-handed starters for their next four games — the last four games before the all-star break. That is, at least, until the Padres decide to change things up and run out a lefty against the Rangers on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Don't be shocked if it happens.