They were not playing in this game. They were watching on television, from hundreds of miles away. And there he was on the mound, the pitcher that was supposed to torment them Friday, rushed into emergency duty.
When it’s time for Dodgers baseball Friday, the opposing pitcher will be someone other than Ray, and other than
In nine innings that were less of a classic showdown and more of a wild frolic, the Diamondbacks beat the
“Right away, all hell broke loose,” Colorado manager
In this year in which most home runs in major league history were hit, the Diamondbacks hit four triples and two home runs. They scored five of their runs on home runs, by
The Diamondbacks led 6-0 after three innings, a lead that nearly went for naught when Greinke gave up four runs in a fourth inning he could not survive. The Diamondbacks, in a win-or-go-home game, used Ray for the fifth and sixth innings, and part of the seventh inning.
He made 34 pitches, too many to get the Game 1 start against the Dodgers. Ray started five times against the Dodgers this season, posting a 2.27 earned-run average and striking out 53 batters in 32 innings. He still could start Game 2, and then a possible Game 5 on regular rest.
But that still leaves
The Diamondbacks clung to a one-run lead in the seventh inning, when reliever
"I was thinking, 'Please stop right there,'" Lovullo said. "I could see him turn a corner and pull a hamstring."
The Diamondbacks won 11 of 19 games against the Dodgers this season, including the last six meetings. When the Diamondbacks swept at Dodger Stadium last month, catcher Yasmani Grandal said he was not at all apprehensive about a possible playoff matchup with Arizona.
"We know we're the better team," he said.
On Wednesday, Bradley acknowledged the Dodgers had a better overall record, then said that counts for nothing now.
"This series will determine who the better team is," he said.
Kershaw will take the ball Friday and try to carry the Dodgers on his back, all the way to a parade. The big horse is one of baseball’s grandest traditions, from Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson to Orel Hershiser and
If Kershaw can deliver that magic this October, he would be bucking an emerging October trend, the one in which starters pitch roughly half the postseason innings.
In the two winner-take-all wild-card games, Greinke lasted the longest of all the starters. He worked 32/3 innings, as many as the other three combined: the
On Wednesday, Gray faced 11 batters and gave up seven hits.
As the Dodgers prepared for their fifth consecutive appearance in a division series, Arizona rejoiced in its first trip there since 2011.
Said Bradley: "We want to make baseball here good again."