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Fernando Rodney

Dodgers happy to avoid Diamondbacks' Robbie Ray in Game 1

Dodgers happy to avoid Diamondbacks' Robbie Ray in Game 1

The most consequential strategic decision of the Dodgers’ National League division series against Arizona may have occurred in the fifth inning of the wild-card game Wednesday at Chase Field. That’s when Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo called upon Robbie Ray, his theoretical starter for Game 1 of this series, to pitch in relief and help his team sneak past Colorado.

Ray lasted 2 1/3 innings. He logged 34 pitches. It was his first relief appearance since 2014, and it altered the expected trajectory of the NLDS.

Ray, a left-handed pitcher with a glorious beard and a wicked slider, has dominated the Dodgers in 2017. He still might pitch twice in this series, but the Dodgers...

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