Ray thinks pace is key to future success

D-backs starter has great stuff, but struggles to go deep into games

Ray thinks pace is key to future success

PHOENIX -- D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray knows he needs to pitch deeper in games if he wants to be a successful big league starter.

Ray has dominant stuff at times, but tends to have high pitch counts early, which limits how far he can go in games.

An example of that was Friday night's 12-4 win, when he was spotted 10 runs in the first two innings and did not allow a run to the Dodgers through five innings. But Ray had to come out after the fifth because he had already thrown 95 pitches.

Ray walked three and allowed two hits, but the Dodgers' hitters made him work.

Commanding the strike zone is the issue and Ray thinks he knows how to correct things.

"I think it has a lot to do with my pace," Ray said. "I start to slow down and it's just not who I am as a pitcher. I need to realize that earlier. I need to, when I get the ball, get back on the mound and attack guys. That's who I am."

Ray's stuff is not in question.

"His arm is fantastic," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "He's proven he can throw it hard and has great movement on his fastball -- he has a swing-and-miss fastball."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.