Ray early favorite to start Game 2 for D-backs

Left-hander threw 2 1/3 innings of relief in NL Wild Card Game

Ray early favorite to start Game 2 for D-backs

LOS ANGELES -- It's not official, but all signs point to Robbie Ray starting for the D-backs in Game 2 of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

NLDS Game 1: Tonight, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. MST on TBS

Ray likely would have been the Game 1 starter, but he was needed for 2 1/3 innings of relief in Wednesday night's NL Wild Card Game.

"We haven't gotten that far yet," manager Torey Lovullo said when asked if Ray would start Game 2. "Everything that Robbie gave us [Wednesday] told us that he feels good, and we want him to go through the throwing program today and tomorrow and see where he's at."

Safe to say, though, if Ray feels good he's the top choice?

Game Date Results Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 6 LAD 9, ARI 5 WATCH
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Gm 3 Oct. 9 LAD 3, ARI 1 WATCH

"Yeah, I mean, it would be everybody's choice, right?" Lovullo said. "If he's healthy and strong and ready. He's been an elite pitcher all year long, so we're certainly leaning in the direction of putting Robbie out there as quickly as possible."

Ray threw 34 pitches in the Wild Card Game. He likened it to a bullpen session, rather than a start, in terms of recovery.

"I feel good," Ray said. "Ready to go whenever they ask me to."

Ray was 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA in five starts against the Dodgers this year, and in his last two starts against them, he allowed one run over 14 1/3 innings, while walking two and striking out 24.

"I feel like I've had a good amount of success against them this year, and I feel like I match up pretty well against this lineup," Ray said.

If Ray starts Game 2, he could then start a potential Game 5 on regular rest.

Roster shuffling

D-backs decision-makers planned to meet Thursday night to set their roster for the NLDS.

Lovullo said the team was thinking of carrying 11 pitchers and 14 position players, but that had not been decided on yet. Nor has the team decided which one of its five starters will be shifted to the bullpen for the series.

"I think what this organization does is we do a really good job of sharing our thoughts, researching and then having a strategy," Lovullo said.

Lamb vs. Kershaw?

Left-handed-hitting third baseman Jake Lamb has never faced southpaw Clayton Kershaw in his career, not even during Spring Training.

Lamb, though, had a big game Wednesday night, going 4-for-5, including 1-for-2 against lefties.

"It's a tough decision," Lovullo said. "One of our main performers and offensive catalysts all year long. So I've got to figure some things out. I haven't quite gotten to that decision yet, but it's at the top of my list."

Lamb said he would relish the chance to face Kershaw, but that he would leave that decision to Lovullo.

Injury updates

• Outfielder David Peralta said he twisted his left ankle while rounding first base on a single in the second inning Wednesday, but that he is ready to go for Game 1 of the NLDS.

• Reliever Jimmie Sherfy (biceps tightness) warmed up twice Wednesday night, but did not get into the game. He said he felt good Thursday.

• Shortstop Chris Owings was scheduled to play in an instructional game in Phoenix on Thursday. Owings is still trying to come back from a fractured right hand he sustained on July 30. It is not known yet whether he will be added to the NLDS roster.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.