PHOENIX — Give Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray an “A” in self-evaluation.
Ray won his final six regular-season decisions in 2017 after missing a month with a concussion suffered when he was struck in the head by a line drive in St. Louis on July 28. Then last Wednesday Mitch Haniger Seattle Mariners Jersey , he spun six scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory over Florida in his first start after missing 58 days with an oblique injury.
Ray will face the Cardinals again on Monday, in the first game of a three-game series at Chase Field. Right-hander Carlos Martinez will start for the Cardinals.
“Obviously, I’m not going to go out there if I don’t feel 100 percent,” said Ray, a first-time All-Star in 2017.
“There is a constant line of communication between me and Torey (manager Lovullo). He was open with me. He wanted me to make another rehab start. I made it clear that I felt like I was ready. It felt good to be back on the mound and to be good to put up some zeroes for this team and help us win.”
Both Arizona and St. Louis enter the series after being swept, the Diamondbacks losing three to NL West rival San Francisco and the Cardinals dropping three to NL East-leading Atlanta.
That was only a slight hiccup for the Diamondbacks, whose 19 victories in June tied for the most in the majors. They led the majors with 11 triples and were second in runs in the month. Starting pitchers had 15 victories, also the most in the majors, capped by wins by Ray and Zack Greinke in the final two games of a four-game series in Miami early last week.
The D-backs have lost only two of their last 10 series, both to San Francisco, while recovering from a 2-15 skid in May.
“You are going to have ups and downs,” Ray said. “That was a little bit of an extended down, but good teams find a way to break out of that. I feel like we’ve done that this month.
“It’s another thing we have going on. The dynamic in this clubhouse Taron Johnson Color Rush Jersey , we are never down on ourselves. Guys were in here playing music every single day. Nothing has changed. We understand that there is a process, and you have to stick with it. The second that you start changing who you are and over-analyzing a little bit, it can weigh on you.
“We just come in there every day like it’s a new day. We prepare every day the same way, and we don’t change anything.”
The Cardinals have been careening a bit. They have lost four in a row after winning four straight, a run that ended another three-game losing streak. They have lost 12 of 18 since peaking at eight games over .500 on June 11.
St. Louis has scored 11 runs in their last four games after clobbering Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, scoring six runs off his in 1 2/3 innings, the shortest outing of his major league career.
Martinez (4-4) won that game, his first in five starts since returning from the disabled list, giving up two runs with eight strikeouts in six innings. He had a 1.62 ERA in eight starts before going on the disabled list and has 6.75 ERA in five starts since returning. His issue has been walks, 43 in 72 2/3 innings.
The Cardinals have considered moving first baseman Jose Martinez to the outfield in an attempt to increase their run production, but Martinez started at first again Sunday.
“The bat has to be (in the lineup),” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told reporters over the weekend. “You’ve got a guy who’s been as consistent as anybody we’ve had all season. So you’ve got to find a place for him.
“We’ve never ruled out the outfield. None of that is out of the question. We haven’t featured that yet but it’s something that has been in the conversation. He’s been doing work out there, too. But DaeSean Hamilton Color Rush Jersey , right now, it’s how do we improve at first base?”
Carlos Martinez has had good success against Arizona, with a 2.88 ERA in eight appearances. That ERA ranks 20th among active major leaguers with at least 30 innings against the Diamondbacks. Martinez has been even more successful at Chase Field, with a 2.11 ERA, fifth among those with at least 20 innings.
Martinez has given up one homer against the Diamondbacks, that coming to Gerardo Parra in their first meeting. Since then, he has gone 33 1/3 innings without giving up a homer to them.
Ray (3-0) is 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA in four career starts against the Cardinals. He was removed after being struck by Luke Voit liner in the second inning of the July 28 start last season.
Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking violation is just the latest setback for efforts to improve relations between Milwaukee officers and the city’s black population.
The confrontation involving Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks also represents the first major challenge for new Police Chief Alfonso Morales, who took the job in February promising to restore public trust in a department besieged in recent years by excessive-force lawsuits.
”Milwaukee has all the ingredients to be a great city, but each time an incident like this occurs, we are reminded of how much work we still have to do,” the city’s Common Council said in a statement Thursday.
Morales, a lifelong Milwaukee resident born to Mexican immigrants, pledged to be more transparent with cases of police misconduct Cheap Lamar Jackson Jersey , and he’s already faced TV cameras twice this month to apologize for his officers’ actions. The other case involved four officers caught on video kicking and punching an African-American man while he was restrained on the ground.
The Jan. 26 video of Brown showed how a simple interaction quickly escalated after an officer approached him about parking in a handicap spot around 2 a.m. at a Walgreens drug store. When their conversation became tenser, the officer called more squad cars for help. As Brown is surrounded by four officers, he’s asked to take his hands out of his pockets and a scuffle ensues. Within seconds, one officer yelled ”Taser! Taser! Taser!”
The video became public after the department finished its internal investigation.
The officers were disciplined because they ”acted inappropriately,” Morales said. Brown was not charged with anything.
The chief did not name the officers or say how they were disciplined. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing unidentified sources, said three officers received suspensions ranging from two to 15 days.
”I am sorry this incident escalated to this level,” said Morales, who left a news conference Wednesday without taking questions.
The police department did not identify the races of the officers, but most of them in the video appeared to be white. Brown is black.
A 2017 analysis by the Journal Sentinel found that black officers made up about 18 percent of the department, in a city that is roughly 39 percent black.
Morales’ predecessor, Edward Flynn, had a combative relationship with some city officials during his decade on the job. The Common Council became so frustrated with him that members passed a resolution asking the state to empower the council to fire him. On Thursday Jerome Baker Color Rush Jersey , a council member repeated that request, saying change in the department can only happen if the chief is accountable to city leaders instead of a civilian commission appointed by the mayor.
”We can have all sorts of community meetings and groups and say all these wonderful things. But ”at the end of the day, the police chief can do whatever he wants without any consequences,” Alderman Tony Zielinski said.
Morales’ spokeswoman said he was not available for an interview.
Brown has indicated he will file a lawsuit against the police. If he does, the complaint will add to a long list of litigation the city has faced over officer misconduct.
Last year, Milwaukee paid $2.3 million to settle a lawsuit over the death of Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill black man fatally shot by a police officer after the officer roused him from a park bench downtown.
In 2016, the city paid $5 million to settle a lawsuit by 74 black residents who said police illegally strip-searched them between 2008 and 2012. The American Civil Liberties Union in Wisconsin also has a pending lawsuit alleging the department has for years targeted black and Latino residents by stopping and questioning them without cause.
”It’s just another black eye for the city of Milwaukee on a national level,” Alderman Khalif Rainey said.
A day before the Brown video was released, Morales posted a short video on YouTube that showed him walking through neighborhoods, talking to residents and emphasizing his desire to restore trust in the department.
Rainey bashed the video, saying it’s not enough.
”First and foremost, it’s going to require something more than a video http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dallas-goedert-jersey , a nice fluffy PR effort,” he said. ”So it’s really going to require the police to get out here in the community and really get integrated in neighborhoods and build a rapport with actual people on a first-name basis.”
Jonathan Safran, a Milwaukee attorney who worked on the Dontre Hamilton case and lawsuit over illegal strip searches, said he’s optimistic that settlement discussions in the ACLU lawsuit could lead to changes in how officers behave during traffic and pedestrian stops.
”The issue in my mind going forward, and this is a good example,” he said, referring to Brown’s case, ”is should officers act as warriors or should they should they act as guardians?”