Mariners’ Servais hopeful ‘efficient’ Robbie Ray will thrive at new home

Apr 19, 2022, 4:07 PM
Mariners Robbie Ray...
Robbie Ray is presented the AL Cy Young Award by Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto on April 15. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

When the Mariners open their series against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night, they’ll be sending one of the best pitchers in baseball to the mound to set the tone.

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That would be lefty Robbie Ray, the 2021 American League Cy Young Award winner who signed a lucrative five-year deal with the Mariners this past offseason.

Ray has pitched twice for Seattle this season, totaling 13 1/3 innings with a 4.73 ERA and nine strikeouts. Those numbers are a bit inflated as Ray pitched in a downpour in Chicago last week against the White Sox in a game that manager Scott Servais told Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Jake and Stacy shouldn’t have been played.

“We should not have played that game. It poured almost the whole game,” Servais told them Tuesday afternoon during The Scott Servais Show, which airs each Tuesday at 1 p.m. during The Dugout on Seattle Sports 710 AM. “But being the pro that he is, (Ray) got through it and gave us his best effort.”

So what are Servais’ first impressions of the Mariners’ new ace?

“I think we saw it right when we got to be around Robbie for the first time in spring training. The first thing you see and notice right away is the intensity he brings in everything that he does, from his bullpen sessions to pitching in spring training games to how he attacked hitters his first two starts of the season,” Servais said.

Tuesday will be Ray’s first home start with the Mariners, coming after pitching in that game in Chicago as well as a chilly afternoon in Minnesota on opening day.

Servais is looking forward to Ray pitching at T-Mobile Park for the first time in a Mariners uniform.

“I know he’s anxious to get that first start under his belt at home, and he does realize this is a really good park to pitch in, especially when it’s cool,” Servais said. “The ball doesn’t go anywhere so hopefully he can take advantage of that tonight.”

Aside from taking advantage of a cool spring evening in Seattle, what else is Servais looking for out of Ray on Tuesday?

“I’d love to see him get deep in the game,” Servais said. “He’s been very efficient with his pitches. He goes right after (hitters), he makes the guy swing the bat against him. Nobody wants to get to two strikes against him because I think he punched out about 245 guys last year, so they’re very aggressive against him and he uses that to his advantage. And like I said, hopefully we get six or seven innings out of Robbie tonight. That would be awesome.”

Listen to the full Scott Servais Show at this link or in the player below.

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