Today's starting pitchers: LHP Robbie Ray (7-11, 4.31) vs. RHP Matt Wisler (4-11, 5.16). . . . Storylines: The D-backs have overcome some hideous relief pitching to win 2 of the first 3 games in the series in walk-off fashion. The starting pitching has been marginally better than the relief, but it might be in Ray's best interest to keep matters in his own hands in the series finale. He's coming off the best outing of his career, a 7-inning, 1-hit, 13-strikeout gem vs. the Padres on Saturday. . . . Watch: 6 p.m., FOX Sports Arizona.
D-backs starting pitcher Robbie Ray
Ray is the reigning NL Pitcher of the Week after giving up a total of 2 earned runs in starts against the Mets and Padres. In his last 3 starts, he's pitched 19 innings and allowed 12 hits, 3 walks and 3 runs (2 earned) while striking out 22. Over his last 12 starts, dating to June 17, he's walked 18 and struck out 96 in 71 innings. . . . "Command," is how manager Chip Hale explained Ray's recent success. "Just being able to command that fastball. It's such a devastating pitch. He's throwing his breaking ball better, better locations with it. The main thing is fastball command and not having to throw so many pitches." . . . Ray's only career start against Atlanta came last August, pitching 4 1/3 innings and surrendering 3 runs on 6 hits.
APRoss D. Franklin
Braves starting pitcher Matt Wisler
Wisler was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make tonight's start. He was 2-1 with a 3.71 record in 4 starts in the minors. . . . He opened the season in the Braves rotation and made 20 starts before being demoted. His demotion came following a 4-start stretch in which he was roughed up for 28 hits, 9 home runs and 25 runs in 20 1/3 innings. . . . Wisler ranks 6th in the National League for most home runs allowed -- 22.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsBrad Penner
About that bullpen . . .
The D-backs relief corps failed to hold an 8-7 lead on Monday, a 4-3 lead on Tuesday and a 9-4 lead on Wednesday and now has a collective ERA of 5.19, the highest in baseball. In 37 games since the All-Star break, the ERA is 6.82 -- more than 2 points higher than any other team in the majors -- with 4 saves, 7 blown saves and 26 home runs allowed. Chip Hale has gone to the bullpen 147 times in those 37 games. . . . Daniel Hudson has rebounded from a disastrous July to make 10 consecutive scoreless appearances and Randall Delgado has given up 1 run in his last 12 appearances, but most everyone else has done little but pour gasoline on the fire.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
The hits keep coming
Baseballs have been flying all around Chase Field through the first three games of the series -- with the Braves accounting for 38 hits (14 for extra bases) and the Diamondbacks 39 (17 for extra bases). . . . Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis each have 7 hits for the Braves, and Michael Bourn, waived by Atlanta during spring training, has 7 hits and 6 runs scored for the Diamondbacks. But of all the hits by the D-backs, the most welcome are the 5 amassed by Jake Lamb over the past 2 games, including 3 doubles and a home run. Lamb had been mired in a 2-for-47 slump.
APRoss D. Franklin
Up next: Cincinnati Reds
The D-backs conclude the homestand with three games against the Reds, who are in last place in the NL Central. Saturday's game will be proceeded by the D-backs alumni game at 2:30 p.m. Friday's pitching matchup features Braden Shipley and Brandon Finnegan. . . . The Reds took 2 of 3 from the Diamondbacks in Cincinnati last month.