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An unofficial Arizona Diamondbacks community and blog



Updated: 2018-04-22T09:00:04-04:00

 



Snake Bytes 4/22: Lucky Seven

2018-04-22T09:00:04-04:00

The Arizona Diamondbacks will need to take today’s rubber match to secure their seventh consecutive series win to begin the 2018 season. Diamondbacks 6, Padres 2 [D’backs.com] Pollock’s return helps lead D-backs past Padres - After sitting out Friday’s contest following a collision with fellow outfielder Chris Owings the night prior, A.J. Pollock returned to roam center field for the Diamondbacks on Saturday. Pollock broke up a 2-2 tie with a two out solo shot to right field in the 3rd off of Padres’ starter Clayton Richard. He also drove in Paul Goldschmidt for the Diamondbacks’ sixth run of the game in the 7th inning. “Richard is definitely a guy that wants to get you to hit ground balls,” Pollock said when talking about the at-bat in which he went deep. “He’s got a lot of sink on his ball, a lot of deception, a lot of angle to it. When he’s on, he’s getting a lot of guys to roll it over to shortstop and third, and I was just trying to put a good swing on it and stay on whatever pitch he was throwing me. Not try to hit a homer, but try to drive a ball the other way.” [Arizona Sports] Zack Godley celebrates birthday with win, D-backs top San Diego - Zack Godley continued to struggle to find the zone with his curveball at times while starting on his 28th birthday. According to Fangraphs, his curveball is only in the strike zone 30.1% of the time this season, down from 37% last year, and hitters are only swinging at it out of the zone 38% of the time this season as opposed to 50% last year. The Los Angeles Dodgers effectively used a patient approach against him last weekend, but the Padres had more difficulty laying off of the pitch. Of Godley’s eight strikeouts, three of them came on a swinging third strike at the curveball. Brooks Baseball has him throwing the pitch 38 times yesterday with 7 swings and misses total. He also hit a two out RBI single to tie the game in the 2nd inning, becoming the first pitcher to tally an RBI on his birthday since Patrick Corbin did it on July 19th, 2015. “I thought obviously Zack Godley’s big base hit gave us a boost of energy inside the dugout,” Lovullo said. “Then he went out there and had some shutdown innings, which was also nice.” Diamondbacks News [D’backs.com] Lamb establishes ‘Kids with Courage’ program - Jake Lamb and his family know the hardships to be experienced when battling child leukemia. His sister, Megan, was only three years old when she had to undergo chemotherapy, while six year old Jake watched her fight. He is now using his platform in hopes to alleviate the pain suffered by families in a similar situation. “We forget how good we have it,” Lamb said. “We get so locked in on results and winning, and that’s great. I want to have results, I want to win, but this is just a game that we play. They’re dealing with real life stuff. I’m just trying to help out any way that I can. It wasn’t easy. Seeing a little girl walking down a [hospital] hall with a nurse, crying in pain, just kind of brought back some ugly memories, but I have to get over that. Because having the platform that I have, I should do what I can.” [Arizona Sports] Souza Jr. and Lamb on the mend, may return to D-backs lineup soon - The Diamondbacks have pushed through the first month of the season with two of their biggest power bats on the disabled list, but that could be changing soon. Jake Lamb and Steven Souza Jr. both had five at bats in an extended spring training game. Lamb could return from the disabled list as soon as Tuesday in Philadelphia. Souza Jr. will have to begin throwing again before his return as that has been his largest setback during rehab. [The Athletic] Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock is in a groove and he wants to ‘defeat that humidor - 2018 is an important season for impending free agents A.J. Pollock and Patrick Corbin. Both will enter a staggering list of names looking for a significant payday this offseason, so it would behoove them to produce strong numbers this year. Pollock’s K% this season is 3[...]



Minor League Recap 4/21/2018: Duplantier Debuts

2018-04-22T03:51:18-04:00

Top Prospect Jon Duplantier made his 2018 debut today for the AA Jackson Generals after being injured in Spring Training Snake Stars Three Stars CF Marcus Wilson A+ Visalia, 3-4 with a walk, a stolen base, a double and a triple Two Stars SS Ildemaro Vargas AAA Reno, 3-4 with a triple One Star RHP Tyler Mark A+ Visalia 2.0 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 runs, 6 ks Zero Stars RHP Albert Suarez AAA Reno, 2 IP 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk Negative Stars - The coveted and specially awarded Negative Star Award doesn’t go to a Dback prospects for the first time, but to Stockton Ports Catcher, and Oakland A’s prospect, Jason Goldstein. Goldstein had six successful stolen bases against out of seven attempts and was thrown out at home in his only time getting on base. Fresno Grizzlies 7 Reno Aces 2 Although not as bad as his prior start, Taylor Clarke still had a relatively rough 5 inning outing. Clarke struggled with his control, walking 4 batters, while striking out 4. Clarke would allow 3 runs on five hits. Silvino Bracho would follow up with an inning in the sixth, allowing a run on 2 hits, while striking out one batter. Albert Suarez would pitch the following two innings, allowing three earned runs on 4 hits and a walk, while striking out just one batter. Jimmie Sherfy would work a clean ninth inning, allowing no runs, walks, or hits, while striking out a batter. The Aces offense just couldn’t overcome the 7 runs the Grizzlies put on the board. Ildemaro Vargas continued his hot streak, going 3-4 with a triple. DH Yasmany Tomas also had a nice night at the plate, going 2-4 with a double and a home run. Cody Decker, who went 2-4, was the only other hitter for Reno to collect more than one hit. The Aces batters struck out 11 times, drew zero walks, and were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position, which contribute to the Aces’ poor offensive performance Chattanooga Lookouts 2 Jackson Generals 13 Jon Duplantier made his 2018 debut after being injured in spring training, and the results weren’t bad at all. Duplantier pitched 5 innings, surrendering two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out 6. He allowed the first run in a wobbly first inning, but settled down after that, though he did surrender an additional run in the third. Joel Payamps followed up with three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, while striking out 5. Kirby Bellow pitched a clean ninth inning, allowing no runs, walks, or hits. The Generals offense provided plenty of run support though for Duplantier, with a seven run second inning, and would later tack on four more runs in the seventh inning, and two more in the eighth. Shortstop Galli Cribbs would recover from his cycle hangover to go 2-4 with a triple. First baseman Marty Herum would go 2-4 with a HR. Kevin Medrano would go 2-5 with a triple. Finally, catcher Alberto Rosario would go 3-4 with a home run as well. Visalia Rawhide 7 Stockton Ports 3 Bo Takahashi would get the start, pitching five innings, and though the results weren’t as solid as his last couple starts, he still pitched well enough to get the win. He allowed three runs on eight hits and 2 walks, while striking out five and allowing one home run. Robby Sexton would follow with two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and walk, while striking out one. Tyler Mark would follow with two scoreless innings of his own, allowing just a hit and a walk, while striking out six. Visalia put on a stolen base clinic, with six successful stolen bases out of seven, all coming against Stockton’s catcher Jason Goldstein. Although Marcus Wilson had a throwing error, he had an otherwise excellent night, going 3-4 with a walk, a double, triple, and a stolen base. Drew Ellis had a nice night as well, going 2-4 with a walk. First baseman Ramon Hernandez was 2-5 with a double. Daulton Varsho was only 1-5, but reached base twice thanks to a Stockton fielding error, and stole a base both times he was on base. Left fielder Mark Karaviotis was only 1-4, but had a stolen base and an outfield assi[...]



Diamondbacks 6, Padres 2: Whack, crack, thank you Zack

2018-04-22T00:07:36-04:00

New rule: runs driven in by pitchers should get taken off their earned runs for the day. Record: 14-6. Pace: 113-49. Change on 2017: +2. In the middle of the first, it looked like it was going to be the kind of birthday for Zack Godley, which ended with him being stalked by a masked killer around a deserted camp ground. But he turned it around, in no small part to his prowess at the plate, where he drove in the tying run in the bottom of the second. He’s not the first D-backs pitcher to have an RBI on his birthday - Patrick Corbin did it on July 19, 2015 - but is the first to have an RBI and get the W. Last year, we had no starters win on their birthdays, but three relief pitchers did: Jorge De La Rosa, T.J. McFarland and Andrew Chafin. The last named did it in 2016 as well, so I presume we’ll see Chafin in the game on June 17 against the Mets. Anyway, this did not start well for Godley, and after his previous outing went a bit melty, it did not do much to settle fans’ moods. He did fan two of the first three, but the other Padres reached on an infield squibber. Another single and an out later later, last night’s terror, Franchy Cordero, who had the third-longest home-run in Chase Field history (pausing only to spit derisively in the direction of the humidor), hit another long ball. This one, humidor be praised, stayed in the park, but both runners scored. The D-backs also managed to botch the rundown, after Cordero strayed too far off third, though Godley escaped further damage. At 26 pitches though, he seemed not long for the game. Deven Marrero drives in Chris Owings and cuts the @Dbacks' deficit in half with his first career triple. pic.twitter.com/geytdipgD9— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) April 22, 2018 An 11-pitch second inning helped restore hope, and the D-backs then bounced back in their half of the inning, with the bottom of the order doing good work. Chris Owings singled, advanced on a Nick Ahmed groundout, and put Arizona on the board, courtesy of Deven Marrero’s first career triple (above). This allowed us to clear the pitcher’s spot, but Godley was having none of that, and singled back up the middle, tying the game. after the Padres left two on base in the third, A.J. Pollock gave the home team the lead, with his fifth home-run of the season. and Godley seemed to be settling in. He faced the minimum in the fourth and fifth, the only base-runner (an infield hit) being caught stealing, and left after retiring the first batter in the sixth. The final line was not bad: two runs allowed over 5.1 innings, with six hits and a walk, Godley striking out eight. But I have to say, it looked rather rockier watching it than that line would suggest, and the fact he was lifted at this relatively early point suggests Torey Lovullo was not exactly comfortable with Zack’s ability to protect a one-run lead. Andrew Chafin tidied up the sixth inning, and subsequent runs gave the A-bullpen a night off - probably much-needed, especially in Brad Boxberger’s case. Fernando Salas worked the seventh, and although Archie Bradley did start to warm up, T.J. McFarland threw two innings, despite the crowd’s chants of “Archie! Archie!” on his bobblehead night. The D-backs did a good job against the SD bullpen, who came in to this contest with a 2.67 ERA, second only to the D-backs. Arizona got five hits, two walks and scored three over three innings from the Padres bullpen, to provide some breathing room. Daniel Descalso came off the bench to drive in a fourth run with a single in the sixth, and the D-backs added two in the seventh. Ketel Marte drew his second walk of the game (hopefully that’ll get his bat going), and Paul Goldschmidt tripled to center, the ball ricocheting off the padding past the CF and delivering free tacos tomorrow. Pollock then singled through the drawn-in infield for our sixth and final run. After a shaky start, it was good to see the team put that, and being one-hit last night, behind them, to bounce back and[...]



Arizona Diamondbacks 6, San Diego Padres 2

2018-04-21T23:09:14-04:00

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After an early wobble, the D-backs came back to even the series against the Padres.

Zack Godley had to go through a bumpy first inning, which included a long two-run double from last night’s monster HR hitter, Franchy Cordero. However, that was all Godley would end up allowing, even if he was still not at his best. On his birthday, Zack ended up pitching into the sixth, with a final line of 5.1 innings, allowing those two runs on six hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. He also helped his own cause, driving in the tying run in the bottom of the second, after Deven Marrero had got the Diamondbacks on the board with an RBI triple.

A.J. Pollock’s fifth home-run of the season gave Arizona the lead in the third, and they were able to add some insurance runs later on. Daniel Descalso delivered an RBI single off the bench in the sixth, with Paul Goldschmidt and Pollock each driving in a run in the seventh. Andrew Chafin, Fernando Salas and T.J. McFarland combined for 3.2 scoreless innings, with the last-named getting the final six outs. Goldschmidt, Pollock and Marrero each had two hits; Chris Owings got a hit and two walks, and Ketel Marte drew a pair of free passes.




Preview: 4/21 vs. Padres

2018-04-21T19:30:46-04:00

Be nice to get another audio-bobblehead worthy moment tonight! Or, certainly, a win... Today's Lineups SAN DIEGO PADRES ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS Manuel Margot - CF David Peralta - LF Jose Pirela - LF Ketel Marte - 2B Eric Hosmer - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Christian Villanueva - 3B A.J. Pollock - CF Franchy Cordero - RF Chris Owings - RF Freddy Galvis - SS Nick Ahmed - SS Carlos Asuaje - 2B Deven Marrero - 3B Austin Hedges - C John Ryan Murphy - C Clayton Richard - LHP Zack Godley - RHP Archie Bradley audio bobblehead day at Chase today, and it seems the crowds were out in force for this one. Not surprised this looks likely to be among the team’s most popular giveaways, since it’s both a novelty and commemorates one of the most popular players among fans, as well as an iconic moment in franchise playoff history [I’d probably put it top 5, and that includes the 2001 World Series] Couple of bits of team news. Both Steven Souza and Jake Lamb got five at-bats in extended spring training. If they don’t suffer any ill effects, Lamb will hopefully be cleared to go with the team to Philadelphia next week. Souza is still a bit further away, but will move forward in his throwing rehab. Not really a surprise after a very acceptable start last night, but Torey Lovullo also confirmed that Matt Koch will remain in the rotation, at least for now. However, there was mixed new on the Randall Delgado front. He threw a bullpen today and said his arm felt fine, but the team is going to be cautious and will shut him down for a week. There has not apparently been any MRI taken or whatever. Line-up looks a little better than last night, with the return of Chris Owings and A.J. Pollock after their close encounter of the outfield kind on Thursday. John Ryan Murphy also gets a start instead of Alex Avila: dancing in the streets has been scheduled for the Avila haters! But the key to the game will likely be Zack Godley, who had a very poor start last time out, and could hardly locate the strike zone. We’ll be hoping for a great deal better this time around, not least because it’s his birthday as well! We can take that cake back if you don’t deserve it, Zack - we kept the receipt. Coincidentally, it’s also SnakePitter Tanner’s birthday; he’s at the game, and took the pic for the story stream. [...]



Game #20, April 21: Diamondbacks 6, Padres 2

2018-04-21T19:13:04-04:00

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The humidor at Chase Field: 10 games in

2018-04-21T14:55:56-04:00

Small sample size warning applies, but offense seems WAY down this year. Last night marked the 10th game played at Chase Field this year, and so the 10th game played with baseballs which had been stored in the humidor. While it’s still obvious very early days, we now have 765 plate-appearances in Phoenix to use as data points, and following up on shoe’s fanpost from a couple of days ago, I thought it might be worthwhile to see what that shows us. Obvious caveats apply: there are a range of other factors playing into the results, which can’t be controlled for. These include the opponent, the Diamondbacks’ roster, etc. To help moderate that, I want to look at a range of metrics, and not just take (say) OPS. Runs scored and allowed This is the bluntest and broadest measure of offense, but is perhaps also the one which has the most dramatic effect. Through ten games at Chase Field last year, the Diamondbacks had scored 74 runs and conceded 45. Through the same number this season, the Diamondbacks had scored 43 and conceded 29. That’s a 42% drop in RS, 36% in RA. Overall, the total number crossing home-plate in Phoenix has declined year-on-year from 119 to 72, a 39.5% drop. The chart below shows the cumulative number of runs thus far. After the first four games almost kept pace, scoring since has been consistently below the corresponding contest in 2017. Overall offense Across those 765 plate appearances, by all hitters at Chase Field, the overall line has been .211/.287/.356, an OPS of just .643. Only Busch Stadium (.641) has seen a lower OPS among National League parks this year. It stands in sharp contrast to last season, when the line at Chase was .254/.326/.447, a .773 OPS that was third in the NL, behind Coors and Great American Ball Park. Part of this is the obviously expected result: a decrease in homers. In 2017, we saw a home-run here once ever 28.5 PAs. In 2018, that figure has been one in every 38.2 PA. As a yard-stick, last season, Petco Park had a home-run per 33.1 PA, and Marlins Park 35.7. So far, Chase has played less HR-friendly than those seaside stadia. But it hasn’t just been the balls going over the fence. Those which stay in the park have also been turning into outs with greater frequency. In 2017, balls in play at Chase Field had a batting average of .306, fifth in the National League. This season, that has cratered by 44 points to .262, ranking our park 14th. Now, this figure does seems highly likely to regress over time: last season, no park in the NL saw a BABIP of below .281. But it does appear that we may be seeing more balls which would have gone off the wall last season, dropping harmlessly into outfielder’s gloves. It’s possible infielders are also vacuuming up those squishier, slower groundballs, which might have scooted past them in 2017. Home/road splits Over the first twenty years of the franchise, the team has always hit better at Chase Field than elsewhere. The amount has varied, from a mere three OPS points in 1999, to 136 points last year, but it has been a consistent feature for two decades. Of course, run environments have shifted dramatically in that time, as we went through the steroid era and came out the other side. But it’s the difference which we’re interested in, and from 1998 through 2017, here’s the sum total of the Diamondbacks home/road offense:Home: .269/.338/.442 = .781 OPSAway: .248/.315/.394 = .709 OPS This season? If the trend to this point holds, it will be the first year ever where Arizona has hit better away from Chase:Home: .225/.315/.378 = .693 OPSAway: .217/.287/.413 = .701 OPSYes, it’s only eight points difference - that’s still an eighty-point swing from the average of the previous twenty years. And there are a couple of reasons we might expect the road offense to pick up and widen the gap. We’ve played so far in Busch Stadium, AT&T Park a[...]



Snake Bytes 4/21: Offense, Oh where art thou?

2018-04-21T10:06:42-04:00

Nearly no-hit, the Diamondbacks played some sloppy ball on Friday night and scored fewer than four runs for the fifth consecutive game, a span in which they have also struck out 62 times. San Diego 4, Arizona 1 Tyson Ross took a no-hitter into thee eighth inning. The Diamondbacks committed three errors in the game, including two by sure-handed Nick Ahmed and Brad Boxberger allowed three runs in the ninth without recording an out. It’s safe to say that last night was the team’s worst game of the season so far. D-backs Avoid No-Hitter Christian Walker drilled a run-scoring double with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break up Tyson Ross’ bid to pitch the first no-hitter in Padres’ history. Koch Impreses in Arizona Loss Largely forgotten in the dramatics of Tyson Ross’ performance was the outing by Matt Koch, filling in for the injured Taijuan Walker. Making just his third-career start, Koch held the San Diego Padres to one run on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts over six innings. Diamondbacks Unveil Kevin’s Tower Honoring former GM Kevin Towers, the Diamondbacks re-named the suite he used to sit in to watch games to Kevin’s Tower, marking it with a commemorative plaque. Diamondbacks Help Launch Food Pantry The Arizona Diamondbacks were leaders both in the National League West and the community on Friday as they joined forces with St. Mary’s Food Bank to inaugurate a food pantry for kids in need at William Jack Elementary School in Glendale, Ariz. Diamondbacks’ Bullpen Getting Familiar Results The built-on-the-cheap Arizona bullpen entered Friday night’s game with a major league best 2.02 ERA. Archie Bradley and Jim Thome Archie Bradley might be one of the very best relievers in the game today. That doesn’t stop him from being an unapologetic fanboy when he interviews with Hall of Famer, Jim Thome. Corbin Pounding Outside the Strike Zone More pitchers than ever are intentionally missing the strike zone, and the Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin is one of those leading the way. Around MLB Season of the MLB Superteam not so Super The Diamondbacks sit atop the NL West, five games in front of the prohibitive favourites, the Los Angeles Dodgers. THe Washington Nationals are floundering behind the New York Mets. What’s happening (so far) in the world of baseball standings? Finally, Company for Chapman In 2017, Aroldis Chapman threw the 23 fastest pitches in baseball and 44 of the top 50. Although he’s thrown just 83 fastballs all year, the Cardinals’ Jordan Hicks has thrown the eight hardest pitches of the 2018 season. The Disgrace of Minor League Baseball A concerted lobbying effort by MLB has resulted in the inclusion of the Save America’s Pastime Act in the omnibus federal spending bill that became law last month. The Save America’s Pastime Act defangs a lawsuit alleging that MLB has been paying minor league players less than minimum wage, and it does it by exempting MLB from federal labor law. [...]