I think it's fair to say that Justin came out ahead of his brother BJ in this series - simply by not getting involved in a dugout spat with any of his team-mates. Of course, didn't hurt that BJ was 0-for-9 in the series, compared to Justin's 5-for-9. A road series win for the Diamondbacks has been a long time coming: May 6th, in fact, when we finished off a series in Houston, since when we had lost five road series and split a two-game set in Florida. Maybe we can build off that as we head into St. Louis? We'll see.
Anyway, here are the recaps of today's game and, after the jump, news on Brandon Webb and Mark Reynolds, among others
- [AZCentral] Diamondbacks top Rays, take series - "I thought it was a homer," Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young said. "I think everybody in the field thought it was a homer, too." But the way the field is shaped, it has a little cut out right there, and I'm like, 'If that ball fades a little bit to that spot, I might have a chance.' "
- [Yahoo!] Rays stars in dugout dispute during loss to DBacks - "B.J. came in off the field after that particular play and everybody saw it, and some guys were not really pleased and certain things were said," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He just did not run as hard as he possibly could have after the ball, that was obvious. That one there just didn’t have a good look to it. It’s just one of those moments that happen and now it’s up to me to handle it properly."
- [dbacks.com] Parra's homer helps D-backs sink Rays - "The walks definitely need to come down because we're not going to keep doing it this way," Hinch said. "It is puzzling to see so many walks but their discipline was evident in this series and for it to only hurt us in one game is nice. I'm as surprised as anyone [about the hits allowed] but you'll take it anyway you can get it with the wins and just get out of town on to the next series."
- [DRaysBay] Rays Drop Game And Series 2-1 To Diamondbacks - "The biggest proprietor of fail this afternoon, and the whole series, was the offense. They managed just two hits today, giving them a total of seven for the series. That's 7-81 for those counting at home. The offense was so bad that it's impossible to pin it on one person. I wish it were that easy. The only silver lining is that its nearly impossible for them to continue being this porous. At least I hope."
Team News and Notes
- [AZCentral] Jackson likely to miss start vs. Cardinals - "The right-hander now isn't expected to make his scheduled start Wednesday at St. Louis and instead, likely will be pushed back an extra day or two and next pitch Friday or Saturday against the Dodgers at Chase Field. "I'll see how the next couple of games go, but we're definitely leaning in that direction," Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said."
- [dbacks.com] Webb pleased with latest session results - "[Saturday] was again good," Webb said."The catcher was down so that was something that was new. I feel like I'm getting stuff done every time, moving forward, not having problems. I went through the windup, which I wasn't doing. I was kind of stepping into it and throwing off the mound [before Saturday]. [Saturday], or more than half the time, I went through the total windup and had the catcher down."
- [AZCentral] Hinch doesn't want players worrying about trades - "In order to help make that happen, Hinch said he's actually monitoring the rumor mill and when certain trade scenarios pop up involving his players that are way off base, he makes sure he tells them so. "I probably spend just as much time downplaying rumors as I do anything," he said."
- [Reno Gazette-Journal] Aces have a few possible All-Stars - "There were a number of different answers, including from [infielder Ed Rogers]. Interestingly, while all of the position players surveyed mentioned "a couple pitchers" as being worthy of consideration, they did not name one. Here is a quick look at the most deserving nominees."
- [AZCentral] Have Diamondbacks convinced Mark Reynolds to make changes in swing? - After tweaking things for several weeks, it appears a major change could be on the horizon. "I've been trying to hold off a little bit on coming up with a stance change," hitting coach Jack Howell said before Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. "...But it's time to do something. We do need him to hit the ball."
- [al.com] Jarrod Parker working his way back - Parker said he is at "about 75 to 80 percent" at the moment and has been throwing off the mound twice a week for the past month... "Everything feels real good," said Parker, a 6-foot-1 right-hander. "I've got no complaints. I'm just working hard and getting all the stuff done."
- [visaliatimesdelta.com] Tulare County residents open their homes to Visalia Rawhide players - "Developing a fond relationship with players is easy, Olsen said. Bidding goodbye to the players is not. Depending on a club's decision or on their development, the players could be gone at any time. Usually, the players stay for whole season. The longer stay, however, the harder the goodbye, Olsen said."
Around the Vuvuzela
- [Philly.com] Where have baseball's hitters gone? - "Selfishly, I'd like to think it was all due to better pitching," said John Smoltz, the former Braves pitcher who now works for MLB TV. "But it's a lot more than that. Everybody wants to take the dots and connect them all and say, 'See, that's the reason.' But in reality it's probably a whole bunch of things." Such as. . .
- [MySanAntonio.com] Pitchers who carry a big bat - "Haren’s hot start made me go looking for the game’s best hitters on the mound. According to baseball-reference.com, this is what I came up with. I left it to guys who primarily were pitchers."
- [DallasNews.com] Recent foul ball death raises safety concerns about baseball parks - "The tragic death of Wendy Whitehead on June 12 barely caused a ripple in baseball circles. But it has some fans thinking about their own safety in the stands – and whether more protective netting could prevent serious injuries or worse."
- [BBC News] Prince Harry tries out as a baseball pitcher - "The 25-year-old prince looked nervous as he walked out in front of the 40,000 people to throw the first ball at the New York Mets' Citi Field stadium. He looked genuinely relieved when the ball slammed into the catcher's glove and the crowd cheered wildly." Sign him for the bullpen immediately.
- [AP] Giants retire No. 20 uniform of Monte Irvin - "The 91-year-old Irvin, a Hall of Famer who became the first black player in Giants history when he signed with the club on July 8, 1949, had his No. 20 retired Saturday during an on-field ceremony at AT&T Park before the Giants hosted the Boston Red Sox. "Now I feel like my life in baseball is complete," Irvin told the sellout crowd."
- And finally, Your Daily Strasburg: [MLB.com] Kasten: Strasburg will get even better - "Is it a stretch to call Strasburg the Michael Jordan of baseball? It seems a lot of members of the media and many fans want to see him perform. "