Damn, that was fun. We finish the season series 5-1 - more wins than we've managed against any other team in the majors [and more than we've managed in 21 combined games against the Padres and Dodgers...] Is it just the Mets making the Diamondbacks looking good? Or is this team in danger of turning a corner? Well, we had optimistic thoughts after the last time we saw New York and it didn't work out so well. Let's see what happens against the Strasburg-less Nationals when we return to Chase. Here are the recaps: team news after the jump, as well as a questionable method of drying a baseball field in Canada...
- [Yahoo!] LaRoche powers D-backs to another win over Mets - The Diamondbacks’ interim manager told LaRoche he was due, the kind of off-the-cuff comment that skippers make to players on a daily basis."You say stuff like that out of jest all the time," Gibson said of his brazen prediction for LaRoche. "I’ve been wrong lots of times."
- [NY Times] Mets Celebrate Their Past, Then Cringe at Their Present - "When the festivities ended, the Mets had to play one of the worst teams in the major leagues, the Arizona Diamondbacks. And in a three-game series, the Mets looked more like the Diamondbacks than the record-setting team that was being honored."
- [dbacks.com] LaRoche, D-backs rout Mets behind Hudson "I was able to throw some changeups in hitters counts, which maybe kept them off balance a little bit. I didn't use too many breaking balls today. When you get that many runs scored for you, you realize you don't have to be perfect out there. Sometimes those things can turn around and bite you a little bit if you don't have good command, but I had decent command of a couple of pitches today and was able to get some quick outs."
- [Amazin' Avenue] Diamondbacks 14, Mets 1: Hall Of Lame - "Through 3.1 innings, Jon Niese didn't allow a hit or walk and notched two strikeouts. Thoughts of the franchise's first no-hitter danced in the heads of some fans, on Mets Hall of Fame induction day no less. Then, with one out in the fourth, Kelly Johnson walked, Justin Upton broke up the no-no with a single and it was all downhill from there."
- [dbacks.com] D-backs keeping tabs on pitchers' innings - The D-backs will look to limit the innings pitched this year of right-handers Daniel Hudson, Ian Kennedy and Barry Enright to the 175-185 range. "I think we'll be OK," Gibson said. "I don't think we have to be skipping guys. I think we'll be able to manage it."
- [AP] Bobby Crosby joins Diamondbacks prior to Sunday's game vs. Mets - "Bobby Crosby joined the Arizona Diamondbacks before Sunday's game against the New York Mets, leaving only outfielder Ryan Church to catch up. The Diamondbacks optioned outfielder Cole Gillespie to Triple-A to make room for Crosby."
- [AZCentral] Diamondbacks 'creating flexibility' with trades "We wanted to be in a flexible position," Dipoto said. "We understand there is still a lot of work to be done. There are still holes to fill. The one thing that we've managed to do is we've maintained a core group of players that we believe have a lot of talent, and we're going to build around that."
- [Inside the D-backs] Hudson settling in after trade to D-backs "I had no expectations of that going into the year," Hudson said. "Every couple of weeks it seemed they were calling saying you're going up, you're going up. It's cool to think about looking back."
- [FoxSportsArizona] D-Backs July Report Card: Changes, changes, changes - "Except on a few occasions, the offense did not do enough to score runs, and manufacturing runs remains an issue despite Gibson’s emphasis. In a four-game sweep by the Giants two weeks ago, the D-Backs were 5 for 34 with runners in scoring position, and two of those singles did not drive in runs."
- [Venom Strikes] Rating the Dbacks Trades - "Well, it sure was a busy week of wheeling and dealing for the Arizona Diamondbacks... Here I rate the trades that the Dbacks have made over the past week."
- [AZ Daily Sun] Going Down Swinging: D-backs come out of trades OK - "The D-backs just seem to be collecting first and second-round picks from the 2009 draft. Guys that they surely wanted to pick, but you can't get everyone you want. Unless you do it the D-backs' way."
- [NPR] Guillen: Asian Players Treated Better Than Latinos - "In his latest rant, the outspoken Guillen also said he's the "only one" in baseball teaching young players from Latin America to stay away from performance-enhancing drugs and that Major League Baseball doesn't care about that." Oh, Ozzie..
- [Time] What's Behind Baseball's Great Pitching? - "The shift in baseball's balance of power over the last decade, from the sluggers at the plate to the pitchers on the mound, has been startling. According to FanGraphs, teams have averaged 4.94 run per nine innings this season, down 15% from 2000, and the lowest level seen since 1992. Hits are also lower than they've been in 18 years."
- [ESPN] Alex Rodriguez has appeared on nearly 18,000 card - "A-Rod has graced more than 17,800 different cards since 1993, an average of more than 1,000 a season. Aaron has just 1,752 different cards, while Ruth appears on little more than 3,600 and Mays has roughly 2,400."
- [CBC News] Baseball season goes up in flames - "A trick used by a grounds crew to dry out a soaked baseball field in St. Albert's may have cost local teams its use for the season. "What usually takes a day, day and a half for Mother Nature to take care of, we did in half an hour," Gerry Peterson said after his crew spread diesel fuel on the field and ignited it last week. After being told what had happened, officials in the Edmonton suburb dispatched a crew to dig up the field and test the dirt. When the test results showed the pitcher's mound had been contaminated with fuel, the field was shut down as an environmental risk."