Quotes of the day
- "We have a sinkerball guy that we're trying to get him to throw the ball up so I can just hit a fly ball to the outfield and that's all I was thinking. Just stay closed with my front shoulder and follow the ball the whole way and just don't try to do too much. Just hit a fly ball to the outfield and get one run and I stuck with the plan and it worked."
-- Wil Nieves, on hitting his game-winning sacrifice fly
- "It's fun, the adrenaline gets going and the heart is pounding. Being here too, with the crowd they have and the atmosphere, it makes it a lot of fun."
-- Matt Reynolds, on suddenly being our closer
""The last two nights he pitched he asked the umpire where the pitch was so we screamed from the dugout, ‘It’s outside.’ And then he popped Pollock up and he stared in our dugout so we exchanged words. Just friendly competition. We’ll see him a lot more times."
-- Eric Hinske on what he yelled at Sergio Romo in yesterday's game.
"Nothing is a concern. You’re concerned; I’m not concerned. It’s baseball. If it’s not J.J., it’s somebody else. If somebody’s not swinging the bat good — it’s always something. You guys seem to focus on those things. We just kind of focus on the team thing. There were a lot of really good things that went on on this trip.. I’m looking forward to getting even better."
-- okay, who put the ecstasy in Kirk Gibson's bottle of water?
Didi Gregorius makes an impression
Safe to say he has hit the ground running - literally, since his hustle, turning singles into doubles, proved key in both SF wins. His bat has also proved better than expected, hitting.400/.423/.800 in his first six games. GM Kevin Towers spoke to KTAR about Gregoius, calling him "outstanding," and saying, "It would be pretty hard to probably send the kid down, the way he's playing right now." KT added, "He's got holes, like most big league players do, but he's a smart enough kid that I think he'll make the necessary adjustments... To have control of a good, young middle infielder is something we haven't had in a while, probably since [Drew] was a young player. It's very comforting."
Archie Bradley does too
A little further down the prospect pipeline, Bradley has been impressing people down in Visalia, post6ing a 1.14 ERA in his first four starts, and cutting his walk-rate in half. Jack Magruder wrote about our young pitcher - he's still only aged 20, and how he has improved. Said Bradley, "It’s crazy what a difference a year can make as far as my maturity level and just my understanding how to prepare for baseball on and off the field. "I feel like I’ve been able to slow the game down and been able to just compose myself. In those big situations, when I get behind in counts, I’ve been able to calm down and make quality pitches to get back into the at-bat and get out of it."
- Someone the D-backs traded away hit two home-runs yesterday... No, not him. This time it was Chris Young, who drove in four runs for the Athletics against Boston. However, he's still hitting only .174, so much as Cliff Pennington has sucked at the plate... Stephen Drew had a two-run triple for the Red Sox, but has an even more woeful line of .128/.227/.205. S'funny how we don't get trolls popping in with hourly bulletins on these two...
- The next great frontier for baseball expansion: Iran? Here's an interview with the coach of the Iranian National Team, who says "In the beginning I used to recruit whoever looked athletic from the English classes I taught."
- Here in Arizona, we're graced with plenty of wide, open spaces. That's not the case everywhere. For example, in Union City, NJ, one high-school plays its baseball games on the roof.