Morning, people. Got a bumper batch of news and information for you to peruse, before we go for (hopefully) the series win over the Cardinals, so let's get right into it, starting with the recaps of last night's victory. After the jump, there's news on Brandon Webb, Miguel Montero and Justin Upton among others.
- [dbacks.com] Homers, resurgent Haren pace D-backs - "Hinch said he was most impressed by Haren's adjustments: Employing his four-seam fastball and curveball with regularity, Haren struck out Albert Pujols with a tightly breaking hook in the sixth -- and, in conjunction with catcher Chris Snyder, giving Cardinals hitters different pitch sequences the second and third times through the lineup."
- [Yahoo!] Haren, homers lead D-backs past Cardinals 7-2 - "There’s a handful of games every year where you’ve got everything working, where you’ve got all your pitches and feel good," Haren said, "and this was one of them."
- [AZCentral] Diamondbacks defeat Cardinals - LaRoche said of Haren's hitting. "We've been joking with him all year, trying to figure out if he's going to DH for us... I'll see if I can talk A.J. into it." If anything, Hinch might listen. "I'll be honest with you, his balance and bat control is remarkable," he said. "He gets pitched like a position player. There are no secrets anymore. He's got quite an approach. He knows where the barrel of his bat is, and he has a good way of putting it on there."
- [FoxSportsArizona.com] Haren makes adjustments pay off - Adam LaRoche credits work with hitting coach Jack Howell for a streak that includes his third multi-home run game of the season and four hits and a walk in his last seven plate appearances. "I kind of tweaked some things in my stance to try to get in a better position to drive the ball. Right now it’s going pretty good," he said. After looking at video, LaRoche noticed his hands were creeping up too high as he loaded to hit.
Team News and Notes
- [FoxSportsArizona.com] Montero back, Webb on mound - "It’s tough. You sit in the training room and watch the game. It’s a terrible feeling," Montero said. "They tell you 4-to-6 weeks, and I thought I’d be back in four. Eight weeks later, I’m here. I’m looking forward to playing. Even today I’m pretty excited because I’m back on the roster."
- [AZCentral] Webb throws off mound, potentially could be back after All-Star break - "Webb said he can't wait to do it again. Only next time, he'll have an idea it's coming. And he'll wear a pair of spikes. Webb had no idea he would be taking the mound Saturday. He played catch for about 10 minutes, cranking up his arm speed to build off his previous side-throwing session. "So I did that, and then 'Stott' came in and said, 'All right, come in,' and he started walking toward the bullpen," Webb said. "I'm like, 'All right.' "
- [dbacks.com] D-backs' struggling Upton bats seventh - "This is an honest effort to try to relax him a little bit and take the burden and some pressure off of him, that he doesn't have to carry our team," Hinch explained. "It's important for him to gather himself."
- [AZDailySun] Going Down Swinging: Justin Upton's up-and-down season - "On the plus side, Upton's defense has continued to improve. Though fielding percentage and errors fail to paint a complete picture of a player's defensive ability, the youngster has improved this season in both areas. Upton has just one error so far this season after making 12 in 2009." Who is this guy? :-)
- [AZCentral]Diamondbacks players not blaming A.J. Hinch for subpar season - "Last time I checked, the manager's not on the field," left fielder Conor Jackson said. "I think some of it might be a cop-out. I think obviously we haven't lived up to our expectations so far as players, so that probably has a lot to do with it. The manager is pretty much like the clubhouse leader, you want him to control the clubhouse, control the egos, control the players and when it comes to (game time), there's really not much he can control, so I don't necessarily think that the manager has a lot to do with winning or losing."
- [dbacks.com] Reynolds getting plunked more than most - "Maybe teams are trying to pitch me inside a little more than they have in the past," Reynolds said. "Feels like I have had radar on my arms lately; they're pretty banged up. I don't remember ever getting hit this much, but I'm getting on base, giving us a chance to score runs.
- [Reno Gazette-Journal] Hallberg gives new meaning to sandlot baseball - The son of international teachers, the Aces infielder was born in Saudi Arabia. At 24, he has spent more time living abroad than he has in the U.S. Hallberg spent the first eight years of his life in either his birth city of Jeddah or Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and, later, five years in Islamabad, Pakistan. "It was interesting to see different cultures," Hallberg said. "You get enriched with different cultures and the respect people have for one another."
Baseball Strasburg News and Notes
- [MLB.com] Strasburg set for sequel to amazing debut - "On Sunday afternoon, Strasburg will make his second Major League start when he faces the Indians at Progressive Field. According to published reports, the Indians have already sold 8,000 more tickets since it was announced that Strasburg was going to make the start."
- [SI.com] After just one start, Stephen Strasburg is game's biggest draw - "Ask yourself this question: what player would move you to buy a ticket to a ballgame (especially a visiting player) or adjust your TV viewing schedule? There is only one obvious answer right now: Strasburg."
- [MLB.com] Strasburg's drawing power wows Riggleman - I haven't seen [crowds like this for a player]," Nationals manager Riggleman said. "Maybe they did this with Sandy Koufax and some others. I know when Nolan Ryan pitched at home, Texas jumped up in attendance because people thought he might pitch a no-hitter. But the national attention, I've never seen anything like Strasburg."
- [ESPN] Female knuckleballer Eri Yoshida notches first strikeout - "Eri Yoshida added another first to her resume, but the 18-year-old "Knuckle Princess" from Japan is still looking for a win. Yoshida, the first female to play professionally in the United States since 2000, pitched four strong innings and recorded her first strikeout of the season but left with a no-decision in the Chico Outlaws' 8-4 win over the Yuma Scorpions on Saturday night. The right-hander gave up two runs and allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in every inning she worked, needing 79 pitches in her second start of the year."
- [Yahoo!] Nava makes a grand slam debut[Yahoo![ Nava makes a grand slam debut - Daniel Nava gave his parents a great home video. Nava hit the first pitch he saw as a big leaguer for a grand slam—only the second player to do it. With his parents watching from the stands—and father operating a video camera—Nava came to bat with the Red Sox trailing 2-1. "It’s funny. They really hadn’t seen me play in the last two years," he said. "They were in Indianapolis to watch me play on Friday and I told them I might be playing up here."
- [NYTimes.com] Ruling in Bonds Case Is a Setback for Prosecutors - "A federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled on Friday that prosecutors would be barred from using what they say are positive drug tests and doping calendars in the perjury case against Barry Bonds, significantly hurting the government’s case. "
- [ESPN] Jim Joyce top MLB ump, players nix replay - "Jim Joyce, the umpire whose missed call deprived Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga of a perfect game on June 2, is baseball's best umpire nonetheless, according to an exclusive ESPN The Magazine Baseball Confidential poll of 100 major league players... Players also were decidedly opposed to replay and overwhelmingly applauded commissioner Bud Selig for not overturning Joyce's call."