Last night was the sixth game this we've lost when leading after seven, the result of Heilman's four-run eighth inning. Still, it was good to see Gibson "use it as a teaching moment". When you come into the ballgame in relief in the 8th inning with a lead, you don’t let the opposition hit for the cycle, finishing with a three-run homer, or you are coming right out. Nothing teaches better than an object lesson resulting from actions, not words.
Here's the recaps, and after the jump, details of playoff baseball for the Diamondbacks!* With that, off to get ready for this afternoon's Socofest.
[* - In the event the Diamondbacks do not make the post-season, they will be replaced by a team from their minor-league organization]
- [FoxSportsArizona] Saunders does a little bit of everything - "I was up there trying to bunt, and he was throwing gas. They were kind of shading me to the left, so I thought I’d try to pull it and see if it got through. It worked out... When you don’t swing a bat in 11 years, it is kind of weird to see a lot of pitching, especially anything over 88 mph."
- [AZCentral] Diamondbacks bullpen fails against Astros - Would he have pulled Heilman after watching his normally reliable reliever allow three hits and a wild pitch before facing Lee? "I think about a lot of things," Gibson said, "but this is how I do it, and I'm not going to second-guess anything I did."
- [Yahoo!] Astros rally to beat Diamondbacks 6-5 "I made a couple of good pitches in that inning, made a couple of bad ones," Heilman said. "They kind of all got hit."
- [dbacks.com] Tough eighth inning sends D-backs to loss - "We had many chances to put these guys away," the D-backs' interim skipper said. "They hung around and that's what happens when you get in these type of games. We had chances to tack on and we didn't."
Team News and Notes
- [al.com] BayBears clinch playoff spot after doubleheader split - A doubleheader split was good enough for Mobile to clinch a Southern League wild-card playoff berth Saturday night. "It's awesome," said Mobile manager Rico Brogna. "The best part is watching the guys celebrate. It's just an awesome feeling. I'm so happy for the staff and players."
- [dbacks.com] Gibson wants D-backs focused pregame - Kirk Gibson wants iPads and cell phones put away 30 minutes before the D-backs take the field. "It's their clubhouse, but I do feel pretty strongly," he said. He also wants players to be out in front of the dugout for the national anthem. "I don't make it mandatory, but I let them know how I feel about it. I remind them why I go out."
- [AZCentral] Gibson wants team to look at big picture - "You always have to remain scared out of your mind that you'll slip and go the wrong way, and that's kind of what I feel every day," he said. "You always have to be scared, you have to remind yourself to not get aloof or relaxed in your motivation, and the way you approach it, has to remain the same every day... Never, ever let our guard down."
- [rgj.com] Aces struggle at outset, but get 20 wins in August - "The year has not gone the way we hoped," said Mike Berger, who oversees the Diamondbacks' minor-league system. "The goal is always to win more than you lose and to play beyond Sept. 7. We didn't achieve that." The Aces are 67-73 with three games left.
- [padres.com] Missed chances lead to ninth straight loss - "It honestly seems like we're going out there not to lose the division, instead of going out there to win the division," Jon Garland said. "Because there isn't a single soul in baseball that's going to feel sorry for us." Damn straight. Keep right on imploding, Padres.
- [Yahoo!] Giants rally to beat Dodgers 5-4 - "Big" Jonathan Broxton took the loss in his return to the closer's role, allowing a go-ahead two-run homer in the ninth. In 23 games since June 27, he has a 7.71 ERA. Is that Mark Grace sobbing I hear?
- [USA Today] Thome passes McGwire for ninth on all-time HR list Asked for comment, McGwire said, "I'm not here to talk about the past. I'm here to be positive about th... Oops, sorry - wrong script."
- [Yahoo!] Reds phenom Chapman is pretty in pink - "No rookie is immune from the pink backpack, not even the one with the $30 million contract and the shiny Lamborghini and the biggest fastball anyone can remember seeing. Aroldis Chapman is the greatest thing since … well, since Stephen Strasburg, which doesn’t constitute a whole lot of time, but whatever. Greatness can’t spare Chapman from carrying a bag covered in pastels and princesses."
- [The Tyee] 'Chicks Dig Fur': Living the Sports Mascot Dream - Seamore the Seal is paid to give hugs and rub his belly. Hot work, very hot, if you can get it.