So, the Dodgers lost. We're only 7.5 back - may seem a lot, but it's as close as we've got since May 12, and we've picked up three games since May 29 - a 19-game span. At that pace, we'll have reeled them in about the middle of August... And not just me who thinks so: [Hat-tip: shoewizard]
[ArizonaSports.com] D-backs' GM Towers: 'We're going to make the playoffs' "I think we're as good as anybody in the west, and knock on wood but I'll stick my head out there, but we're going to make the playoffs," Towers told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Show Wednesday. "We got a run in us and it's going to happen." Interesting comment in the clip about MacDonald having good hands "for a Caucasian"! Anyway, read on: a bumper crop of links and stuff to get through today.
- [mlb.com] D-backs swat six homers in win over Mariners - "That's why you don't bunt him, and that's why you give him the 3-0 [green light] because you're hoping for something like what happened that will give him that feeling and give him his confidence back," Gibson said. "We need to get him on track, we all know it. That's why we did it. He got 3-0 and he put a good swing on it, and he got another hit after that, so that was great."
- [AZCentral] Diamondbacks' Justin Upton delivers big - "The right fielder hasn't had much to smile about in a while. Any time he doesn't have a multi-hit game or smash a long homer, fans on sports-talk radio shows or message boards everywhere are out for his head, suggesting he be dropped out of the No. 3 spot in the batting order or worse -- traded away or sent packing to the minor leagues." The AZ Central comments on the story would be exhibit A...
- [AP] D-backs hit 6 homers in 14-10 win over Seattle - ''I was so gassed,'' Roberts said after the eighth inside-the-park homer in franchise history. ''It doesn't seem like that far around the bases, but it is when you're running that hard. I'm just glad I didn't fall over.''
- [SB Nation Arizona] Stephen Drew Likely To Return To D-backs Wednesday Vs. Atlanta "We talked about maybe having him play a game or two in Mobile since we're on the East Coast, I think our trainer was going to talk to him about that," Towers said. "And then hopefully activate him on Wednesday."
- [FanGraphs] Is There Hope for the Diamondbacks? - "The Diamondbacks are third in the National League in team WAR, trailing the Cardinals and Dodgers. Like St. Louis, Arizona has excellent sabermetric stats, but the actual wins have not followed suit. The biggest reason for this has been a lack of clutch hitting."
- [FSAZ] That's Diamondbacks, with a capital 'D' - "The D-backs have been the best defensive team in the NL for about a month now. They have committed two errors since May 26, a span of 22 games and 198 innings. The D-backs have the fewest errors in the league (32) and consequently the highest fielding percentage (.988). They have thrown out the highest percentage of potential base stealers."
- [Nick P] A Miley trade that wasn't - "In July 2010... the Diamondbacks were having discussions with, of all teams, the Seattle Mariners about a deal that would have sent closer David Aardsma to the Diamondbacks and Miley to Seattle."
- [AZ Republic] Ryan Roberts gets unique prize - "Roberts recently decided the Diamondbacks should have something fun to play for after every game, a prize of some sort. So he went to Party City and spent $30 on materials, including the tiara, horns, spray paint, glue, etc. He then built the prizes himself. The player of the game, as selected by the team’s training staff, receives a gold crown with horns. The second-best player receives the tiara."
- [visaliatimesdelta.com] The Golden Slugger - "There can be ups and downs and it can be frustrating. But, you don’t want to go to the park and be upset every day," Goldschmidt said. "When you’re dealing with failures, it’s tough. But, in baseball, you can get out seven out of 10 times and you’re still in the Hall of Fame. You can’t do that in any other sport."
- [dbacks.com] Hudson struggles with secondary pitches - Said Kirk Gibson, "Early he'd get behind in the count and he'd throw his changeup or his secondary stuff, and he wasn't getting strikes, they weren't good enough to get swings. In the end, he was elevating a little bit... [The Mariners] like to whack the fastball early. So you have to pitch around that, and he was just unable to execute."
- [charitybuzz] Meet Your Favorite Current Diamondback and more - The ultimate D-backs experience is up for auction in aid of epilepsy research. You'll get to watch a game with Derrick Hall in his luxury suite, tour the field with Charles Nagy, meet your favorite current player and a lot more. Pretty sweet.
- [Fanspeak] Trade Deadline Candidate: Joe Saunders - FanSpeak looks at left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders and the potential trade destination for the Diamondback as the trade deadline approaches.
- [dbacks.com] Two D-backs prospects selected to Futures Game - D-backs top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer and Double-A outfielder Alfredo Marte were named to the XM All-Star Futures Game rosters Thursday. Bauer will be a part of the U.S. Team, while Marte will be on the World Team.
- [FSAZ] Reno's Elmore dominates PCL leaderboard - He took a 27-game hitting streak into Wednesday night’s game, and he had reached base safely via hit or walk in 41 straight. As good as Elmore’s numbers are, they are just part of the reason Butler is not the only one who has grown to admire Elmore’s spunk. "He’s a feisty little (bleep) that plays hard," one veteran baseball man said in admiration.
- [Missoulian] D-backs extend contract with Missoula Osprey - They will remain the D-backs’ Rookie-League affiliate in the Pioneer League through at least the 2016 season. The current deal was set to expire after the current campaign. "We see no reason to end that relationship now," said Osprey Executive Vice President Matt Ellis in a press release. "We feel the Diamondbacks are one of the best-run and quality organizations in the major leagues."
- [Chasing The Dream[ The Cody Wheeler Story and Interview - "The recovery process was tough physically getting through the pain and soreness, but even more so mentally taxing. Being out of play for that long and being so competitive was tough."
- [The Atlantic] 'Down in Front!': A Few Pointers for Baseball's Worst Fans - "You should never do the wave when the other team is batting, or when your team is batting, or any other time. Don't do the wave, not only because you might knock over my eight-dollar beer but also because you'll block my view during play, and it's idiotic." [Hat-tip: shoewizard]
- [thefilmbarphx.com] Wild in the Streets with Director Peter Baxter - I remember the subject of "mob football" cropping up in a GDT a while ago. There's now a documentary on the topic playing Phoenix next week. [Hat-tip to Paula]
- [Diary of a Diehard] Happy Anniversary Diamondbacks Style - "Thirty-one years ago today I married my best friend, the mother of my children, and the most amazing woman I have ever known. She has stood beside me through the good times, the bad times, and even the crazy times... In short, she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. There was only one small problem; I forgot that was today." Fortunately, the D-backs came to the rescue...
- [AP] Rays reliever Joel Peralta suspended 8 games for foreign substance on glove - After Tuesday's game, Maddon denounced Johnson's actions as cowardly, bush and bogus. Johnson retorted that Maddon should "read the rule book" and that he was "a weird wuss."
- [Sacramento Bee] Turner in talks to buy Bleacher Report - "Turner Broadcasting System is in talks to buy San Francisco-based sports news website Bleacher Report in an attempt to expand its online presence." In related news, TBS has been replaced by a slide-show of cheerleader pictures.