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SnakeBytes 7/21: Nibbled by Tigers

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For the eighth time in a row, the D-backs saw a winning streak end at three games last night. Reset....

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Recaps

[dbacks.com] D-backs dig out of early hole, but Tigers get last laugh - The D-backs gave Justin Verlander all he could handle, but the Tigers found a way to come away with the 4-3 win Monday night at Chase Field. "We battled him," D-backs catcher Miguel Montero said. "I thought he threw the ball good. His curveball was working pretty good and what we had been seeing in the past was his curveball wasn't as sharp, but today it was and that makes his fastball better. He kind of got a little [velocity] back from the last couple of starts and threw a good ballgame. You've got to give him credit."

[Arizona Sports] Miguel Cabrera showcases MVP talent as Tigers squeak past Diamondbacks - The D-backs looked like a completely different team in the fourth inning versus Verlander. After appearing lifeless the first time through the lineup, they rallied for two runs to make the game 3-2. Hill and Goldschmidt notched consecutive hard hits to produce two runners in scoring position with no outs. Had Verlander not gotten a piece of Miguel Montero's frozen rope during the next at-bat, the game's outcome may have been different. The former AL Cy Young winner deflected a line drive off his glove to Ian Kinsler, who was able to retire Montero while allowing only one run to score.

[AZ Central[ Diamondbacks streak ends with loss to Tigers - Nuño was lucky to go 42/3 innings and only allow three runs. The lefty throws four pretty solid pitches, but Monday night Tigers hitters were mashing just about everything he threw at them. It seemed like every batter who made contact hit the ball hard. Nuño needs to do a better job of working both sides of the plate and keeping the ball down in the zone. "The consistency wasn't there, that's why I exited the ballgame so early," Nuño said. "I've got to get some work in before my next outing. I just need to be prepared. I know what I've got to do, and it'll be better next time."

[AP[ Tigers halt D-backs streak - Ender Inciarte, potentially the tying run, singled in the seventh but was picked off by catcher Bryan Holaday. David Peralta then walked and Aaron Hill singled. "A big mistake," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "I messed up," Inciarte said. "I thought it was a 3-2 count. I was going to go and when I came back I thought I had a chance to get back to the bag but my foot got stuck in the ground. Either way I messed up. I should be aware of the situation."

Team News

[CBSSports] 'Unique' pacts for D-Backs' Towers, Gibson guaranteed for 1 more year - Sources say each was signed to a unique one-year extension guarantee when the announcement was made in early February. While the new deals only guarantee both Towers and Gibson the extra year, which is 2015, sources familiar with the deal say it is a "unique" arrangement that carries the potential to become longer than only the one year. The main point of the announcement was to show that 2014 was not going to be the final year on either's contract.

[MiLB] Blair gets best of friend Lively in debut - Aaron Blair had a little more incentive to pitch well Monday. In addition to making his Double-A debut for Mobile, the D-backs' third-ranked prospect was also squaring off against a close friend in Pensacola's Ben Lively. Ultimately, Blair scattered four hits and struck out nine across 6 2/3 shutout frames to earn the bragging rights in the BayBears' 6-3 victory over the Blue Wahoos. "I've known him for about four years now," Blair said. "It kind of had a different edge to it, throwing against such a good friend."

[dbacks.com] In-demand Ziegler keeps tabs on trade talks - "I don't want to be blindsided," Ziegler said. "I would rather have an idea if I'm going to go somewhere so I can start exploring what that would be like in my head, talking with my wife about it, figure out the logistics of moving, what we would do. I would rather have all that planned and then if it ends up not happening, we can go back into relax mode."

[ArizonaSports] Gibson: 'We did the best we could' with Brandon McCarthy - McCarthy also reportedly said that he grew frustrated with the Diamondbacks coaching staff because they wanted him to throw more outside sinkers rather than using his cutter as often as he'd like. That last comment was brought to Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson's attention Monday at a press conference before his team took on the Detroit Tigers. The Arizona skipper had just a couple quick remarks to make about the recently departed McCarthy. "We busted our (expletive) with Brandon. We did the best we could, but maybe sometimes it isn't good enough," Gibson said.

[FOX Sports] D-backs cut off cutter controversy - The D-backs would not be drawn into the discussion. "Yeah, well, I wish him well," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said when McCarthy's comments were relayed Monday. "People handle things different ways. The way I'll handle it, let's just say it was all my fault, OK?" The D-backs, as a rule, are not fond of the cut fastball. They believe the wrist adjustment needed to throw it effectively can be difficult to master, and that if not thrown properly, the ball has a tendency to flatten out in the hitting zone.

And, elsewhere...

A nominee for dumbest quote of 2014. [MLB] Colby Lewis takes exception with Colby Rasmus' bunt - Rasmus, laid down a bunt with two outs and Toronto up, 2-0, in the fifth, with the Rangers playing the shift on him. Lewis fielded the ball, but Rasmus reached first base safely and was credited with an infield single. "I told [Rasmus] I didn't appreciate it," Lewis said. "I don't think that's the way the game should be played. I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you're up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average."

[Co.Labs] How Sports Data Analytics Is Upsetting The Game All Over Again - At a workshop during the GigaOm Structure conference, Ray Hensberger, baseball-loving technologist in the Strategic Innovation Group at Booz Allen Hamilton. shared his next-level data crunching and the academic paper his team prepared for the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. His team modeled MLB data to show with 74.5% accuracy what a pitcher is going to throw--and when.

[SI] Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez upset by Justin Upton's lack of hustle - I imagine there are some D-backs fans who are wearing their unsurprised faces at about this point in SnakeBytes.

[MiLB.com] 2014 Mascot Mania - Fans decide the Minor Leagues' Best Mascot. Maybe Baxter isn't so bad after all... Nah, just kidding. Though the discovery that the Sacramento River Cats' mascot is also called Dinger, gives me another reason to dislike them...

[Big League Stew] Nats fan has the most amazing baseball beard you'll ever see - Washington Nationals fan Eric Brooks styled his beard to match the team's logo. I look forward to seeing a Diamondbacks fan match this. Probably edbigghead. :)