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Snake Bytes, 10/6: Winter is coming

The pic above was taken at PNC Park when the Pirates played the Cubs on April 22. Will tomorrow night's game be any kinder? And will the last person to leave Chase Field, please remember to turn the lights off?

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Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

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Team News

[AZ Central] Pitching a focus for Arizona Diamondbacks' offseason - Stewart’s comments suggested the club was going into the offseason with three pitchers who were mostly assured of jobs in the rotation: left-hander Patrick Corbin, right-hander Rubby De La Rosa and lefty Robbie Ray. "We have to do better with our starting rotation," manager Chip Hale said. "If it’s the guys we have, which that’s what I’m assuming it’s going to be, we’re going to do everything we can to get them better and let them go deeper in games."

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks 2015 season in review: By the Numbers - 720 The total number of runs scored by the Diamondbacks throughout the season. Although they scored the second most runs in the NL, the D-backs just barely finished the season with a positive run differential (+7) after allowing a total of 713 runs on the year. 132 The number of stolen bases the Diamondbacks accumulated in 2015, good for second among all teams in Major League Baseball. A.J. Pollock led the way for the D-backs on the base paths with 39, the fourth-most stolen bases in baseball.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks say playoffs the goal for 2016 - "It’s hard not to like the optimism we already have and the potential that’s here already," Ziegler said. "And then if you go and add some guys, it makes us that much deeper. We feel like we’re a team that’s ready to compete next year, with a few tweaks. If they can go out and do some of that for us, I think it would say a lot. There would be a lot of high-energy going into spring training next year."

[FOX Sports] D-backs to take aim at playoffs in 2016 - Stewart said he thinks the team "is close." Much of the optimism stems from what the D-backs did offensively this season. "(Other teams) don't like to play us, I know that," Pollock said. "A lot of pitchers are like, 'Ugh, we have to play the Diamondbacks. We have to face their hitters.' That's always a good thing. But it's not about the praise. It's about finishing the job. We want to make the playoffs and we're going to have to take the next step next year."

[] Mike Harkey won't return to D-backs in 2016 - "It's the most difficult thing I've ever been through in this position," said Hale. "He's a great guy, great heart, helped me a lot in different things and it's just when one part of your team struggles a little bit, a lot of times you have to make changes. We felt like a new voice in that spot was needed. It's difficult. I told him it's the hardest thing I've had to do, because I've never been in this position. You feel awful, but I know he's going to land on his feet. He's a good coach, and he'll be good."

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey - One report Monday morning suggested the job would be handed to bullpen coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr., but La Russa said that Stottlemyre is only a candidate at this point. La Russa, Hale, General Manager Dave Stewart and organizational pitching guru Dave Duncan will all have input in the upcoming hiring process. Duncan, who served in that capacity on La Russa’s staffs with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals, is not interested in returning to uniform.

And, elsewhere...

So, it begins. 5pm Arizona time see the AL Wild Card Game, as the 2016 post-season gets under way. That'll take place at Yankee Stadium, as the Houston Astros face the New York Yankees. It looks like Dallas Keuchel, who went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA in the regular season, will be pitching on short rest for the Astros, and going up against Masahiro Tanaka, who was 12-7, with a 3.51 regular ERA. The game is on ESPN, and yes, we will be having a Gameday Thread for it, since I know everyone will want to be cheering on Houston.

[AP] New York Yankees' CC Sabathia checks into rehab, will not pitch in playoffs - CC Sabathia walked into manager Joe Girardi's office in Baltimore on Sunday and made a stunning admission: He has an alcohol problem. "The first thing he said is, `I need help,'" Girardi said Monday during a workout at Yankee Stadium for the AL wild-card game. "I was shocked." Sabathia surprised many in the Yankees organization by revealing his problem. And with the team's help, the burly left-hander is checking into a rehab center and will miss the postseason.

[New York Times] Scandal Erupts in Unregulated World of Fantasy Sports - On Monday, the two major fantasy companies were forced to release statements defending their businesses’ integrity after what amounted to allegations of insider trading, that employees were placing bets using information not generally available to the public. The statements were released after an employee at DraftKings, one of the two major companies, admitted last week to inadvertently releasing data before the start of the third week of N.F.L. games. The employee, a midlevel content manager, won $350,000 at a rival site, FanDuel, that same week.

This is cool. You really need to see the enlarged version to get the most out of it.

[WSJ] The Rise of the Accidental Pitcher - In the NLDS, the Los Angeles Dodgers will lean on a bullpen anchored by two former minor-league catchers and one former minor-league third baseman. They will face the New York Mets, a team whose best pitcher, Jacob deGrom, was a shortstop until his last year of college and whose closer, Jeurys Familia, didn’t play any kind of baseball until he was 15.Will the last person to leave Chase Field, please remember to turn the lights off?