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Snake Bytes, 8/18: D-backs burn Cole

Add Gerrit Cole to a lengthy line of aces to taste defeat at the hands of the D-backs this year. Remember this one, the next time a journeyman is shutting us down... It's baseball, folks.

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

[] D-backs' bullpen escapes jams vs. Pirates - There was plenty of stress to go around Monday night at PNC Park as the D-backs' bullpen had to pitch its way out of jams in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings en route to a 4-1 win over the Pirates. "It just seemed like there were a lot of guys on base," Daniel Hudson said. "The thing with the Pirates is it seems like they're always scrapping and trying to fight back. They don't really lay over. You don't get to almost 70 wins at this point by laying over. We know we've got to make quality pitches no matter the score or situation. Thankfully, we were able to get some outs with guys on base."

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks bullpen walks tightrope in win - Somehow, someway, the Diamondbacks beat Cole and the Pirates, coming away with a 4-1, series-opening win at PNC Park, a victory that snapped Pittsburgh’s four-game winning streak. "We came out firing," Hale said. "We knew we were up against it with Cole and this team is very hot and they play great baseball here so it’s a great test for us. (Our team has) played hard this year, and good things are going to happen to guys who continue to play hard."

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks strike early, defeat the Pirates - 7: The number of RBI by pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, which is tied with Madison Bumgarner and Matt Harvey for tops in baseball. Hellickson recorded his 7th RBI on a bloop hit over the second baseman’s head in the 2nd inning. The RBI was at the time his 4th in his past four at-bats. 19: The number of consecutive saves from closer Brad Ziegler, which is the 4th-highest in MLB and in D-backs history. The team record was set by J.J. Putz (July 27, 2011-April 12, 2012).

[AP] Jeremy Hellickson, bullpen pitch Diamondbacks past Pirates - Hale lifted Hellickson with two on and one out in the sixth inning when the right-hander's gluteus muscle began tightening because of dehydration. "It shows what type of pitcher he is, especially here as hot and humid as it is," said Diamondbacks reliever Addison Reed, who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning to protect the 4-1 lead. "It's tough enough to pitch in a place like San Diego, where the weather is perfect. When it's hot, you're losing a lot of fluids and a guy isn't feeling good . it's a great job by him."

Team News

[] D-backs' Delgado comes off DL; Romak optioned The move gives the D-backs 13 pitchers, including eight in the bullpen, which Hale believes is important given that Monday night marked the fourth game of a stretch of 21 games in 20 days. "It just gives everybody else a break," Hale said. "We're being very careful with the whole bullpen making sure we don't burn anybody out. He's been throwing the ball great. I like using him in those middle innings to get out of trouble. He's been able to come in and stop the bleeding for us, so that's another reason we wanted him back. We're excited to have that bullpen back to full strength."

[AZ Central] Trades, movement hard on baseball families - Many baseball wives and girlfriends are forced to make the same decision — spend time with your significant other and be at the mercy of his profession, or maintain your own career. Many choose the former, but it can come at a cost. According to a USA Today report, minor-league salaries have increased just 75 percent since 1976 while the rate of inflation has been 400 percent in that same span. "I know some guys say, ‘If my wife wasn’t doing something, making an extra $1,500 a month, we couldn’t make it on our own,’ " Chase Anderson said. "‘We couldn’t be together. She’d be back home having a normal job.’ "

[] D-backs give joy to youth on goodwill tour - The signs of devastation are still omnipresent throughout the Tohoku region, which is why the D-backs and Major League Baseball returned on Monday for an MLB Road Show that had hundreds of kids smiling despite a steady rain throughout the afternoon. Said Luis Gonzalez, "Some of these young kids have experienced tragedy that we will never know in our lifetime and have gone through so much, but they still have the passion and love for the game of baseball, so it was really great to spend time with them."


[ESPN] Bryan Mitchell injury shows dangers of playing baseball - The line drive that struck New York Yankees pitcher Bryan Mitchell on Monday is a reminder that danger looms -- a smash back to the mound, an errant pitch, a collision with the outfield wall, a collision at home plate, or a nasty takeout slide at second base. Mitchell walked off the mound on his own, his face covered with a bloody towel, and you immediately worry about the worst possibilities. He was later diagnosed with a nasal fracture and was to be kept overnight in the hospital for concussion symptoms, but it certainly seems the injury could have been much worse.

[NBC News] 'Moneyball' Mastermind Sees Market's Hand in Baseball Walk Dearth - So what happens from here on out? Can batters come back? Here, Beane extends his markets analogy. "At some point there will be a correction. We may have this conversation about hitters in a few years: where's all the pitching?" He added: "I've seen lots of spikes: hitting, pitching, fielding. Capitalism will start filling those voids. You will see a wave of talent coming into that area, which you'll expect in the hitting department."

[] How the Oculus Rift Could Improve Accuracy in Baseball - Replays slow down the game, but lasers or sensors built into home plate would allow the ump to get the call right.

[Forbes] The Insane Holy War Over Flat Brims In Major League Baseball - Baseball is in the middle of a holy war (or, at least it is to some). It isn’t whether this player or that used PEDs, or whether the designated hitter should be dissolved or put in both leagues. No, in the some ways, this crisis strikes a nerve far deeper. Commissioner Manfred, the 30 owners, or team executives in Major League Baseball don’t have an issue with it, but some fans sure do. What’s this thing that has fans up in arms? Players wearing the brim of their cap flat.

[] Five-year-old girl with 3D-printed prosthetic hand throws first pitch - Cute kid. But it got me thinking; how would baseball handle an actual pitcher with a prosthetic hand? Would he be allowed in the majors, like the 'Blade Runner' was in the Olympics? And if so, could it be something which could offer a competitive advantage in some way? It's probably some way off, but it appears likely to be a bridge baseball will have to cross eventually.