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Snake Bytes, 9/1: An August to forget ends

Our worst month ended with perhaps the worst loss, as the D-backs blew a three-run lead in the ninth. They've now dropped seven of the last eight. But, hey! It's a double-header in Colorado today! What could possibly go wrong?

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

[Arizona Sports] D-backs collapse late and fall 5-4 against Rockies - Entering the ninth-inning, the Rockies had left 10 runners on base and were 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position for the night, continuously bailing out the D-backs pitching inning after inning. D-backs starting pitcher Robbie Ray, who has not recorded a win since July 7, did pitch well enough to win. The southpaw lasted 5.2 innings and only gave up one run with eight strikeouts, tying a season-high. He even got some run support after receiving a combined two runs scored for him over his last five games.

[AZ Central] Colorado Rockies score 4 runs in 9th to beat Diamondbacks - Ziegler entered his outing on Sunday against the Oakland Athletics sporting a 1.46 ERA, having given up just nine earned runs in 55 2/3 innings. But after giving up four on Monday night, he’s allowed seven runs in the past two days. "I think he was tired," Hale said. "We’ve run him out there pretty hard and thrown him a lot. He’s given us everything he has, that’s why I took him out. I just think he was burnt."

[] Feeling fatigue, Brad Ziegler hits rough patch - Ziegler had a chance to end the game when D.J. LeMahieu hit a chopper to the third-base side of the mound. Ziegler jumped and the ball hit off his glove. As he picked the ball up he twisted his left ankle and threw awkwardly past Paul Goldschmidt at first. "Lost it in the lights believe or not," Ziegler said. "And then whenever I went to pick it up, rolled my ankle and so I tried to spin and throw on one foot. That probably wasn't the smartest decision. I should have just ate the ball and kept it first and second, but I know things happen and still had a chance to get out of it after that and just didn't get it done."

[AP] Ray's good start wasted by Rockies' 9th-inning rally - Nick Hundley walked to load the bases, finishing Ziegler. Matt Reynolds came on and Paulsen sent an 0-2 pitch up the middle to give Colorado the win. "I was trying to expand with a fastball and didn't quite get it out there enough," Reynolds said. "You get him in a situation there, you have some opportunities to get the ball out of the zone and hopefully he goes after one, takes a poor swing on one. Just didn't make the pitch."

Team news

[] D-backs activate Phil Gosselin from DL - "I'm just excited to get back out there," Gosselin said. "The rehab, the games went well, the thumb feels good. I'm just ready to get out there and help the team get some wins. My thumb, I haven't had any problems at all since I've been back. The biggest thing was getting my legs underneath me, playing two or three days in a row. I played three days in a row in the field in Reno right before this. I feel like I'm back to normal. I've basically just had my own little mini Spring Training. I'm ready to get going."

[AZ Central] Goldschmidt on record-setting walk pace - One thing has changed, though not drastically: Goldschmidt is expanding the strike zone less than before. In his career prior to this season, Goldschmidt had swung at 26.9% of pitches he’d seen outside the zone. This season, that number is down to 23.3%. "I try to swing at the right pitches, pitches that are in the zone, pitches that I can hit hard, and take the ones that are out of it," Goldschmidt said. "Maybe it’s experience. I try to do the same thing, have the same aggressiveness as I have in the past, but maybe seeing guys for multiple years now, hopefully I pick them up a little better."

[FOX Sports] D-backs still hold out hope for playoffs despite skid - General manager Dave Stewart thinks there's still hope for the D-backs, noting their upcoming schedule. "I don't think that any of us, at this point, will say that we won't get to the playoffs because we still have to play the Dodgers, we still have to play the Giants and we can kind of seal our own fate," Stewart said. "This team has been resilient and has played well after periods of time when it looked like we were done and they come right back and put together a bunch of wins." [So, about that, Dave...]

[] D-backs lose to end disappointing homestand - Dave Stewart said. "We are an immature ball club that is learning how to play the game every day. I know for as good as I think we are, I still have to recognize that fact and avoid the frustration of the inconsistency." "A whole lot of poor play on this homestand," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "It's disappointing after coming off a pretty good series in Cincinnati, but we just for some reason have not played well. That's on me and our coaches. We probably have to do a better job of preparing them and keeping them focused on the task. I'll take the blame for this."

[AZ Central] ‘Freight Train’ David Peralta gaining admirers "He’s improved immensely to be able to hit behind Goldy now," manager Chip Hale said. "He knows how to handle the situations. He goes up there every at-bat with a plan. He knows what the pitcher is going to try to do to him, which is completely different from the start of the year. He was basically trying to do one thing and that was to hit it to right field. Now he’s using the whole field. So it makes him a very difficult at-bat for any pitcher."

[Arizona Sports] D-backs Farm Report: Honors for Glaesmann, Romak and O'Brien - Last week it was Mike Freeman who went on a monster tear, this time it was [Todd] Glaesmann. The 24-year-old batted .586 (17-for-29) with three homers, eight RBI and the aforementioned nine doubles. He’s riding an 11-game hitting streak entering this week’s play. He was named the PCL Player of the Week Monday.

[Aurora Beacon-News] Kane County Cougars starting to feel playoff fever - The Cougars have used the motivation for a division title to help them fight through the dog days of August. Monday's game was the 131st game of the season. "It's a grind right now," Herum said. "You play 140 games to hopefully advance at the end of the year. We worked hard to get here. Everybody lives for this time of year. Hopefully we can do some damage." "It's huge, just seeing where we started and seeing the guys and the coaches not give up, the fans," said closer Zac Curtis, who set the Cougars' team record with his 28th save on Aug. 16. "It's important. It feels good to get to the playoffs."

And, elsewhere...

[Business Insider] No-hitters are skyrocketing in MLB — and baseball has never seen anything like it - If it seems like no-hitters are happening more frequently, it is because they are. This was the sixth no-hitter this season and the second against the Dodgers in a span of nine days. MLB pitchers are now on pace to throw 47 no-hitters this decade, up from just 14 during the 2000s, according to Baseball-Reference, and on pace to be the most ever in a single decade.

[SBNation] Shoeless Joe Jackson reinstatement reportedly denied by MLB - "I have reviewed our records concerning the responses of both Commissioner (Bart) Giamatti and Commissioner (Fay) Vincent, who declined to reconsider Mr. Jackson’s case," Manfred stated in a letter to Marcley. "I agree with that determination and conclude that it would not be appropriate for me to re-open the matter."

[ESPN] Designated hits: Walk-up music sets the tone in basebal - In 1993, the Mariners might have been the first club to start playing songs for every player. But, unlike nowadays, the team selected the music, not the player. And the M's usually chose songs that fans could easily associate with their players, says marketing director Kevin Martinez. For instance, since Jay Buhner's nickname was Bone, the Mariners played "Bad to the Bone" when he batted. Catcher Dan Wilson was known to Seattle fans as "Dan the Man," so the team played "What a Man".

[] Cuban baseball player sleeps outside Dodger Stadium in hopes of making his dreams a reality - A baseball player from Cuba has been sleeping on the sidewalk outside Dodger Stadium for 17 days, waiting and dreaming about one thing: baseball. Loah Linares wants to follow in the footsteps of other Major League Baseball players from Cuba and just wants a chance to show the Los Angeles Dodgers what he's got. "If I didn't know how great a baseball player I know I am, I wouldn't be here trying to show off my skills to somebody," Linares said. [Meanwhile, Cuban baseball player Yasiel Puig has apparently been sleeping INSIDE the stadium...]