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Snake Bytes, 7/26: Shipley imperfect

Braden Shipley became the first D-back since Lance Cormier in 2004 to allow 6+ runs in his debut. But it probably wasn't as bad as that seemed.

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

[] Shipley, Hale see positives in debut despite loss - D-backs right-hander Braden Shipley wasn't as nervous as he thought he might be for his big league debut. "Throughout the day I was kind of waiting for them to kick in," said Shipley, the D-backs first-round pick in 2013 (15th overall). "And I think when I got to the field, I started to get the jitters a little bit. But as I started my pregame warmups and stuff like that, it kind of went away a little bit, which I thought was good. I didn't have as much nerves as I thought I would stepping on the mound for the first inning."

[Arizona Sports] D-backs' Braden Shipley welcomed to MLB by 3 home runs - With two on and one out, Shipley’s 78-mph curveball hung over the plate, and Maldonado took advantage. "Unfortunately, I think he was just sitting on that pitch," Shipley said. "Looking back though .. it was a pitch that was working well for me." Aside from the three home runs, Shipley showed promise with as-advertised secondary pitches that kept batters off-balance. The Arizona pitcher often found himself ahead in counts, but at times struggled to find the zone for third strikes.

[AZ Central] Shipley 'competitive' in Diamondbacks' debut - Despite some costly mistakes in a 7-2 loss, the team noticed enough positives in the right-hander's performance to label another first – a win – as a realistic target in Start No.2. "He looked very competitive out there," manager Chip Hale said. "Your first time out, obviously it’s not easy at the big-league level. So I was very happy with what I saw. Obviously, now we move on to his next start. We want a winning effort. That’s what we’re looking for. We’re trying to develop these guys into winners, and we know it’s not easy. But this is big-boy baseball, and we’ll expect a little more next time."

Team News

[AZ Central] Tony La Russa: Everyone has to prove they deserve job - La Russa also made it clear everyone in the organization – himself included – should be striving to prove they deserve their jobs. "I’m wondering if I’m the guy," he said. "I watch us play, and I’m supposed to impact the execution of whether it’s making pitches in situations or how to take at-bats in situations and I don’t see us doing that well enough. I’m asking if I’m the guy."

[] La Russa: Responsibility for season starts at top - "We remain convinced that the core of this club is not a rebuilding club that's several years away from contending," La Russa said. "We just think we haven't done a good enough job... If there's something that looks like it improves us in the second half or fits into us having a better chance to win in '17 and beyond, you listen. [For] Shelby [and] all of our young pitching, [GM Dave Stewart] is getting a lot calls, and all for the right reasons. They're young. They're not making a lot of money, and they're controllable."

[Arizona Sports] Nightengale: Chip Hale hot seat rumors are nothing new - "It just seems from outside (the D-backs are) more of an uptight team," Nightengale said of Hale’s job status. "Those rumors have been going on in baseball for three months … I don’t know why they just came up. Maybe because they just lost a few games in a row, but they’ve always been there, and Phil Nevin will be the guy. It’s pretty much just a question of when. I think at some point you want to see if Phil Nevin can do the job or not. I can’t see Chip Hale coming back in 2017 to manage the club."

[Inside the 'Zona] Who’s to Blame: Fire Chip Hale or Look To the Top? - If we just examine what we can, we can see a manager who’s not exactly optimizing things and a GM who’s misfired time and again. Injuries and bad trades aren’t Chip Hale’s fault. Leaving pitchers in too long and running a rigid bullpen plan isn’t Dave Stewart’s fault. There’s also a managing partner here, Ken Kendrick, who’s empowered all of these individuals and charged them with doing their respective jobs, but that’s a different issue.

[Naperville Sun] Cougars decide to extend affiliation agreement with Arizona Diamondbacks - "We were nervous until they agreed to stay with us," LaRussa said. "We were excited when we first came over after spending time together, the way the community treats our players and the facilities." For the Cougars' part, there was little doubt that the marriage with the Diamondbacks would be extended. "It wasn't a matter of if we were going to do it, it was a matter of when," Cougars owner Dr. Bob Froehlich said. "The team has been very competitive on the field.

And, elsewhere...

[Deadline] Twitter Deal Adds Baseball, Hockey, And Sports To Video Offerings - Twitter picked up the right to offer weekly out-of-market Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League games for free in the U.S. (Baseball will be available in other still-undisclosed countries.) The schedules will be announced "at a later date." [H/T asteroid]

[Sports on Earth] Baseball can be a cruel game. Just ask Mike Mayers - Mayers promptly went out and had perhaps the worst Major League debut in the history of the sport. That might sound like an oversimplification or hyperbole. Mayers faced 14 hitters. Ten of them got on base. Eight of them got a hit. Two of them homered. His final line: 1 1/3 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 9 ER. To watch Mayers' reaction is to see something from a snuff film. It is an act of mercy and grace that ESPN did not cut to his family at that point. I couldn't have taken it.

[Press Enterprise] Kelsie Whitmore chases dream of being a pro baseball player - "The one thing that girls in baseball lack is opportunity. So when I got this opportunity, I didn’t let go," she said of playing for Sonoma. "I want to show that even if there are times I may be embarrassed because I’m the only girl, even if there are times that I may be scared because I feel uncomfortable, no matter what, I’m always going to go out there because I want it so bad," Whitmore said.