Snake Bytes is a tad delayed today. I was at a wedding last night planned long before a Diamondbacks Postseason run was a twinkle in any of our eyes. I did not begin to watch my recorded version of the game long until after it was over, and kept my phone in airplane mode during my absence to avoid any alerts. What? Are you supposed to keep it in airplane mode during a wedding to begin with?
Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 5
[D’backs.com] Goldy, Drury homers not enough in Game 2 - Boy was I elated when I discovered quickly that Paul Goldschmidt had us off to another one of those early leads with his 2 run moonshot in the top of the 1st off of Dodger lefty Rich Hill. Goldy now has 4 home runs in the Postseason tying him for 2nd most in franchise history behind Luis Gonzalez. The lead would prove to be short lived as Yasiel Puig grounded out to Jake Lamb in the bottom of the 2nd allowing Kike Hernandez to score and cut the lead down to 1. The wheels completely fell off in the Dodgers half of the 4th and 5th innings as they plated 6 total runs those frames. Brandon Drury hit a pinch hit 3 run shot in the 7th to bring the Diamondbacks within 2, but that would be all the good guys could muster failing to win a game at Dodger Stadium to begin this National League Division Series.
"There's a lot of fight left in this team. There's a lot of fight left in this clubhouse and we're going to compete." - Robbie Ray
[Arizona Sports] D-backs’ pitching struggles in NLDS Game 2 loss - Robbie Ray finished the 1st inning rather quickly allowing only a walk to Corey Seager needing 14 pitches to finish the frame. While it is true that Robbie’s command was not entirely as sharp as it has been for much of this season, there were plenty of borderline calls that were not quite going his way which made the start that much more difficult. That is not to say that an awful game was called behind home plate because I believe Phil Cuzzi called a consistent game for both sides. Robbie Ray would exit the game after pitching 4 1⁄3 allowing 4 earned runs on 4 hits, 4 walks, and 6 strikeouts. The Posteason spotlight proved to be too much for rookie Jimmie Sherfy who allowed 3 earned runs while failing to record an out. This is where the depth and experience of the Dodgers really shined through to me as Dave Roberts had a stream of veteran arms in the bullpen he could rely on, the only blemish being the 3 run home run allowed by Brandon Morrow.
“We never really got grounded or got into a flow or a rhythm throughout the entire game. Pitching sets the tone. I thought Robbie was doing an adequate job early. He wiggled out of some tough situations in the second inning and walked off the mound with the lead. And I feel like we were starting to reach that moment where we could start to take off a little bit, but we just couldn’t take advantage of some situations, and the Dodgers played catch-up, and they eventually made plays, made pitches and got big hits at the right time and did their job.” - Torey Lovullo
[AZ Central] Robbie Ray continues trend of early exits by Diamondbacks starters - I know Jim has had quite a bit to Tweet about this topic already, but how absolutely dreadful are the national announcers? They would have led you to believe that Robbie Ray was completely helpless on the mound and was doomed from the start after pitching out of the bullpen on Wednesday’s Wild Card Game. Those of us who have watched his entire career develop here in the desert knew that he was quite capable of settling down. He has started rough through the first 4 innings before, only to return and complete a 7 inning gem. According to TBS, throwing a 3-2 breaking pitch on multiple occasions was the end of the world. Robbie Ray has had great success with his secondary offerings this season, but the Dodger hitters did an excellent job of laying off. Arizona desperately needs a game 3 gem from Zack Greinke on Monday in Phoenix if they hope to fight their way back into this series.
[Arizona Sports] It’s time for the real Arizona Diamondbacks to show up - It is difficult for the Diamondbacks, a team without the playoff experience of the Dodgers, to face the best team in baseball on the road and get off on the right foot. There are veterans on the roster that are familiar with that environment in J.D. Martinez, Zack Greinke, Daniel Descalso, and Gregor Blanco. Hopefully, a return to Chase Field while allow the Diamondbacks to return to their style of play where they went 52-29 during the regular season. The goal now? Do not let the Dodgers celebrate in our pool.
“We didn’t have a great game, that wasn’t a typical Arizona Diamondback night,” he said. “I just want our guys to go out there and be themselves and see where that lands us.” - Torey Lovullo
[D’backs.com] Well-prepared Greinke set for must-win Gm. 3 - Zack Greinke will face his former team in the playoffs for the first time as he looks to prevent the Diamondbacks from being eliminated. Greinke has made 4 starts against the Dodgers this season. In his first 2 starts, he allowed 8 runs in 11 2⁄3 innings, but over his final 2 starts he went 13 innings and allowed only 2 earned runs on 8 hits and 3 walks.
"It starts with his work ethic, which begins in the offseason and carries over into the season," D-backs catcher Chris Iannetta said. "He's constantly working, whether it's stretching or lifting or some kind of conditioning, he's always on top of his game.”
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks on brink of elimination vs. Dodgers - Can the Diamondbacks kickoff the next internet meme and force the Dodgers to blow a 2-0 series lead? History does not favor their chances. 56 teams have had a 2-0 series lead (I am seeing different figures everywhere) and 49 have been able to win the series. The Diamondbacks will focus on winning on Monday for now being careful not to overwhelm themselves with the need to win 3 in a row. Forcing a game 5 after losing the first 2 games in a series is not something completely foreign to Diamondbacks fans. In 2011, the Kirk Gibson led Diamondbacks lost the first 2 games of the NLDS to steroid fueled, bug eyed Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers in Wisconsin only to win games 3 and 4 at Chase Field before finally bowing out in extra innings in the series clincher.
“I don’t want to make it anything bigger than it already is,” Diamondbacks infielder Daniel Descalso said. “I don’t want to put any extra pressure. What we have to do first is win on Monday. We can’t start worrying about winning three games. We’ve got to win one game first and we’ll start on Monday do whatever we have to do to win on Monday and figure out the rest later.”
Around the League
[ESPN] Your guide to Sunday's ALDS games: Win or go home for Red Sox and Yankees - Both American League East giants, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, could potentially be eliminated from Postseason play today. The Houston Astros have beat the Red Sox 8-2 in both of the games in their series. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians scored 6 unanswered runs after being down 8-3 to take game 2 from the Yankees.
[Sporting News] Bryce Harper's blast may have changed the Nationals' playoff fortunes - The most important player on offense for the Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper, delivered on a 3-1 pitch and hit a 2 run home run in the bottom of the 8th off of CJ Edwards. That was the beginning of a 5 run rally that propelled the Nationals to a 6-3 game 2 victory over the Chicago Cubs. That series now moves on to Wrigley Field with both teams tied a 1 game apiece.
[Sports on Earth] It Ain't Over: 0-2 Playoff Comebacks - Allow me to keep the door open on the bandwagon for all of those who have already hopped off. Some of the arguments on Twitter are quite comical, some even going as far as arguing that this playoff team is not worth their precious time and money. I want to look back and reflect on the time when I made questionable financial decisions to watch an improbable run by this team because regardless of the outcome of this series, it has been one hell of a ride. A ride that is not over yet! So who is your pick for a Jose Bautista type bat flip? Will Paul Goldschmidt throw humility out the window in a game 5 clincher in Los Angeles with a monstrous bat flip that opens up the San Andreas Fault Line? Doubtful, but it would make for a damn good narrative. The point is that it has happened before, and the quest begins Monday at Chase Field. Unless of course you have better ventures to spend your time and money on.