April ended with a walkoff the same way it began. Not a particularly difficult schedule this month outside of the first week, but there is a reason the games are played. 3 off days this month which includes yesterday with series against the Nationals, Rockies, Tigers, Pirates, Mets, Padres, White Sox, and Brewers. Those teams have combined to go 104-97 thus far which does not include Monday’s results. Early season success and failures apply to these teams as much as the Diamondbacks, so take from it what you will. The Mets and Pirates appear to be on their way to a dumpster fire much the same as the Giants while the White Sox and Brewers are playing better than preseason projections. Taijuan Walker (3-1, 3.94 ERA) and Tanner Roark (3-0, 3.64) face off in the nation’s capital 4:05 PM AZ time. Tai is coming off of an 8 inning performance against the Padres in which he gave up 4 hits, 0 walks, 2 earned runs, and 11 strikeouts. For what it is worth, the Nationals have never faced Walker. In his previous 2 starts, Roark has given up 5 earned runs in 11 2⁄3 innings pitched with a 9:7 K:BB ratio.
Diamondbacks 2, Rockies 0
[D’backs.com] Lucky 13: Descalso's walk-off homer wins it - I think I’m going to install an umpire themed punching bag in my garage. Jim discussed the egregious call against the Diamondbacks and Pollock in the 10th inning in his Sunday recap. It definitely makes my personal Top 3, but I place it behind the call against Justin Upton after his slide into 2nd base in the 2007 NLCS against the Rockies. I was at that game, much younger and in less control of my emotions at the time (as if I am now), so that left an awful taste in my mouth. For once I will advocate that the MLB should take after the NFL as that was as close to illegal contact by DJ as it gets. He made no effort to attempt to field the ball and in fact ran in the wrong direction. My fear was that the game was going to spiral out of control from there, but Delgado found his poise and Daniel Descalso delivered in a “high leverage” situation yet again.
[D’backs.com] For Goldy, knowledge is power tool - It is hypothesized that humans only reach 10% of their given potential. Paul Goldschmidt has far exceeded his when it comes to the sport of baseball. Never a top rated prospect Goldy is the epitome of dedication to the craft after being drafted in the 8th round of the loaded 2009 Draft Class. Chris Owings and AJ Pollock were taken ahead of him for perspective. Coming out of the minors he was seen as nothing more than a slugging first baseman who was slow, a poor defender, and struggled with offspeed offerings. Relentless work and an obsession with improvement have led him to become one of the all time great base stealers as a first baseman, a premier defender, and an elite offensive weapon. It carries into his personal life as he refused to give up the pursuit of a college degree from the University of Phoenix during his rise to super stardom. Meanwhile, we all sit here and continue to argue over an internet forum.
[Arizona Sports] Arizona Diamondbacks fly in style with patriotic outfits after 13-inning win - I do not remember too much of these shenanigans taking place last season. Probably because fans and players alike were ready for it to be over after the first month. Only teams that are having fun and genuinely enjoy being around each other partake in activities like this. The picture of Taijuan Walker and Archie Bradley is about as entertaining as it gets.
“I love dress-up days; I’m not going to lie. I love that stuff,” said Lovullo, who is a big fan of Halloween. “It’s a great team-building experience for all of us and on top of that you get to see a little bit of personality. I can’t wait to see some of the outfits.”
[Arizona Sports] Torey Lovullo: It makes sense to keep Archie Bradley in D-backs bullpen - Besides the fact that he is the anchor in a bullpen that has not provided many answers outside of himself, Jorge De La Rosa, and JJ Hoover? I am an advocate of keeping Bradley in the bullpen as well as moving him to the role of multi-inning closer. The starting rotation is currently performing well enough that it does not make much sense to move Bradley to the rotation. I am not sure how much more my nerves can take watching Fernando Rodney at the end of regulation innings.
[AZ Central] Arizona Diamondbacks figuring out when it's best to rest - Do not be so quick to throw a tantrum when Torey Lovullo decides to “rest the hot hand”. MLB decided this season to allow teams to measure player biometrics as it pertains to player rest. There is a long term goal in mind, and I am certain all of us will be thanking the rookie skipper if this team is performing well during meaningful games in September. Could you perform at your peak in your career without a day of rest? I hardly want to show up after a week long vacation in San Diego. Something tells me there was a colorful conversation between the Mets and Noah Syndergaard when asked if he would be willing to supply biometric data.
“If you’re able to keep guys fresh, you’re not necessarily going to see it off-day to the next day you’re 100 percent,” Goldschmidt said. “But I think the cumulative of just maybe in August you’re slightly fresher or September or July or whatever. That can maybe help you win a game here or there.”
[ESPN] Power Rankings: Which team hit its way to No. 1? - Arizona moves up 1 spot from last week’s rankings to #7 despite not one but two implosions from Fernando Rodney. The Rockies actually moved down 3 spots to #10 in the same poll. The teams ahead of Arizona appear to be getting incumbency votes. Fanrag drops the Diamondbacks down to #10 from #9 last week, as does Bleacher Report, Fox Sports moves the team from #11 to #10, while USA Today keeps them in their previous position at #10.
[Fox Sports] 7 key MLB series in the month of May - You might have assumed that I had no idea what I was talking about when I said the beginning of this month is about as important as it gets for the team as the calendar turns to May. A strong showing on this road trip pushes the Screamin’ Eagles further into the discussion, while falling flat on their faces will raise serious questions. The Colorado series was mostly devoid of offense. That should be different as the two teams face off in Coors provided it is not blanketed in snow, and we may very well witness a fireworks show in the Capital City against the #1 ranked offense.
[LA Times] Impress your friends: Seven notes from Major League Baseball - Hopefully, I already impress my friends with the voice that Jim has blessed me with here at the Pit. Bryce Harper is responsible for half as many runs as the Kansas City Royals have scored all season. Nothing a few letter high fastballs and hammer curves from Tai Walker cannot fix. Still think early season starts do not mean anything? While it is true that you cannot win a season in the first month, the games are just as meaningful as those at the end of the season. The Diamondbacks have set themselves up for success if they can sustain it.
[Sporting News] MLB's first month offered up some exciting, surprising statistical gems - Eric Thames learned how to play baseball again after a visit to the Far East. Jason Heyward has never made a believer out of me after all of his prospect hype. Seriously, we need to put the Washington Nationals and their offensive prowess in a deep hole this week. Has anyone here on the Pit mentioned that Fernando Rodney ruined a game where the Diamonbacks blew Tyler Anderson out of the water? If we put runners on the bases ahead of Chris Owings, he instantly transforms into Chris Owingschmidt and the baseball looks like a beach ball to him.
[CBS Sports] MLB All-Star Game voting is underway: What you need to know about the ballot - The previous two Midsummer Classics have turned the game into a bit of a joke in my opinion between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs fandom. I would like to see a change to the voting process. Make it a combination of fan, player, coaches, and media votes. I would be surprised to see Goldy as a starter, but he will be a near lock as a player’s choice. Outside of him, it appears that one of our starting pitchers has the best chance to make the squad. However, the changes made to the Home Run Derby have made that competition thoroughly enjoyable.
[ESPN] Orioles' Adam Jones says he was target of racist abuse at Fenway - Adam LaMarque Jones was born in San Diego, California in 1985. His mother, Andrea, raised him and his brother on her own until Jones was 5. He did not begin playing baseball until he was 12 years old after his stepfather, Kenneth, took him to a Padres game. He has been a beacon both on and off the field during difficult times in Baltimore. The fact that I have to sit here and address this issue with my meaningless voice in 2017 is embarrassing and pathetic. Let me make myself clear when I say that when you choose to use hateful speech or actions to degrade someone’s race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, religion, or socioeconomic class that your opinions are meaningless. It is acceptable to disagree with someone’s opinion, but to spew hate from your mouth towards another individual to degrade that person is unacceptable. I do not blame the entirety of Fenway Park or Boston. I fault individuals who are too ignorant to understand how hurtful and archaic their decisions are. Something needs to be done as these actions are not acceptable in today’s world let alone the sport of baseball. Should someone who spews racial slurs towards a player face the same punishment as someone who reaches into the field of play for a ball or runs across the diamond? The question was rhetorical, and there will be no poll this week. If you are planning to go to the stadium to project hate in a safe haven for children and people of all different types, then you do not deserve to sit next to anyone in that stadium and enjoy the rich history this game has to offer.