The managing partner of Zack-Zack and Associates was worth every penny of his million dollar start last night. Greinke’s only blemish, if you could even call it one, was yet another breaking ball down and inside to a left hander that was hammered to right field for a solo shot. He nearly went the distance tossing 8 2⁄3 innings being lifted after yielding a double to Jose Abreu. Patrick Corbin (3-4, 4.38 ERA) looks to correct his own path against Dylan Covey (0-3, 7.64 ERA) in tonight’s 6:40 PM start.
Diamondbacks 5, White Sox 1
[D’backs.com] Greinke spins 12-K gold to sink White Sox - It is almost difficult to believe the quality of pitcher Zack Greinke is this season after a lackluster 2016 tamed expectations. He struck out a season high 12 batters en route to winning his 4th straight game. The Chicago White Sox offense should not be underestimated, but Zack appeared to be in a league of his own facing them. Greinke is now the National League leader in strikeouts for the time being. He allowed a home run in his 5th straight start on a well placed pitch inside to the left handed Leury Garcia in the 5th inning. Torey Lovullo was not met with kindness from Arizona fans when he went to retrieve his ace in the 9th.
"Great night for Zack," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "He kept a very offensive team, as of late, in check and was making all sorts of pitches. He had the slider, changeup combination off a very spotted up and aggressive fastball. It was another Zack moment for us, something that we're really leaning on every fifth day and we're sure this will continue for the rest of the year."
[Arizona Sports] D-backs’ Zack Greinke pitches masterfully in win over White Sox - Daniel Descalso began the scoring for Arizona when he sent a 3 run pool shot flying in the 4th. Paul Goldschmidt, choking up on the bat in a 1-2 count, blasted a solo shot to Souvenir City in the 6th. Arizona would load the bases with no outs in that inning, but would manage to score only 1 additional run to make it 5-1. That was more than sufficient for Greinke who remained on autopilot for the rest of the game.
[ESPN] Greinke whiffs 12 in 8 2/3, Diamondbacks beat White Sox 5-1 - Pitching, check. Offense, check. Defense? Check, check, check. No errors for Arizona in this game. No mental errors or miscues that do not show up in the box score either. That is not so surprising when your pitcher is rarely allowing balls in play. Chris Owings made this impressive stop at SS in the 7th making Nick Ahmed look like an understudy. The Diamondbacks have now won 6 of their previous 7, but remain 2 games behind the Colorado Rockies for the NL West lead.
[Arizona Sports] Randall Delgado is the most prepared to start Wednesday - Further proof that Archie Bradley likely remains in the bullpen for the rest of the season. Randall Delgado will make his first start in the majors since 2015. I am somewhat surprised to not see Braden Shipley get the call for the spot start.
“I’m not going to put a number on it,” Lovullo said when asked how many innings he expected to get out of Delgado. “What we’re asking him to do is go as hard as he can for as long as he can. Not change his routine, not change his game-day prep, walk into that start doing exactly what he’s been doing because he’s been locked in and throwing the ball very well. Archie has migrated into a role where he’s coming in into high-leverage situations whether it be the seventh or eighth inning and getting some big outs. There’s a buzz when he comes into the game. We all feel that.”
[D’backs.com] Lamb takes NL Player of Week honor - Increased consistency from the slugging third baseman would be welcomed. Nevertheless, Jake Lamb was impressive going 7 for 17 with four home runs last week. Lamb credits his recent success to time spent with hitting coach Dave Magadan and a high velocity pitching machine. Does this thing throw 170 mph? Hard hit contact % is slightly above his career average at 40.6% resulting in a 137 wRC+ and .393 wOBA.
[Inside the ‘Zona] Early Reflections on the Jean Segura/Taijuan Walker Trade - One could look at this trade through a few different lenses. Arizona gained a significant amount of club control over a young pitcher, while Seattle earned an All Star caliber middle infielder who has lived up to expectations so far. That fails to mention the other 3 players included in the trade. Has the Mike Hazen and Torey Lovullo braintrust effectively limited the loss of last year’s MVP by rearranging playing time and positions for Chris Owings and Brandon Drury? Taijuan Walker has been no slouch himself either. Jeff Wiser points out that the team might not be losing as much value as initially feared.
Around the League
[ESPN] Power Rankings: Astros still rule, but new challengers emerge - The NL West is shaping up to be the hardest fought division this season. Ignore the 3 teams at the top. Has anyone been paying attention to what the San Francisco Giants have been doing without Madison Bumgarner? They have won 8 of their last 10. We do not want them anywhere near striking distance come midseason. Arizona moves back into #10 per ESPN. Fox Sports bumps them up to #11. MLB.com has them at #7. Sports Illustrated elevates Arizona all the way to #5. Bleacher Report pegs the team at #6. USA Today slots them at #8.
[Business Insider] Facebook slides into live streaming deal with MLB - Welcome to the 21st century. It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, will be made to TV revenue deals for teams moving forward as more people “cut the cord.” Ken Kendrick and Derrick Hall would be wise to figure out how to fill Chase Field quickly. This another option in the growing number of choices to view games for sports fans particularly for those who live outside the scope of influence of his/her favorite team.
[Fox Sports] 27 of the most ridiculously strange rules in sports - Ambidextrous pitchers, throwing gloves at balls in play, and balls stuck in a catcher’s mask. Baseball has its fair share of quirky rules.
According to Rule 5.06(c)(7) of the MLB rulebook, “If a pitched ball lodges in the umpire’s or catcher’s mask or paraphernalia, and remains out of play, on the third strike or fourth ball, then the batter is entitled to first base and all runners advance one base. If the count on the batter is less than three balls, runners advance one base.”
[Sporting News] MLB looking into playing games in Europe as soon as 2019 - Perhaps some of our fans overseas will have a chance to attend a game in their home country. Baseball in Germany makes sense considering our military men and women stationed there. Any attempts to globalize the sport and introduce it to new audiences will be met with support from me. Perhaps one day there will be a true World Series.