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Snake Bytes 5/7: Rubber Match

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The Diamondbacks look to salvage the series and road trip

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Minnesota Twins
One strike and no balls
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After limiting the Nationals and Rockies to 12 runs through 4 games earlier this road trip, the Diamondbacks surrendered 9 to the Rockies last night. Today, Taijuan Walker (3-1, 4.19 ERA) takes the mound against Tyler Chatwood (2-4, 5.40 ERA) in a 12:10 PM start. Walker is coming off of a rather difficult previous outing in which he only completed 4.2 innings throwing 117 pitches in a 6-3 win against the Nationals. In his prior start, Chatwood hit a brick wall against San Diego in Petco Park lasting only 5.1 innings surrendering 5 earned runs all in his final inning of work.

Rockies 9, Diamondbacks 1

[D’backs.com] Offense has off-night, Corbin struggles at Coors - This contest was a stark contrast from the first game in the series, and a prime example of what “pitching downhill” can do for a pitcher’s mentality. Patrick Corbin appeared to really struggle with the command of his slider, and without it he looked rather pedestrian. Zack Greinke had complete control of his secondary offerings in his start which is not easy to accomplish at Coors Field. On the other hand, Tyler Anderson was gifted with a 4 run lead early and never looked back. The Diamondbacks had runners in scoring position in each of the first 3 innings, but managed to only come away with one run. Prior to last night’s game, Anderson had yet to give up less than 4 runs in his 6 previous starts. He managed to tie his career high with 10 strikeouts.

[ESPN] Anderson, Reynolds lead Rockies past Diamondbacks 9-1 - It is not a good stat when the Rockies’ outfielders do not have a putout or assist for the entire game. To put it another way, the Diamondbacks managed to hit only two balls out of the infield all night. That is fairly difficult to accomplish at Coors Field. Chris Owings sat out as he had also fallen victim to the flu like many other players in the league. Please stay away from Paul Goldschmidt and AJ Pollock. Thanks.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs remain in second place in division after loss to Rockies - Even with a win later today, the Diamondbacks would remain a half game behind the Rockies for first place in the NL West. Do not look now, but the Dodgers have begun to enter the fold as well and are only a half game behind the Diamondbacks which was only a matter of time. The Diamondbacks will need to take advantage of the upcoming schedule this month if they intend on remaining in the discussion.

Team News

[Arizona Sports] D-backs to host Game of Thrones night, give away bobblehead - Yay? I know nothing about Game of Thrones. Combine an awful game last night with Steve, Bob, and Todd discussing the GOT series and that is as close to torture as it gets. As I said in the GDT, I had planned on taking my father to that game who is a Big Red Machine fan turned Diamondbacks convert. I will more than likely reschedule to the 8th now as I am not much of a fan of themed gimmick nights during the ballgame. Bah humbug.

[D’backs.com] Walker hoping for better command in finale - Pay attention to Walker’s offspeed pitches early. If he is unable to control his hard breaking curve and cutter, it might be another short outing. Taijuan has 1 career start at Coors Field back in 2015 where he went 7.1 innings giving up 3 earned runs with a 5:3 K:BB ratio.

[AZ Central] Zack Greinke’s slider a key to bounceback season for Diamondbacks - Anyone who has ever thrown a different variety of pitches off a mound for an extended period of time can attest that command of secondary pitches will come and go inexplicably. Fastball command is all but a requirement for the position, but having strong secondary pitches makes success easier to come by. The importance of a strong slider from Zack Greinke cannot be overstated, and the fact that he was able to throw it with success at the high altitude of Coors is encouraging.

The best way I can describe it is frustrating,” first baseman Mark Reynolds said. “If he leaves his slider up, it’s obviously hittable. If he leaves a fastball over the middle of the plate, it’s obviously hittable; it’s 89-90. But when he’s painting and keeping you off balance and sneaking it high and throwing the slider just off, you can’t do anything with that. You’ll hit a ground ball to second or pop out. You’ve got to hit his mistakes and he didn’t make many, so that’s what’s going to happen.”

[AZ Central] Zack Greinke, Paul Goldschmidt rebounding for Diamondbacks - When your two best players on both sides of the ball are playing as well as they have in the past, good results will follow. Paul Goldschmidt currently sports career highs in wRC+ (173), wOBA (.452), and hard hit % (48.8%). Remarkably, his line drive % (16.7%) is below his career average (22.8%). If he continues at this rate and the team miraculously manages to make the playoffs, it would be difficult to deny him the MVP award again.

[Fangraphs] The Arizona Baserunning Juggernaut - Can somebody please relay this message to Nick Ahmed? Gonna need you to pay attention while on second base, dude. This type of gameplay can really get into an opposing pitcher’s head. When the pitcher is constantly trying to check runners instead of focusing on the player at the plate, it can lead to disaster. Not to ignore what the opposing defense’s psychology is like when constantly concerned with a double steal or hit and run attempt. It is just good baseball. Dave McKay should take plenty of credit for the success. Imagine if we had Ender Inciarte and Jean Segura still out there stealing bags for the team. Yikes.

Elsewhere

[ESPN] Judge stays minor leaguers' wage suit, pending MLB appeal - The minor league wage battle forges forward. Or does it? The Snake Pit staff discussed this in the Round Table a few weeks ago. Is it too much to ask to be paid a livable wage?

[Fox Sports] Horribly unlucky Orioles pitcher leaves game after being struck by back-to-back line drives - Former Diamondback Wade Miley was essentially a walking tractor beam in his previous start. He did not even make it past 13 pitches or the first inning to no fault of his own. I would say this is the equivalent to a terrible Monday at the office where it might have just been best to stay home. We wish our former country boy the best. Umpire Mike Muchlinski says, “Here, hold my beer.” I seriously hope the validity of his game calling was thrown out after he took that shot.

[CBS Sports] WATCH: Foul ball takes crazy hop into a fan's beer cup - What a complete waste! Pour one out for the homies. I once had a fellow fan knock over one of my value beers at a game. I kindly explained to him that it was expected he hand over one of his to me. His girlfriend was rather disgusted that I would have the audacity to make him do that. All was well when I came back from my next beer run with a cold one in hand for that gentleman.

[U.S. News] Manfred: MLB Considers Guidelines for Racist Taunts - I would like to thank those that took the time to read and understand my message on this topic last week. I appreciate all of our members in general. I realize that my opinion on the matter was very strong and some may have disagreed, but I do stand by my words. I had no interest in debating the validity of Adam Jones and other players’ claims. I have no reason to not believe them. My issue is that going to the ballpark should be an enjoyable experience for people of all creeds. I am not a journalist and have no journalism background. I am a freelance blogger for a team and sport I care about deeply. Most importantly, I am a human being that cares for the well being of others, and do not wish to see anyone treated disgracefully.