This edition of Snake Bytes is brought to you by a miracle as I was scavenging for WiFi, and listening to the game on the radio with one ear while moving into a new home. We wish a Happy Father’s Day to all of those have passed down the beautiful tradition of baseball and continue to do so. A four game winning streak has brought the Diamondbacks back to a .500 record on the road. The hottest pitcher in the MLB for the past month, Robbie Ray (7-3, 2.62 ERA), faces off against Phillies rookie Ben Lively (1-1, 3.00 ERA) in today’s series finale.
Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 1
[D’Backs.com] Four-run 7th lifts D-backs to 6th straight win - Once again the Diamondbacks found difficulty getting much of anything going offensively against an opposing starting pitcher. It was not until Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff was lifted after the 6th inning when the high octane Arizona lineup took control of the game. The Diamondbacks sent nine players to the plate in the 7th inning, and Paul Goldschmidt led the four run inning with a two run double of his own.
"There's no panic in the dugout with the offense we have," said D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb, who was intentionally walked in the seventh and had an RBI single earlier in the game. "They go through the lineup a couple of times with no runs, we're not worried at all about it because we know we can have that big inning."
[Arizona Sports] Godley, late offense power D-backs over Phillies - Greg Schulte informed an occupied mind that the understudy of Zack-Zack and Associates had to weave in and out of trouble multiple innings. Zack Godley went 5 2⁄3 allowing five hits, three walks, but only one earned run. His WHIP went from .990 to 1.040 after the game. A few key hits from the Phillies in innings with traffic on the bases, and the tone of this game is much different. However, Godley did manage to strikeout a career high eight batters.
[D’backs.com] Lovullo learned respect from late father's work - One might wonder how Torey Lovullo ended up as a manager of an MLB team while his father, Sam Lovullo, was an executive producer for Hee Haw. We do not always follow the career choice that our parents take, but we often become a product of the environment we are raised in. What Torey Lovullo inherited from his late father, Sam, was the often forgotten skill of socializing with people in a respectful manner and showing genuine interest in that person as an individual. Today will be Torey’s first Father’s Day without his own here to share with him.
"There's going to be a huge void in my life on that particular day," Torey said. "I'm going to miss him and I'll be thinking about him. I will take comfort in that I had a couple months to give him that special feeling that we were both waiting for -- that I got to this position. He celebrated with me, and that's what I'll focus on. But there's going to be a great deal of sadness that he won't be able to be here or able to watch it on TV, because I know that he'd be very proud of me."
[Arizona Sports] D-backs’ A.J. Pollock to start minor league rehab assignment - The Diamondbacks have managed to go 21-8 without A.J. Pollock. The same man that missed a majority of last season contributing to a 69-93 finish in 2016. There is little doubt that getting Pollock back on the field will be a boost for the team, but the key will be keeping him on the field for the crucial August and September months. Prior to going down with another groin injury he was hitting for a .299 average and among the MLB leaders in stolen bases with 11.
[AZ Central] Former pro fathers and their athlete sons: How sports can unite, or divide, families - There is a thin line between support for your son in sport and nagging criticism. It can be exceedingly difficult for a father to remain idle on the sidelines watching his son play especially if the former was once a professional athlete. Luis and Jacob Gonzalez share their story, and how the family fired Luis from coaching Jacob’s team. Luckily for myself, I was never quite the standout baseball player that my father was nor was he nearly as talented as me in the pool. My father was a Little League World Series reserve at shortstop for Bristol, Connecticut, playing alongside George Springer II. I never felt that he was the overbearing type when he coached my Little League team, but he did pull me out of the outfield once for taking a seat during a coaching visit.
“That’s the toughest thing for a dad,” Gonzalez said. “When you play at that level you realize you’ve gone through some mistakes your kids are going through. But they have to find out for themselves. It took me a while to separate that.”
[Venom Strikes] Five players that are quietly impacting the team’s success - The storybook season presses onward. Preseason projections had even a best case scenario Daimondbacks team finishing at or below .500 and missing the playoffs. Paul Goldschmidt, Zack Greinke, and Robbie Ray are exceeding the expectations placed on them contributing to the success, but the projections did not anticipate how much certain role players would need to be utilized nor how successful they would be as substitutes. Zack Godley stepped right into the rotation after Shelby Miller’s injury and has been a dominating member of the staff. The Diamondbacks did not have long term solutions in the outfield last season when A.J. Pollock and David Peralta went down with injury. Gregor Blanco has been worth .5 WAR in 32 games with a 106 wRC+ lessening the impact of losing Pollock for a month. Randall Delgado has played the role of Josh Collmenter performing admirably in the spot start opportunities he has had. Finally, Fernando Rodney has seemingly diffused the bomb that was his early season implosion closing out multiple one run games in the past week without creating any anxiety.
[The Ringer] The Best Base Runners in Baseball - Excluding Nick Ahmed who has been worth 0 BsR, or base running runs above average for those unfamiliar. The Diamondbacks have been the best base running team in baseball since 2014 when Dave McKay joined the team as first base coach. I was not mentally insane when I floated the idea that we should clone him and stick the double at third base coach in my second Fanpost on the Pit. A successful team on the base paths does not necessarily lead the league in stolen bases. The Diamondbacks excel in situational base running, leading off distance, and the routes they take on the bases.
Goldschmidt’s BsR places him in the top 10 in baseball since the Diamondbacks hired McKay; to find the next first full-time first baseman on the list, you have to scroll down to 114th.
Around the League
[ESPN] Packed All-Star field could mean some major snubs - Jake Lamb’s only hope for a call to the Midsummer Classic will likely come from the Final Fan Vote. He will also possibly be competing with former Arizona slugger Mark Reynolds who is in the midst of a tremendous season for Colorado. The amount of production from players around the league speaks to the vast depth and talent pool at the present.
[Fox Sports] The Freeze suffers stunning loss in race from foul pole to foul pole - The victor probably could have squeaked out the victory without the head start. The following victim in which The Freeze earned redemption appeared to be running in slow motion.