You mean to tell me that I missed a week of baseball when the Diamondbacks went 4-2, overtook the Rockies in the standings, came a few outs shy of sweeping them at Coors Field, and are somehow now 2.5 games behind the Dodgers for the division lead? Get your nail clippers ready because the end of the season is going to be a war. Randall Delgado (1-1, 3.48 ERA) makes another spot start against former Diamondback Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.61 ERA).
Diamondbacks 9, Phillies 2
[D’backs.com] Offense comes alive vs. Phils to back Ray - What a relief it was to be able to watch the televised account of this game in the comfort of my own home again. Robbie Ray was not terrible by any means, but he did show flashes of his former self early in this game in front of an impressive reported crowd of 40,577. He had to dance out of trouble as early as the second inning with the bases loaded. Opposing pitcher Ben Lively bunted for a two run home run in the 4th inning, and at that point Ray was approaching 70 pitches. He made quick work in the 5th and 6th innings erasing the only baserunners in both frames on steal attempts. His night was finished in the 7th inning after an interesting decision to send him back out to the mound, with Archie the Destroyer coming on in relief to leave the bases loaded.
"A much-needed win for us tonight after a tough loss yesterday," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I thought Robbie did a great job of setting the tone; 6 1/3 and he seemed to be in control of pretty much the entire game. I thought Jake Lamb dug out a pitch in the bottom of the zone for his home run. It was just a really nice effort for these guys."
[Arizona Sports] D-backs find Phillies lack of faith disturbing - Fireworks, Star Wars Night, 7:10 PM start, and a team in the thick of a playoff race all contributed to a rather large crowd. Chris Herrmann was the unsung hero both at the plate and on the field going 2-4 with 3 RBI, throwing out Aaron Altherr attempting to steal second in the 5th inning, and stretching to keep his foot on the plate for the force out in a crucial bases loaded situation in the 7th.
[AZ Central] Arizona Diamondbacks' humidor almost fully operational at Chase Field - Not that I have ever installed one, but can anyone explain to me why it takes so long to install a glorified refrigerator in a baseball stadium? Perhaps the Arizona monsoon will arrive before this mythical contraption. If the claims are true that it will increase a pitcher’s grip on the baseball, an imposing Arizona staff could become even more dominant in the second half of the season.
“I believe in this team as a group … that they can hit in any environment in any situation,” Lovullo said. “I can’t predict [what] the humidor will bring, but I know these guys are ready for any challenge in any arena.”
[isportsweb] Will the Arizona Diamondbacks acquire a new catcher? - Best of luck on your quest to become an MLB broadcaster, Mr. Noah. It is doubtful that Mike Hazen seeks any change to the three headed catching monster he has created unless he identifies a catcher with the ability to maneuver pitches towards the strike zone using The Force. Offensive numbers do not even begin to paint the picture surrounding the Arizona catching staff.
[D’backs.com] Loose D-backs unveil special team T-shirts - This should be the prompt for next week’s Pit Your Wits contest. Too bad “Special Assistant to Derrick Hall” T-shirts already made its debut previously.
"I think it's just signs of a team with a lot of chemistry and a lot of fun," [Archie] Bradley said. "Doing stuff like this, kind of spontaneous to support each other, to back each other. Coaches love it, we love it, guys love it. It's part of the culture we have building here. It just shows the fun that we have together. We're so much more than teammates off the field, and it really shows with little things like this."
Around the League
[MLB Trade Rumors] Top 50 Trade Deadline Candidates For 2017 - A look at some possible targets the Diamondbacks might consider should Mike Hazen decide to add a piece or two in search of a division title. Not all of these names are likely to be moved nor particularly sought after given different contract statuses and acquisition costs. Veteran position players Curtis Granderson and Howie Kendrick, with his positional flexibility, stood out to me the most for the leadership they would bring on a bench role.
[ESPN Insider] Ranking MLB defenses: Which teams have an edge? - The Diamondbacks are not horrendous on defense, but could stand to improve their chances by making changes in the field. The offense has shown an ability to erupt in a single inning, and the pitching staff has been nothing but a surprise to say the least. Arizona is in the middle of the pack defensively when it comes to defensive runs saved. Adding A.J. Pollock in the near future should aid the greatest area of need in the outfield.
[LA Times] Anxiety sidelines Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna - A difficult situation for anyone to overcome speaking from experience. I respect the young man for openly acknowledging his obstacle to performance. Zack Greinke notably battled with anxiety himself as a member of the Kansas City Royals. I imagine being 22 years old in the majors is difficult in and of itself. Hopefully, Osuna is able to defeat his anxiety in his own way and become a stronger individual in the end.
[New York Post] How many home runs is too many? MLB’s going to find out - Math is most certainly not killing baseball. Traditionalist fans resent the changes that analytics have brought to the game. Spin rates, exit velocity, launch angles, and catch probability have made the game more enjoyable for those such as myself. If the argument can be made that “math” has resulted in more home runs making them less special, then the counterargument exists that the same “math” can be utilized by pitchers in attempt to reduce the long ball. I will admit that the number of players currently hovering around 20 home runs does appear to be staggering. What really grinds my gears is when Charlie Blackmon golfs a curveball off of his shoe tops for a #dinger.