Despite what some may contest, Arizona fans have responded to the spectacular season that the Diamondbacks are in the midst of. Watching the game on TV Friday and being present last night has made me witness to a crowd fervor I have not seen since 2011. The cheering is deafening, the fans are engaged, and the players on the field are having fun. This is what winning baseball feels like. Today’s rubber match features Taijuan Walker (6-3, 3.50 ERA) taking on German Marquez (5-4, 4.38 ERA) before heading to Los Angeles for a three game series against first place Dodgers.
Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 2
[D’backs.com] Peralta, Greinke carry D-backs past Rox - A stark contrast from the first game I attended against the Rockies at Chase Field earlier in the season. It was April 29th, and Fernando Rodney would implode in the 9th inning giving up 3 runs en route to blowing his second save of the season. There was hardly anybody in attendance as both teams were not expected to be in a playoff race. Fast forward two months later, and I did not have nearly the same feeling when Rodney entered last night’s game with runners on first and second with Arizona leading by 4. I found myself beaming with excitement as he entered the game to the tune of Lil’ Jon. My apologies to Pit member smartplays. I had essentially lost faith in Rodney’s abilities after that April blown save, but as smartplays has pointed out Rodney has been absolutely dominant since that time.
[Arizona Sports] Greinke plays stopper as D-backs end skid - Managing Partner of Zack-Zack & Associates, Zack Greinke, did what an ace is supposed to do by ending a losing skid and hopefully begin a winning streak. He was dominant for most of the game even before the two run home run he surrendered to Trevor Story. Statcast tells me that the hit probability of Story’s bunt home run was just 16 percent, and I believe it. Greinke finished the game going 7 innings and allowing 3 hits, 2 earned runs, while striking out 8 in front of a sellout crowd of 46,338.
“Unbelievable man. From the get-go. When they announced ‘Diamondbacks taking the field’ it was – I had chills. And seeing that top deck completely full was impressive. Come out to more games. I want to see that more. That was fun.” -Archie Bradley
[ESPN] Greinke fans 8, leads Diamondbacks over Rockies - 7 of the 8 hits from Arizona would go for extra bases including triples from Daniel Descalso, Paul Goldschmidt, and Jeff Mathis. The hits for Arizona may not have been abundant, but they were timely and placed perfectly allowing for extra bases. David Peralta had another multi-double game again. The 3 triples in a single game tie franchise record that was set on July 5th, 2016.
[D’backs.com] D-backs land No. 15 int'l prospect Robinson - Mike Hazen & Co. have wasted no time in this international signing period which began today. The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed the #1 prospect from the Bahamas, #15 international prospect overall, 16 year old Kristian Robinson for $2.5 million dollars. Arizona has a spending pool limit of $5.75 million for this signing period. It may take quite some time for the teenager to make the majors, but this is the beginning of Mike Hazen’s foray into the international market as GM of the Diamondbacks. The addition of Robinson begins to address the need of impact talent in the minors. Stay tuned to see Michael’s and/or James’ take on his standing among our prospects.
The athletic teenager is considered a plus runner. He moves well in the outfield for his size and makes all of the routine plays on defense. His arm is playable in center field, but he could end up in a corner position in the future. On offense, Robinson has shown raw power, good hands and is working on improving his timing against breaking balls and offspeed pitches. There are no major flaws in his game, and he has the potential to be a breakout star in this year's class.
[D’backs.com] Pollock finds his swing during rehab stint - A.J. Pollock hit 2 home runs Friday night for Reno, and should be set to appear shortly barring any major setbacks. Torey Lovullo stated that he will wait to make a decision after he sees Pollock appear in 2 straight games. Unfortunately, Reno’s game on Saturday was rained out. His return to the team will be vital to a late season push as the Diamondbacks chase down the Dodgers and fend off the Rockies.
[AZ Central] Nick Ahmed injury could prompt Diamondbacks to rethink trade needs - Zack Cozart is mentioned in the piece by Nick Piecoro and would appear to be an interesting addition to a contending team. He is set to become a free agent at the end of this season and came with a $5.3 million salary to begin this season, so it likely would not require a king’s ransom for Arizona to acquire him. Again, the Diamondbacks could stand pat and move forward with the current roster as well.
“This is a strong club,” [Mike Hazen] said. “I do think it has some depth to it. We don’t feel the need to go out there and do anything, but we’re going to take every opportunity to improve it. I think that’s our responsibility.”
Around the League
[ESPN] ESPN's 2017 AL and NL All-Stars picks - The All Star Selection Show will air at 4 PM Arizona time today. I have my riot gear ready to go should Paul Goldschmidt not be named to the roster in place of Anthony Rizzo. Goldy is named as the starter on each critic selection with Bradford Doolittle curiously placing him at designated hitter behind Joey Votto at first. There is a possibility that Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Archie Bradley, or Jake Lamb get named to the roster as well.
[CBS Sports] Babying pitchers doesn't work, Scherzer vs. Kershaw and more MLB notes - Goldy makes an appearance on the “Burning Question of the Week” and Max Scherzer is still one of the best players we ever gave up on as a team. A 40/40 season from Paul might prove to be difficult, but it is almost a given that he will reach 30/30. Of course, he could steal 10 bases in a one week span and make me look like a fool.
[LA Times] MLB suspends three pitchers for use of banned substances - 47 suspensions so far this season under the minor league testing program demonstrates that the war against steroids in Major League Baseball is very much alive.