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Snake Bytes, 7/21: No man left behind

Well, just one. The D-backs scored 12 times while leaving one man on base yesterday. That was fun.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images


[Arizona Sports] Patrick Corbin shines after D-backs place Taijuan Walker on paternity list - The Arizona Diamondbacks moved Patrick Corbin’s next appearance up a day against the Reds to replace scheduled starter Taijuan Walker, who was placed on the paternity leave list prior to the Thursday game. Starting on short notice, Corbin went 7.1 innings against the Reds, allowing seven hits, one earned run and a walk to go with six strikeouts. He left the game in the eighth inning with Arizona leading 6-1 before Arizona tacked on another six runs in the ninth for a 12-2 victory in Cincinnati.

[AZ Central] Patrick Corbin stymies Reds as Diamondbacks take series - In seven starts since June 16, Corbin has a 2.81 ERA, with 45 strikeouts and just nine walks in 41 2/3 innings. Perhaps the most noticeable difference lately has come with his change-up, a pitch he’s throwing softer, more frequently and with better results. He gave up a pair of hits on the pitch but still used it heavily, throwing it 21 times, tying the most he’s gone to it this year. He averaged 82.6 mph with it, down from the first 2 1/2 months of the season, when it was mostly 84-86 mph. “I think (I’m) just getting a better feel for it,” he said. “I just think I’ve been locating it a lot better, and having trust and seeing some (bad) swings on that pitch definitely helps.”

[] D-backs homer twice off 99-mph fastballs - The two most electric round-trippers of the day came when the game was well in hand, as the D-backs' Ketel Marte and Jake Lamb each took Reds reliever Ariel Hernandez deep in the ninth on two of the fastest pitches thrown across the Major League slate all day. They also happened to be two of the seven fastest pitches hit for a homer (Marte, second fastest; Lamb, tied for sixth fastest) by any Major League player this season.

[AP] D-backs pound Reds behind Lamb's 2 homers, Corbin's solid start on short notice - “It seems like our offense is starting to heat up again, which is good,” said Corbin, who pitched a season-high 7 1/3 innings. Lamb homered in the first inning off Luis Castillo (1-3) and again in the ninth for a career-high six RBIs. Gregor Blanco and Ketel Marte added two-run shots as the Diamondbacks concluded a wacky series. Corbin got a phone call informing him of the switch just as he was about to fall asleep. “It took me longer to fall asleep,” he said. “It’s a different feeling when you’re pitching the next day.”

Team news

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks pitching plans up in air for series vs. Nationals - Taking Walker’s place on the roster was right-hander Matt Koch, who was recalled from Triple-A Reno. As for what the club will do this weekend, that remains to be seen. Because Koch wasn’t needed in relief on Thursday, he could be an option to start Saturday, manager Torey Lovullo said. Right-hander Zack Godley had been scheduled to start Saturday, but he is slated to start Friday on normal rest. Could the club then ask Walker to return to the rotation for Saturday night? “We’re not counting on it,” Lovullo said.

[] Paul Goldschmidt underrated talk is silly - "Honestly, whatever I'm working on at that time, I try to do the best I can at it," Goldschmidt said. "You work on your offense in the cage, and then when we go out for defense, you forget about offense, and you play good 'D.' The same thing with baserunning. If you ground out, and it's a fielder's choice, and now you're the runner at first, you can't let that at-bat linger. You have to find a way to get to the next base and score."

[AZ Central] J.D. Martinez injury after Diamondbacks trade not the first rough start - When Diamondbacks outfielder J.D. Martinez got hit on the hand in his first game with Arizona on Wednesday night, you could almost here the collective gasp from Diamondbacks fans. They've been through this before. Martinez is not expected to miss much time (he was out of the lineup Thursday in Cincinnati), but his cringe-inducing start with the Diamondbacks brought to mind some other acquisitions whose careers got off to inauspicious starts in Arizona.

And, elsewhere...

[FiveThirtyEight] America Has Spoken: The Yankees Are The Worst - The Yankees’ longstanding self-important and overpaid ways have been pushed aside by a plucky band of youngsters and rising stars. So is it now fair to say that the franchise once proudly known as the “Evil Empire” is no longer baseball’s most hated team? Nope. As far as most Americans are concerned, the Yankees are still plenty hateable, thank you very much. In fact, they’re the most hated MLB team.

[SI] Slow down: The Yankees are leading a change in baseball by abandoning a principle of pitching - Pitch off your fastball ... Establish your fastball ... Change speeds off your fastball ... Sliders, curve and changeups are your secondary stuff… That kind of thinking has been the bedrock of pitching. No more. And it’s not just the Yankees. Two years ago, no team in baseball threw less than 50% fastballs. Last year two teams threw fastballs a minority of the time: the trend-setting Yankees and Astros. This year five teams are throwing less than 50% fastballs: the Yankees, Astros, Angels, Indians and Rays—all contenders.

[Yahoo] The loudest voices for change in a collapsing Venezuela are coming from MLB - As a humanitarian crisis engulfed the country they loved last year, Francisco Cervelli’s parents came to a sad realization: No longer could they stay. Venezuela used to be a bustling paragon for the rest of South America. Now it resembles post-apocalyptic fiction: led by an authoritarian president who was once a bus driver, pillaged by waves of robbery and murder, defined by a commodity shortage that left even the Cervellis, whose son is a Major League Baseball player, struggling to find chicken and rice and sugar and toilet paper. Venezuela collapsed around them. Today, they’re in Colombia.