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Snake Bytes, 7/26: Unhappy Birthday to Torey

The Arizona bullpen gave their manager a highly unwanted present against the Braves.

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Atlanta Braves v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images


[Arizona Sports] Bullpen implodes, offense sputters as D-backs fall to Braves - Arizona failed to capitalize on another strong start by Taijuan Walker. Pitching for the first time since July 14 after missing his last start due to the birth of his son, Walker picked right where he left off. The big righty allowed just one earned run over six innings, and even belted a home run of his own. But the bullpen collapsed in a big way, surrendering those six runs over the final three frames.

[] D-backs Taijuan Walker hits first career homer - "He's had some really good outings since he came off the DL with the blister issue," manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's been a very lively fastball with an extra gear on it. What he was not doing was throwing all of his pitches while he was going backward with that little nicked up finger. So he had a couple of starts where he was trying to protect himself, and he was still getting by on just a couple of quality pitches, and now, you're throwing a pitch in there that's been very effective in the changeup."

[AZ Central] Decision to lift Taijuan Walker costs Arizona Diamondbacks in loss - “I knew he (Walker) wasn’t going to go very much longer, probably one more inning,” Lovullo said. “He did what he could. I wanted to get to Foltynewicz and break the game open. … I felt that was our best opportunity to score some runs.” Lovullo said he wasn't influenced by Walker’s last start, the July 14 game in Atlanta when he left Walker in with runners on first and second, Walker grounded into a double play and then gave up a homer to Freddie Freeman in the bottom of the sixth.

Team news

[AZ Central] Greinke rebounding from 2016 home woes - “Everyone wanted him to duplicate (2015) last year and for a variety of reasons, he was unable to,” Lovullo said. “I still think he had a decent year but by Zack’s standards, it wasn’t up to par. So I think he spent the offseason probably thinking about things from a mental standpoint how he could go out and perform and do his job the way that he was counted on. And I think one of the things you always try and establish is what you’re going to do in your most comfortable surroundings, in this case pitching at home. … It’s important that you can set up a home-field advantage.”

[] 2017 Prospect Watch: Arizona Diamondbacks - have updated their top 30 prospect list for the D-backs, at the mid-season stage and after the departure of three prospects in the J.D. Martinez trade. Straight in at #1 with a bullet, goes first-round draft pick this year, Pavin Smith. Pitchers Jon Duplantier, Taylor Clarke and Anthony Banda occupy the next three spots, with corner infielder Drew Ellis rounding out the top five.

[Arizona Sports] David Peralta helps high school baseball team celebrate first ever state title - He was in the First Base Lounge of the Diamond Suite to present championship rings to Raymond S. Kellis High School’s baseball team for its 5A state title. Peralta worked with the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation to cover the cost of the championship rings. “You guys were like the underdogs, and I was the same way,” Peralta said. “I had to put in hard work, dedication and a lot of time to be where I am right now. And when I heard your story, I was like ‘wow, that’s unbelievable’."

[AZ Central] A.J. Pollock looking like Pollock of old for Arizona Diamondbacks - Lovullo also believes that the three weeks Pollock spent on the disabled list may have been beneficial. “Maybe his body is a little bit stronger, less fatigued, and he’s able to repeat things and he’s able to get in that position more consistently,” Lovullo said. “I think what happens is when you get tired and into the grind of the season, your body can’t duplicate things. So I think he’s in a very good place for several reasons but the main one is all the hard work that he’s putting in behind the scenes to make sure that these are consistent moments for him.”

And, elsewhere...

[SI] The Cooperstown Casebook: The Hall of Fame's Origins, And How Third Base Got Put In A Corner - The BBWAA and VC voters have rarely gotten it right when it comes to third basemen. Through the 2017 election cycle, fewer major league third basemen are enshrined (13) than at any other position except relievers. Through eight decades of Hall history, at no other position have voters’ inconsistent standards and the messy, inefficient process been so readily apparent. Few players have borne the brunt of their missteps as directly as the late great Cub, Ron Santo.

[StarTribune] Strange L.A. story: Twins lose to Dodgers in long game featuring odd delay - The enduring image of the Twins’ third straight loss, 6-2 to the steamrolling Dodgers, will be umpires Lance Barrett and Bill Welke putting Paul Molitor through a lengthy mid-game tax audit. With the Twins trying to keep their sixth-inning deficit at a manageable two runs, Molitor decided to execute a double-switch, inserting utility infielder Ehire Adrianza at shortstop, batting ninth, and reliever Ryan Pressly in the seventh slot, replacing shortstop Jorge Polanco. But as soon as Pressly threw a pitch, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts emerged with a complaint for Barrett: This isn’t the switch you told us about.

[AP] St. Louis Cardinals, Colorado Rockies experiment with shortened inning breaks - The Cardinals and Colorado Rockies tried to speed up the pace of play on Tuesday night and it was hardly noticed. Major League Baseball experimented with having the timing clock between half innings set at 1 minute, 45 seconds. Since 2016, the clock has been set at 2:05 for locally televised games and 2:25 for nationally televised games. Tuesday's game took 3:11 to complete, about 6 minutes longer than the average game this season.