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Snake Bytes, 7/3: Walkoff on the wild side

The D-backs blew a lead in the top of the ninth, then walked it off in the bottom half. #BusinessAsUsual

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Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images


[AP] Marte's walk-off lifts D-backs past Rockies - The Arizona Diamondbacks gathered before Sunday’s game to celebrate the players who made the NL All-Star team. By the end of the day, they were mobbing Ketel Marte, reveling in the kind of win that helped them earn four All-Star nods. Marte lined a run-scoring single in the ninth inning and the Diamondbacks overcame the first earned run allowed by Fernando Rodney in two months to beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 on Sunday. “It’s a good team win,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Walk-off wins are always exciting, and it was a pleasing moment for me to see these guys out there celebrating.”

[Arizona Sports] After blown Rodney save, Marte helps D-backs take series over Rockies - The first five outs Walker recorded were strikeouts, including a swing-and-miss by Trevor Story that spun Story around and to the ground for out number-two in the second inning. Walker added another strikeout in the third, giving him six through three innings. By comparison, he had zero strikeouts in 6.1 innings against the Cardinals five days ago. For the third time this series — and 12th time this season — Owings went deep. He lifted an 87-mph changeup high into the air that carried just beyond the left-field fence for a two-run home run to give the D-backs a 2-1 lead with one out in the fourth inning. Each of Owings’ last seven hits have gone for extra bases.

[AZ Central] Four All-Stars vs. 5 'infielders' equals another wild win for Diamondbacks - After missing on a couple of changeups that came in low, Marte elevated on a 1-2 pitch up over the plate and drilled it to the wall on one bounce. He was immediately swarmed by his teammates in a sight Diamondbacks fans have seen so often during this magical and mysterious season. “That was the first walk-off in my career, obviously,” a jubilant Marte said afterward. “(Rusin) got me. I was behind in the count, so I tried to do the best I can. He threw me a fastball, and I put a good swing on it. That's the first time I saw that (defense). I had to just try to put the ball in play and do the best I can. Just put the ball in play and see what happens. I gave it my best, and we got the win.”

[] D-backs' Ketel Marte hits walk-off vs. Rockies - "Great moment for Ketel," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "Obviously, just getting called up, you always look for little push moments like that to help you move on to the next day. It was just a special moment for him and this team. A bunch of people created that moment. We have to remember that he's got some experience. He's not a rookie. I think he just probably went to somewhere inside of his memory to say, 'See the ball up.' All of those lessons that you learn along the way, he executed, and it was a beautiful thing."

Team news

[] After 56 seasons, La Russa has plenty to offer in new role - La Russa’s main interest – and concern – is how the game is being played today and how it might be conducted in future years. He is not much of an advocate of launch angles and even less of the hitting philosophy of trying to hit a home run rather than moving a runner along, or even being that runner. He laments that such baseball lifers as Jim Leyland, Dave Duncan and Jose Oquendo are no longer active at the major league level and he wonders if the teachings of his longtime baseball guru, the late George Kissell, will fade away, much like the complete game by a pitcher. [Must say, some opinions, such as “The one thing that drives me nuts is how much we strike out,” had me sadly shaking my head]

[] Goldschmidt, Greinke, Ray, Lamb are All-Stars - This will be Goldschmidt's fifth consecutive All-Star Game and Greinke's fourth. Lamb and Ray had never been chosen before. Last year, Goldschmidt was the team's lone representative. He's happy to have company this time around. "It makes it a little bit more special," Goldschmidt said. "We'll get to all enjoy it together. Not just random teammates for me, either, but guys that I'm really close with off the field, and we'll get to all go and enjoy it together. I just know how much fun I've had every year and now knowing that [they] and their families will get to enjoy that too is very exciting."

[FOX Sports] D-backs' Goldschmidt, Greinke, Lamb, Ray named NL All-Stars - Diamondbacks All-Stars Paul Goldschmidt, Zack Greinke, Jake Lamb and Robbie Ray discuss their selection to the NL team for the midsummer classic.

[Beyond the Box Score] Randall Delgado is pitching great — or is it just his catchers? - Better fastball location, along with a move from breaking balls to offspeed pitches, has given Delgado better results across the board. Like so many of his Arizona teammates, Delgado has reached a new echelon this year. And as is the case with many of them — and with many baseball achievements in general — multiple parties deserve recognition for making this happen. Iannetta and Mathis have done what the Diamondbacks brought them in to do; Delgado, in turn, has tweaked his approach and taken off.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks measuring up with divisional foes ahead of All-Star break - You can’t count us out,” McFarland said. “Everybody and all the analysts keep saying that the Dodgers are the Number 1 team, but we’re still right here and still winning games.” And while the Diamondbacks are little more than halfway through the season, games with divisional opponents mean as much now as they do at the end of the season. “Every game matters, and when you get down to the last month it seems to get elevated,” first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “But this game can count just the same as one in September. I don’t think you have to put any more emphasis on either.”

And, elsewhere...

[USA Today] MLB sends memo to clubs claiming 'no evidence' ball is juiced - Major League Baseball, stung by a rising level of consternation and suspicion regarding the composition of its baseballs, sent a memo to all 30 clubs Saturday detailing the rigorous testing process its balls undergo, and concluding that "there is no evidence that the composition of the ball has changed in any way." The memo, obtained by USA TODAY Sports, was sent one day after a story cited 12 players, coaches and managers who strongly believe the baseballs are sailing abnormally off the bat, whether due to a production flaw or other intervention to possibly stimulate home runs.

[ESPN] Which All-Star starting lineup can do the most damage? - Right when you think you’ve seen everything in baseball: Justin Smoak, All-Star starter. Not that Smoak isn’t having a good season. The Toronto Blue Jays first baseman entered Sunday hitting .300/.368/.592 with 22 home runs and 52 RBIs, leading American League first basemen in OPS and trailing only Logan Morrison in WAR. Smoak, however, entered 2017 with 1.5 career WAR over seven seasons. He’s already set a career high in home runs and will soon surpass his best of 59 RBIs. He’s never hit higher than .238. Frankly, it was a bit of a surprise the Blue Jays even brought him back. Yet here he is. [But mostly because it suggests Paul Goldschmidt could still start for the National League - at DH...]

[CBSSports] Reds All-Star Zack Cozart owed a donkey by Joey Votto - Thanks in large part to some career-best numbers at the plate, Cozart is indeed an All-Star, and that means Votto now owes him a donkey. Speaking of which, here's a tantalizing possibility ... Votto deservingly made the cut as an NL reserve, so he'll be with Cozart in Miami. Perhaps on the red carpet, we'll bear unworthy witness to a donkey presentation? Developing, people.