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Snake Bytes 7/9: All Star Break Time?

Could not have come any sooner.

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MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

This edition of Bytes could be ho-hum, but I do not feel like doing that to any of you. Last night is what it was. Those of you who attended the game with me got not 1 but 2 free promotional cups. We also witnessed a few Diamondbacks legends take the field and play the game at a snail’s pace. Today is anew and gives the Diamondbacks a chance to take 2 out of 3 and win yet another series at home en route to their best start in franchise history. Now that is something to hang your hat on before the All Star game. Patrick Corbin (6-8, 4.81 ERA) faces off against Homer Bailey (1-2, 12.66 ERA [!]) in today’s rubber match to conclude the symbolic first half of the season.

Reds 7, Diamondbacks 0

[] Walker scuffles vs. Reds as bats go cold - I am not sure that the A/C system at Chase is not working rather than realizing the monumental task it is to cool a large structure down into the neighborhood of 80° while the temperature outside is pushing 115°+. Regardless, the combination of feeling like you are sitting in a warm soup and watching an anemic offense is a quick way to lull one to sleep. To be quite honest, I was hoping Robby Hammock would be announced as a pinch hitter for Chris Herrmann so he could lace a triple into the gap as he did in the alumni game. I suppose I ask too much. It was the first time the Diamondbacks were shutout at home this season.

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks fall flat in lopsided loss to Reds - Hey Taijuan, have you ever met Billy Hamilton? He is really fast. One might call him the second coming of Ricky Henderson. Except he has a difficult time getting on base lately, so it would be wise of you to not walk him in his first two at bats. The Rockies and Cubs both lost while the Dodgers walked it off in extras, so if anything we maintained ground for the first wild card spot. Randall Delgado and Jake Barrett combined to throw 3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

"Taijuan Walker was OK," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "He had some well-pitched moments and in spurts he was doing a nice job, but he fell behind early and we just never got a chance to pay catch-up baseball."

[ESPN] Home runs, Castillo send Reds past Diamondbacks 7-0 - In the latest Snake in the Grass Q&A, I asked Red Reporter about whether the Reds should sell off some of their movable assets or build around the current core of players. The response was that they should proceed forward with the young players they have, and Luis Castillo is a key piece in that future. In his 4th career start, the Dominican rookie struck out 8, walked 1, and only gave up 3 hits. He will continue to have growing pains going forward as most rookies do, but his performance against a team in the thick of a playoff race was nothing short of dominant.

"When you can create a separation like that of 8 or 10 miles an hour, 12 or 13 miles an hour with the breaking pitch, and you throw them all for strikes ... the hitter had to react to the breaking ball somewhat and respect the velocity inside," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Castillo. "More than anything, he exudes a confidence out there."

Diamondbacks News

[] Players relive former glory in Alumni Game - Having attended the last 2 alumni games, it appears that a few of these guys have taken care of their bodies well enough to still play the game at a high level. Those that do not will make one appreciate the pace at which the professional game is played. As stated above, Robbie Hammock had the big triple in the gap to open the flood gates for the Sedona Red Team. Orlando Hudson and Willie Bloomquist did not miss a beat turning a double play in the first inning.

"It's not like riding a bike," Williams, who played third base for Team Red, joked. "You can always ride a bike. This is different. I'm just trying to survive and see what we can do."

[Arizona Sports] Amid D-backs’ hot season, Zack Greinke lights-out at home - The sun will rise and the rough stretch will pass. Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, and Zack Godley have shown the ability to go out an be dominant on a consistent basis this season. Last night was arguably Walker’s worst start of 2017, so hopefully it is the exception rather than the norm. Look for Greinke and Ray to continue to anchor the top of the rotation as we turn the page to the second half of the season.

[Venom Strikes] Greinke, Ray held out of up-coming Atlanta series - Except not until the team leaves hitter friendly SunTrust Park that is. Torey Lovullo will look to manage the usage of his two All Stars coming off of the break. The Braves currently sit 7 games back for the second Wild Card spot which speaks to the overall weakness of the National League outside of the teams currently holding a playoff spot.

[LA Times] The Diamondbacks are making their pitch to be a playoff contender - The decision to make moves or stay put before the trade deadline is arguably as difficult as it was in the offseason. Mike Hazen does not exactly have assets from the depths of the minor leagues he could use to add a piece to the major league club without further depleting the farm. The Dodgers will surely make some sort of an addition before the deadline as they seemingly have their eyes set on a championship. Should we be content with just making the playoffs with the current core? I do not envy the position that Hazen finds himself in, and will gladly enjoy meaningful baseball from the stands.

Lovullo, asked to identify the single element that has gone well for his team, paused before answering. “Oh, man. I would say our ability to stay in the moment and the resiliency of this team has showed up night after night,” he said. “No matter what set of difficult circumstances we’re faced with, we seem to move off of it as quickly as possible and get ready for the next day. This is a team that plays together. There’s a very strong bond between these guys, and they do everything together.”

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks looking for answers against left-handed pitchers - It does not help when the team faces two of the of the best left handers in the league currently on consecutive days. Injuries and an emphasis on left handed batters off the bench has resulted in anemic production against southpaws this season.

“We haven’t been able to maximize our platoon advantages in certain cases because most of our depth was more left-handed,” Hazen said, “because we were building (in the offseason) to protect ourselves more left-handed.”

Around the League

[ESPN] Bienvenidos a Miami: Your complete guide to All-Star week - It will be the second stretch this year when Marlins Park should be sold out with neither coming during a Marlins home game. World Baseball Classic pool play took place there earlier this year and the atmosphere was electric demonstrating the type of fandom that can be on display there. What is the over/under on 1,000 home runs being hit in this year’s derby? The Futures game features some of the best prospects on their path to the majors. Jon Duplantier is the only Diamondbacks prospect to make the game. It should be interesting to see if players and coaches take the Midsummer Classic seriously now that the outcome of the game no longer determines home field advantage for the World Series.

[CBS Sports] The most memorable All-Star Game moments for all 30 MLB teams - If you ask me, the Diamondbacks are due for a more memorable All Star moment. I predict Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb hitting back to back #DINGERZ with Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray each striking out the side. You call me unrealistic, and I call you pessimistic. I will be honest and say that I do not remember Devon White’s 1998 performance considering that I was only 6 years old. Pete Rose mowing down Ray Fosse and showing him up afterwards stands out in my mind as one of the most iconic moments.

[Sporting News] ​Watch: Elderly woman flashes Dodger Stadium crowd - I mean, hey, the Dodgers are playing so well even Grannys are taking their tops off in celebration. Just as long as they are not going topless in our pool at the end of the season. Nobody here wants to see that.