The Arizona Diamondbacks have moved to 2-3 on this homestand and will attempt to reach Mt. .500 in today’s rubber match. Patrick Corbin had drastically different results against the Cubs this time out as he was able to out pitch Jon Lester for the win. The understudy of Zack-Zack & Associates, Zack Godley (5-4, 2.94 ERA), pitches against Jake Arrieta (11-8, 3.83 ERA) in the series finale.
Diamondbacks 6, Cubs 2
[D’backs.com] Peralta goes full steam for inside-the-park HR - A less knowledgeable viewer last night asked me why David Peralta’s nickname is the Freight Train. The explanation was fairly obvious after his tremendous performance in the victory. He was already 2 for 4 with a double when he came to the plate with 2 outs in the eighth. He proceeded to hit a 102.6 mph liner to left center and was on the tracks for a round tripper on expert mode. It is impressive to see a man his size move as quickly as he does. My response to the above question before that play was that he simply does not know how to give less than a complete effort each time he sets foot on the field. That high octane style of play has made him a fan favorite.
"I was just running hard the whole way," Peralta said. "When I saw it hit the wall, I thought, 'OK, I better go.' For the first moment, I thought, 'OK, triple.' But then I took a peek and saw (third-base coach Tony Perezchica) sending me home, and I was like, 'Oh man, I'm out of gas.' So I didn't slide into home plate, I just laid myself down. I was out of breath. But it was good, it feels good. I've never done it before, it was my first time, but that was a pretty special moment for me."
[Arizona Sports] Peralta hits inside-the-parker in D-backs’ win over Cubs - The offensive outburst in the late innings does not overshadow the performance that Patrick Corbin put together last night. He was in vintage form after pitching out of trouble in the 1st inning and had his devastating slider leaving the Cubs looking silly. He would finish the game after 6 2⁄3 innings allowing 5 hits, 1 walk, 0 runs on 8 strikeouts. In 13 games at Chase Field, he is 7-3 with a 2.83 ERA. Did he even realize he was pitching at Chase Field among what appeared to be 30,000 Cubs bandwagon fans at Wrigley West? Personally, the most frustrating aspect of this performance for me was knowing that he is talented enough to have this kind of start on a more consistent basis.
[D’backs.com] Ray free of concussion effects, faces hitters - Robbie Ray threw to hitters at Salt River Fields on Saturday and said he felt no ill effects. The team is understandably being cautious with his return, and could desperately use his arm in the rotation during the stretch run. He threw 50 pitches over 4 innings, and faced Yasmany Tomas without a screen. Returning Tomas to the lineup would provide another impact bat off the bench late in the game provided that he could return to his hitting prowess.
"We had no issues with that," Ray said. "Had a couple ground balls close to me, hit to second base or shortstop, and had no issues at all. ... It didn't even cross my mind really. It was just, 'Go out there and throw the ball and pitch how you know how to.' It was just another day on the mound."
[Arizona Sports] T.J. McFarland’s latest struggles add more questions to D-backs bullpen - T.J. McFarland has struggled in the bullpen since the Midsummer Classic outside of his relief appearance in St. Louis for Robbie Ray. Jared Miller is a left handed option to replace McFarland down in AAA Reno, although he has no Major League experience. He has only allowed 2 earned runs since joining Reno on July 7th with a 25:6 K:BB ratio in 18 2⁄3 innings. Rubby De La Rosa is still stashed down in AAA as well. David Hernandez has come as advertised since he was acquired from the Angels at the non-waiver trade deadline.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo sticking to his process despite recent missteps - Damned if he does, and damned when he does not. Torey Lovullo has done an admirable job in his first full managerial season. Lovullo was praised earlier in the season for not giving his starting rotation a short leash when they pitched into trouble. Lovullo has the benefit of having a general manager, Mike Hazen, who is largely supportive of his philosophy. My concern is not with his managerial decisions, but rather with a team that is struggling to outperform opponents during the stretch run. Who are the true Arizona Diamondbacks? Are they the team that got off to one of the best starts in franchise history in the first half? Or are they the team that most predicted would take the field before the season ever started barely limping to a .500 record? The tone would be much different had the Diamondbacks not built a substantial lead in the first half. Hopefully the long term future of this team was not jeopardized in the mirage of a red hot start. A playoff berth would go a long way in easing those concerns, but missing out on October baseball would present the argument that the team missed out on building for the future. The silver lining is that some of the team’s moveable assets have reestablished their value this season. Not looking past how thrilling this season has been, the long term outlook of this team has to be kept in perspective.
“I believe if you make those decisions consistently over the course of the season, it’s going to work out way more than it doesn’t,” Hazen said. “We try not to get too wrapped up in any one particular period of time where things seem to go in the other direction. I think in some of these games where the decision is magnified in the bullpen, we can circle back to other aspects of our game, whether it’s offense or otherwise, where the game shouldn’t even have been in those situations.”
Around the League
[Bleacher Report] Bryce Harper Leaves Game vs. Giants with Knee Injury - No word yet on the extent of the damage to Bryce Harper’s leg as of the time of this writing. He collapsed to the ground in the bottom of the 1st against the Giants after attempting to beat out a grounder to first. He had to be carried off of the field, and the video replay of the injury looked rather gruesome suggesting to me that there is more damage than just the knee. Although the Washington Nationals are firmly in control of the National League East race, their postseason outlook will be significantly impacted should he miss the rest of the season. Harper was having a resurgent season hitting .327/.420/.616 for a 162 wRC+ putting himself firmly in the midst of the MVP race again.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Brewers Acquire Neil Walker - The Brewers are clawing for a playoff berth as the Cubs and Cardinals have made both the NL Central and Wild Card races interesting in the recent weeks. Neil Walker has recently returned from the disabled list after a partial hamstring tear. The Brewers have struggled since the All Star break and will need immediate contributions from Walker if they want to play in October.
[CBS Sports] Giancarlo Stanton crushes 41st homer of the season - Thank you Giancarlo Stanton for taking down the Rockies and allowing the Diamondbacks into a tie for the first Wild Card. The Miami slugger now has 41 home runs on the season and 20(!) in his last 32 games. Stanton has a legitimate shot at being the first player to hit at least 60 dingers in a season since the Diamondbacks won the World Series.
[Sports Illustrated] 2017 MLB Ballpark Food Safety Rankings - Chase Field comes in at the 5th cleanest with Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles accounting for 15.9% of the violations. If the bacteria does not kill you, perhaps the extreme amount of calories will. Apparently the safest method is by serving grasshoppers, as Safeco Field comes in at first place. I still give the vendors an “F” in serving beer. Can I just pour it myself? Meanwhile, I do not think I would even so much as look at the concession stands in Tropicana Field.
[Sporting News] Former first lieutenant, Rowley wins debut MLB start - First Lieutenant Chris Rowley pitched 5 1/3 innings striking out 3 and only allowing 1 walk en route to a victory in his MLB debut. The article claims he is the first West Point graduate to play in the Major Leagues.
"That was really, really cool," Rowley said, per Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. "Having my family here to share it with me, walking off and all those people standing, that was something that was really special for me. I don't think anybody really expects to experience that in their life but it was pretty special."