This much contrast on the road trip makes it feel like an art class I would much rather sleep through. After carving through one of the best offenses in the league, the Houston Astros, on Monday, Zack Greinke looked fairly pedestrian against the Minnesota Twins. The Diamondbacks are now 7-11 in the month of August and have surrendered a substantial amount of ground in the wild card race. T.J. McFarland (4-4, 4.14 ERA) and bullpen friends will look to salvage this series against Bartolo Colon (4-10, 6.70 ERA).
Twins 5, Diamondbacks 0
[D’backs.com] Greinke's rough start leads to roster moves - Zack Greinke has been a losing streak stopper for most of the season. That was the expectation last night, but he fell well short of accomplishing that goal. His start was sandwiched by a 30 pitch inning in the 1st, and his night ended on a 30+ pitch inning in the 4th. The wheels completely came off that inning when he walked in the Twins first run of the game. They would score five times that inning which would be more than enough against the struggling Diamondbacks. Greinke would leave the game after only 4 innings pitched allowing 7 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts for a game score of 31.
"The Twins did a good job laying off some quality pitches just off the edges of the plate," Lovullo said. "Those are things I get little snapshots of. I haven't had a chance to review the game. I think, all in all, he got wore down by a pretty good offensive approach."
[Arizona Sports] Greinke, D-backs bats stymied in shutout loss to Twins - The Diamondbacks offense was perhaps the most miserable aspect of this game mustering only a walk from Jake Lamb, and one double each from Brandon Drury and A.J. Pollock. Arizona has not scored a run since the 2nd inning of the first game in the series, a span of 16 innings.
[ESPN] Torey Lovullo Discusses His Mentors, Playoff Chase - Torey Lovullo and Mike Hazen hardly had any experience with Paul Goldschmidt when they were in Boston. Certainly, they were aware of his talent from a distance due to All Star Game appearances or MVP votes, but now Lovullo witnesses his greatness on a daily basis as he manages the star first baseman. Lovullo also discusses each of the managers he has played for or coached under, and how they influenced how he runs his team for better or worse.
“As a player myself I knew that I felt like at times I didn’t have a lot of expression and have the ability to say what’s on my mind and I felt like I couldn’t go out there to perform if I didn’t have an empty mind or if I had a frustrating angle to something that could have happened so that’s why I always told myself that no matter the circumstances that I was going to allow these players to have their feelings and express their feelings.” - Torey Lovullo
[D’backs.com] Feeling 'great,' Ray to face Mets on Thursday - Robbie Ray’s first start back since being struck in the head by a comeback line drive in St. Louis will be Thursday in New York against the Mets. Ray unfairly destroyed inferior hitters in a rehab start for Class A Visalia as he struck out 11 batters in 4 2⁄3 innings. Ray will be a key component during the stretch run.
"Honestly it looked a lot worse than it was," Ray said. "I never really felt that bad, never had too many symptoms, which was a blessing. Where it hit me, no fracture, no bleeding, so just throughout that whole process, it was kind of amazing that nothing worse came out of it. I feel great and just looking forward to going back out there and doing my job."
[Inside the ‘Zona] Lineout: J.D. Martinez Is Making Them Count - The acquisition of J.D. Martinez was supposed to make the Arizona lineup much deeper. The only problem is that a majority of the offense, including J.D. Martinez, has take a significant step back from first half production. Just getting men on base would be an accomplishment at this point. His August wRC+ of 117 is a drop from his 153 figure in July.
[AZ Central] August acquisitions not likely for Diamondbacks - No sign of panic yet from Mike Hazen and staff. Some positive regression to the mean would be much appreciated at this time. The Diamondbacks will likely have to use the staff on hand for the stretch run as it appears a waiver deadline is not likely. Arizona will have to find that early season success again and ride it into the postseason.
“I think that there’s that general feeling within the clubhouse that we need to play more consistently from a win-loss standpoint,” Hazen said. “It’s not effort at all. It’s stringing things together a little bit better.’
Around the League
[CBS Sports] MLB umpires to wear wristbands in protest of 'escalating verbal attacks' from players - Make no mistake about it the vast majority of us could not do a Major League umpire’s job. Regardless, it is their job for a reason, and they are expected to be the best in the business. These umpires need to realize that there are others waiting in the minor leagues eager to take their jobs. The umpires hold fault in this conflict for failing to maintain professionalism. Under no circumstance should an umpire stare a player down or walk towards a dugout to escalate a situation and show a player up. It changes the outcome of the game. The argument that the technology for an electronic strike zone does not exist in any form is a sad excuse. If Rob Manfred is eager to change the game for future advancement, he should invest in the technology if he feels it is not currently there.
"I really don't think too deeply into it. I hope they wear the white wristbands for the rest of their careers. I don't care. I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, that's their problem.” - Ian Kinsler
"To act like Ian Kinsler just got fined. It's the biggest fine I've ever seen Major League Baseball give a player," Ausmus said Saturday. "So I don't want to hear -- I don't want them to minimize -- that he's not being punished. I'm not going to put a number on it. It's the biggest I've ever seen."- Brad Ausmus
"The Office of the Commissioner has failed to address this and other escalating attacks on umpires," the WUA said Saturday. "The player who denigrated Hernandez publicly said he thought he would be suspended. Instead [he] got far more lenient treatment -- a fine. He shrugged that off and told reporters he has 'no regrets' about his offensive statements calling for an end to Hernandez's career.
[Sports Illustrated] A Game of Inches: Picking the Best Major League Player at Every Height - Surely Paul Goldschmidt cannot be overshadowed in an arbitrary ranking system, right? Max Scherzer steps above Goldy for players listed at the height of 6’3”. No worries, the Diamondbacks had perhaps the best of the biggest in history in the form of Randy Johnson.
[Sporting News] Aaron Judge breaks MLB record for consecutive games with a strikeout - Somewhat surprised to see the Mark Reynolds was not in the top five on this list. Chris Sale has already picked up some strikeout history himself this season, so it was only fitting that he was responsible for striking out the Evil Empire slugger.