The Diamondbacks have seen their winning ways come to a temporary halt at the hands of the buzzsaw that is the San Diego Padres. Inexplicably, Archie Bradley only faced 1 batter and threw 3 pitches while the impressive rookie Jimmie Sherfy watched his relief mates implode on the mound from the bullpen. With a 3 run lead, Lovullo’s leash with closer Fernando Rodney was entirely too long as it soon evaporated in the Arizona desert. Robbie Ray (12-5, 2.80 ERA) will look to salvage a single win in the series against Luis Perdomo (7-9, 4.62 ERA).
Padres 8, Diamondbacks 7
[D’backs.com] D-backs lose second straight after leading 6-0 - The Padres accomplished on Saturday night what the Diamondbacks could not on Friday evening by mounting a late game comeback to victory. Andrew Chafin and Fernando Rodney were responsible for the end of the game meltdown allowing San Diego to score 6 runs in the 9th to take the lead. Even more agonizing was the fact that Archie Bradley faced 1 batter in the 8th throwing 3 pitches for 3 strikes. I understand that it is impossible for a closer to be lights out every time out, and that Rodney has succeeded more times than not this season, but it is difficult to argue that Bradley would not be a better choice than him with the game on the line. All of this spoiled an effective start by Zack Godley who pitched 7 innings allowing 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 0 walks and 9 strikeouts.
[Arizona Sports] D-backs implode in ninth, waste dominant Godley outing - The offense also held up their end of the bargain scoring 6 runs by the end of the 6th inning. Five Diamondbacks had a multi-hit game with J.D. Martinez leading the way with 4 hits. Paul Goldschmidt returned to the lineup for the first time in a week and went 1-5 wearing a compression sleeve on his right arm. David Peralta drove in 3 runs batting leadoff, but both A.J. Pollock and Jake Lamb went hitless. Chris Iannetta and Martinez were both thrown out at second trying to leg a single into a double.
[St. Louis Post Dispatch] Looks as if La Russa is headed back to the playoffs - Tony La Russa is the only Special Assistant to Derrick Hall that is not labeled as such. Does anyone know what his role he has actually played with the team this season? This is an honest question as the only time I have seen him was in the first week of Spring Training. I give credit to him for not wanting to walk away from the game after the disaster that was the 2016 season. As the saying goes, he has forgotten more baseball than I have learned and knows how important it is for the Diamondbacks to not lose focus in the final 20 games of the season. In the interview, La Russa criticized the complaints of the 1 game wild card play in saying that all teams should be playing each playoff game as if it was a 1 game play in. Tony also had some interesting comments on which pitcher the Diamondbacks should use for the 1 game play in.
“I’m not giving my opinion to anybody,” he said of trying to influence Diamondbacks officials. “If I’m asked, then I’ll give it. If you have a situation where you have a clear No. 1 and he pitches the play-in game, then your chances of getting by the best-of-five (division series) are not very good. “I won’t be part of the decision. Between Torey, the pitching coach (Mike Butcher) and (bench coach Ron) Gardenhire, they’ll figure out what’s the best thing to do. I don’t think it’s as big an issue with our club. But, since you asked the question, I probably would hold the ‘big guy’ and take a chance with somebody else.”
[Arizona Sports] D-backs shut down Randall Delgado, make more September call-ups - It appears that the Diamondbacks are likely to be without Randall Delgado for the stretch run which is depressing news after last night’s bullpen meltdown. He reported feeling stiffness in his throwing arm elbow after a recent rehab start, and will have his MRI sent to Dr. James Andrews which is typically not a good sign. Additionally, the postseason races continue to be tainted with September roster expansion as the team added Anthony Banda, Illdermo Vargas, and Jeremy Hazelbaker.
[Fanrag] Lovullo has created winning culture with D-backs - Torey Lovullo still has some growing to do as a manager, but he has done an admirable job in his first full year at the helm. We tend to focus on the minute details and numbers here quite a bit at the Pit and can sometimes overlook the psychological impact in the clubhouse. The body language among the players this season is entirely different from the past few seasons. It is impossible to quantify what changes Lovullo is responsible for among his players, but plenty of them have commented on the quality of his daily interactions. He has a great mentor to learn from in the form of bench coach Ron Gardenhire.
“Lovullo is much more laid back and relaxed,” said another Diamondbacks-connected person. “He doesn’t micromanage at all. Communicates a lot, but doesn’t tell you what to do, more gauges your thoughts and feelings. Essentially, he lets players be themselves.”
Around the League
[Sporting News] Brewers thinking sweep after demolition of Cubs - With roughly 20 games left to play, most of the playoff races and positioning have become significantly more dramatic. I touched on the subject in my 4th quarter piece that the Cardinals, Brewers, and Cubs all had to play each other quite a bit in September which could result in two of those teams playing themselves completely out of October. The Cubs are at risk of being swept by their division rival Brewers. That would put Milwaukee within 2 games of the National League Central lead, and St. Louis would be just as close should they win too. The Brewers will have to do so without their young ace Jimmy Nelson who strained the rotator cuff in his pitching shoulder. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians historic run has now tied them with the Astros for the best record in the American League. Maintaining that momentum would give them home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. 8 teams continue to battle it out for the AL Wild Card with only 7 games separating the leading Yankees and the Rays who are currently the furthest out.
[CBS Sports] Josh Abreu triples to complete the sixth cycle in White Sox history - Aaron Hill is not impressed. Jose Abreu’s cycle was the first for the White Sox since Jose Valentin accomplished the feat in the 2000 season. Can he hit 4 home runs in a game though? The Arizona Diamondbacks have hit for the cycle 6 times in their brief history.
[ESPN] Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton hits HR No. 54 against Braves - Number 54 was Giancarlo Stanton’s first home run and only his 2nd hit since September 4th. Perhaps he took the week off without Paul Goldschmidt on his heels for the NL MVP with Goldy on the bench.
[Sports on Earth] Epic Winning Streaks In MLB History - The Yankees appear on this list entirely too many times. Since 1936, only 10 other teams besides the Cleveland Indians have had winning streaks of 15 games or more. The Evil Empire has 3 such streaks. Who would have thought the lowly Padres would have prevented the Diamondbacks from joining that segment of history?