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Snake Bytes 9/24: Close Enough to Taste

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Magic number down to 1.

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Miami Marlins v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Marlins 12, Diamondbacks 6

[D’backs.com] D-backs fall short in first chance to clinch WC - Home runs from Brandon Drury, Paul Goldschmidt, and J.D. Martinez were not enough to clinch a wild card spot for the Diamondbacks last night. Chris Iannetta, Taijuan Walker, and Adam Rosales were the only two starters who failed to reach base for Arizona. Giancarlo Stanton belted his 57th home run of the season. The first 10,000 fans through the gate received a t-shirt commemorating J.D. Martinez 4 HR game in Los Angeles.

"The Marlins played well," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "They've got a really good team. We played bad and made a few mistakes, and they took advantage of it. It's part of it. We'll come out and try to get a win tomorrow."

[Arizona Sports] D-backs’ loss to Miami puts playoff clinch on hold - Taijuan Walker continued to struggle in September after getting out of the first 2 innings rather quickly. Taijuan’s night was finished after 3 23 innings pitched. Final game score was 23 after he gave up 6 hits, 3 walks, 6 runs (3 earned), and struck out 6. He has likely pitched himself out of the postseason rotation with his past 2 starts should the Diamondbacks make it to the NLDS. Torey Lovullo used 8 pitchers by the time the game was finished.

“Not the kind of night you hope to see. I just think nothing was really clicking for us. Couple of good moments offensively. I think the three run home run by Paul got us right back into the game. A big home run by JD and Brandon Drury as well, but J.D. sets a club record for home runs in a month. It was a great moment for him and for this ball club. I just think we never got synced up with our guys on the mound today. I think defensively we had a couple of miscues that led to several unearned runs. I think we just need to tighten things up defensively, and if we did that today we would have been in a totally different situation.”

Diamondbacks News

[Fangraphs] What Numbers J.D. Martinez Looks At - It is always an interesting exercise to get a player’s insight and determine if said player is a “stat freak” or more traditional. It does not make much sense to me to completely ignore tools that are available that can possibly assist. So what does J.D. Martinez pay attention to in order to improve his play?

“I track my swings and misses in the zone,” he said. “I can deal with swing and miss out of the zone. If I’m swinging and missing in the zone, I don’t like that. That tells me something is wrong. It tells me that something is not right with my swing, I’m fouling balls off. If the ball’s in the strike zone, I should be able to hit it. There are certain situations, take a pitch, that’s fine. But when I swing and it’s a strike — especially on a fastball and I’m not hitting it — that’s not good.”

[D’backs.com] Martinez sets club record for HRs in 1 month - In April of 2001, Luis Gonzalez set the franchise record for most home runs in a single month with 13. Even though he has seen a substantial dip in his contact rate inside the strike zone since joining the Diamondbacks, possibly from seeing less breaking balls, he has destroyed the baseball at an alarming rate breaking Gonzo’s 16 year record with his 14th September home run last night. He deserves a hefty payday at the end of the season, and I am just glad we have been witness to his talent.

"You just laugh now," Paul Goldschmidt said. "He's been so good for us. He's really carried us since he came over here these last two months. He's been a huge part of this team, and it's just really, really impressive. It's fun to watch."

[MLB.com] Starter fatigue setting in as D-backs near clinch - A blip in the road that we have not had to see frequently this season. The Diamondbacks starting rotation, one of the best in the league this season, has not been particularly effective this past week. Could the grind of a long season be getting to some of them?

"I know things are a bit different as we wind down the season. Whether we treat guys differently or not will depend on how they feel." Lovullo said. "It certainly isn't going to change by my standards. What I'm setting out to do is to stay the exact same. Manage the same. Treat the guys the same. Have the same expectations. We've learned a lot, but it isn't going to change day by day.”

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks lawsuit over Chase Field costs county $450,000 in legal fees so far - Not much movement on the stadium lawsuit front, as Judge Karen Mullins has requested that both parties attend mediation just to agree to the rules of arbitration. Mullins ruled that the two sides needed to handle their differences in arbitration, but this news makes it clear that the initial agreement between the county and the team never clearly laid out the process should they have ever needed to go that far. The delays are costing both sides time and money, with comments from the county suggesting they really are not prepared to negotiate and the team seemingly set on getting out of Chase Field. We as fans can somewhat read between the lines and perhaps it becomes slightly clearer that the next professional baseball stadium in Arizona will likely need to be funded by the team or through private investors. Prepare for continued suppressed payrolls.

"We're talking about them wanting at least $60 million to be paid for repairs in the next year," said John Williams, a private attorney for the county. "It is not fair to (arbitrate so quickly) a matter of that magnitude, particularly not the magnitude of moving the team or allowing them to go somewhere else."

Around the League

[Sports Illustrated] Bruce Maxwell Finally Broke MLB's Silence, and Hopefully Others Will Follow - I choose Major League Baseball over the National Football League for many reasons, one of which being that the players in the game are fairly successful in policing themselves. It is not often that a baseball player does anything to stand apart from his teammates. I had reflected during the Anthem at one of the many games I have attended this season that no MLB player has strayed from the norm during the pregame tradition. After a contentious day on Twitter between President Donald Trump and athletes from various sports, Athletics rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell took a knee, while placing his hat over his heart, during the National Anthem. He is the first known Major League player not to stand during the song. Maxwell is the son of a U.S. Army veteran and was born in Germany during his father’s service. It is becoming increasingly more common for politics to bleed over into professional sports, and it appears that door has been cracked open in Major League Baseball by Maxwell.

“Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together.” - Official MLB statement

[CBS Sports] Putting an end to every argument against extending protective nets in MLB stadiums - The vast majority of fans in attendance at a professional baseball game do not have the athletic ability of an MLB player. If they did, they would be on the field not in the stands. It should be of little surprise that fans at a game, either too young to pay attention to play on the field, too intoxicated, or too distracted on a cell phone would be injured by a bat or screaming foul ball. Even at modest exit velocities with full attention towards the field of play rarely can a spectator protect his or herself in a split second. We do not practice catching 90+ MPH baseballs on a regular basis. I do not want to script a narrative of completely helpless fans in the stands, but it is time for all MLB teams to extend netting to the end of the dugout. In Saturday night’s contest, there were two hooking foul balls hit in my general direction in the first 2 innings alone. Nobody was hurt thankfully. Why not mitigate a risk that can be easily avoided?

[Japan Times] MLB takes aim at future stars with latest posting proposals - If reducing posting fees gives the Diamondbacks improved chances of signing an international player, then you can add me to the list of those who are in support of such changes. Ken Kendrick typically has little chance of signing an international player when a large posting fee is required because of seemingly self imposed salary constraints. Significantly reducing those fees does not make Arizona any more desirable for an international player to sign, but it at least gives the Diamondbacks a chance to enter the conversation.

The proposals, leaked by Yomiuri Giants owner Shoichi Oikawa, on Sept. 13 called for posting fees to be fixed at 15 percent of a player’s signing fee and contract, including incentives. Currently each player’s “posting fee” is set by his NPB team up to $20 million, but MLB wants to replace it with one where the NPB club has no say in the matter of its posting fee and teams posting high-value youngsters — like Otani — get next to nothing. According to Oikawa, there are two proposals. Proposal A sets the transfer fee at a flat 15 percent, while Proposal B sets it at 15 percent up to a total payout of $100 million, with a $20-million fee if the player’s contract value exceeds $100 million.