[D’backs.com] D-backs power to 11th straight win over LA - Taijuan Walker was removed from the game with tightness in his right forearm after completing the 2nd inning on Saturday. Even more concerning was that his velocity had dropped from the 1st to 2nd inning, but he said after the game that he dialed it back to prevent a significant injury. T.J. McFarland was called upon in emergency, as he was last season when Robbie Ray went down, and shut the Dodgers down with four scoreless relief innings. The Diamondbacks have now won five straight series to begin the season for the first time in franchise history, and have won their last eleven regular season games against Los Angeles.
“I know the Dodgers are an incredible franchise and they’re on a great run,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “This is a powerful organization. The fact that we’re doing that means we’re doing something very special. I’m very proud of that.”
[Arizona Sports] Goldschmidt continues hot pace as D-backs extend win streak over LA - Just as the sun rises each morning, so does Paul Goldschmidt continue to exhibit greatness on the field. Goldy turned in a 3-for-4 performance last night, his first 3 hit game since August 4th of last season. Paul hit a monster two run shot down the left field line off of Dodger lefty Rich Hill which came off of his bat at 112.9 mph, the fastest recorded to date for Goldy by Statcast. The Diamondbacks would follow that with three additional home runs, two from A.J. Pollock, and a two run single that also cleared the wall of the bat of Deven Marrero. Marrero’s hit was originally called a home run, but confusion on the basepath resulted in Marrero passing Alex Avila, the runner on first, and so Marrero was ruled out after a Dodger challenge.
“When I picked my head up, there was some space between the two of them, and I thought that, based on what I heard from the replay guys,” Lovullo said. “They said there was enough space in there, but there was one angle they were a little uncomfortable with. It’s the first time I’ve seen something like that. Luckily it didn’t impact the game. I felt terrible for Deven. It was his first NL home run.”
[D’backs.com] D-backs put righty Walker on 10-day DL - Let the replacement starts begin. Taijuan Walker has been placed on the 10 day disabled list, and Silvino Bracho has been called up, temporarily, to provide bullpen depth. With off days tomorrow and Monday the 23rd, the Diamondbacks could get by without the need to bring up a starter from Reno until the following road trip if they decided to go that route. Walker did not seem terribly concerned about the tightness felt in his right forearm following Saturday’s contest, but it is some cause for concern because Shelby Miller had the same symptom last season before eventually requiring Tommy John Surgery.
[The Athletic] To a fault: The Diamondbacks keep stepping up, even to take the blame - Loyal fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks, as I am sure many of you are, can see the cohesion among the players and coaching staff on the current team. Most of the core of this team has been playing together since the minors, with a handful of changes around the edges. They stand up for each other and refuse to let one teammate take all of the heat, and that was on display last night when first base coach Dave McKay interrupted Alex Avila’s postgame interview. Avila was speaking to reporters about the baserunning gaffe which converted Deven Marrero’s three run home run into a two run single. Alex had called it one of the most embarrassing things he has ever done, but McKay made it known that it was his own assignment to coordinate the two runners.
“I’ve got to stop the baserunner from running past him,” McKay said. “He’s probably going to take the blame for it, but that’s my fault. My fault. The coach’s fault. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years, I’ve stopped a thousand of them and just got caught up [this time].”
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks’ Brad Boxberger recording saves in anti-Fernando Rodney fashion - It has been mentioned a few times here on the Pit that Brad Boxberger has a calm, focused demeanor about him when he comes in for the 9th inning save. It is an admirable trait to have considering the high stress nature of the role. Brad comes into the game and completes his assignment rather quickly without much theatrics.
Said Bradley: “He’s calm, he’s cool. He’s almost boring and anticlimactic. But he gets the job done and that’s all we care about.”
Around the League
[Sports Illustrated] Cubs Rally From Eight Runs Down, Stun Braves With Nine-Run Eighth Inning - In the midst of 38 degree weather, the Atlanta Braves held a sizeable lead over the Chicago Cubs for most of the game. The score was already 10-2 in favor of Atlanta by the 4th inning, and nobody would have blamed the Chicago faithful for leaving Wrigley at that point to save themselves from inevitable pneumonia at the hands of a loss. But then some baseball happened, as it always seems to do, and the Cubs scored 6 unanswered runs from the 6th inning on to win by a final score of 14 to 10.
[The Japan Times] Shohei Ohtani’s electrifying start to MLB career making waves in Japan - Japan has long been loyal to its natives who make the transition to play Major League Baseball. That excitement tempered just a little from the height of Ichiro’s career, but Shohei Ohtani, currently a two way athlete on the mound and at the plate, has the Japanese media buzzing over his endeavors.
[Cut4] Sunday is Jackie Robinson Day and here’s how players are celebrating - Today is Jackie Robinson Day, and players will don his uniform #42 in honor of his legacy. Let us never forget the man who was brave enough to defy cultural ignorance and shatter barriers for those who followed in his footsteps.
[CBS Sports] MLB’s biggest problem is not pace of play, and it’s only getting worse in 2018 - The strikeout rate in MLB has not declined since 2005. If current trends continue, one out of every three plate appearances will end in either a walk or strikeout within the next few seasons. More baseballs put into play does not necessarily come with an increase in time of game, which has been one of Rob Manfred’s top priorities. Some of the root causes for this change are a result of hitters accepting a strikeout in exchange for increased power, and an emphasis on plate discipline to improve on base percentage.