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Snake Bytes 4/3: Diamondbacks After Dark

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Thank you to everyone who stuck it out last night/this morning in the trenches.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 8

Look here dudes and gals. It is currently 12:56 AM and the recaps are currently being drafted. Meaning they do not even exist for me to link yet. This game was long. We are talking historically long, so I am calling it a night because I have to get some sleep before work.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock drew consecutive walks off of Kenley Jansen ahead of Chris Owings. Down 6-3 at the time, Owings sent a pitch to souvenir city for 3 runs to really get the game going for roughly another two and a half hours. The Dodgers would take the lead in the top of the 15th, but the 2018 version of the Never Say Die-mondbacks made their first appearance of the season. Nick Ahmed drove in Jake Lamb to tie the game yet again. With only catchers left on the bench, Jeff Mathis was in to pinch hit for Fernando Salas with the game on the line. Had he not drove in Ahmed to win the game, it would have been Mathis’ turn to pinch hit in the top of the 16th.

Diamondbacks News

[D’backs.com] D-backs acquire righty Crichton, outright Tomas - As expected, Yasmany Tomas went unclaimed by all 29 other teams and accepted his assignment to AAA Reno. Shortly after clearing his 40 man roster sport the Diamondbacks filled it by acquiring Stefan Crichton from the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named later or cash. Crichton was sent to AAA Reno himself and will serve as bullpen depth.

“He’s got a little power in his fastball -- mid 90s, got a little bit of a different look, a little lower [arm] slot,” D-backs GM Mike Hazen said of Crichton. “He’s got a good breaking ball. We’ve evaluated him for a while, and we like the contrast in styles and think he fits in depth-wise with what we’re trying to do.”

[Arizona Sports] For the D-backs, the ‘bad taste’ remains in the form of the Dodgers - It is not lost on the Diamondbacks that they finished a distant second place to the Dodgers in the National League West last season. The 3-0 sweep in the National League Division Series at the hands of the Dodgers symbolized the sizable gap the Diamondbacks will attempt to close on that rival this season. Arizona played them well and won the regular season series, but the end goal is reaching, and ultimately winning, the World Series.

“The Dodgers are the Dodgers. They’re the defending National League champions. They were close to winning a World Series. We know what that team looks like and we want to get to that place, too,” Lovullo said. “We can use (the series) as a marker to see where we’re at and gage where we’re at, but the season is so long I think we’re going to focus on us, take care of our business today, tomorrow and always and see where that lands us at the end of the season.”

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed working to shed ‘light-hitting’ label - Nick Ahmed was given every opportunity to win the starting shortstop job out of Spring Training. He is the best defensive option out of those who were competing with him, Ketel Marte and Chris Owings, but there were concerns that his bat could not play nearly every day. (And as I am typing this, Nick Ahmed has just doubled home Jake Lamb in the bottom of the 15th inning to once again tie this game). In a remarkably small sample size of four games, he has demonstrated a conscious effort to bring an improved approach to the plate. If Ahmed is able to produce even league average results at the plate for his position, he will bring significant surplus value to the team given his defensive prowess.

“I know what I’m trying to do now,” he said before Monday’s series opener against the Dodgers. “I’m not just going up there aimlessly, without a plan, or toggling back and forth between two different types of plans at the plate. I’m confident when I’m going up there.”

Around the League

[MLB Trade Rumors] Stephen Drew To Retire - Stephen Drew, the all time leader in starts at shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks, has announced his retirement at 35 years old after a 12 year Major League career. He checked in at #17 during the AZ Snake Pit top 50 countdown in the offseason. His best years in his career by far were spent in Arizona where he played from 2006 until his eventual trade to the Oakland Athletics in 2012. Arizona selected Drew 15th overall in the 2004 draft, and he is still the franchise leader in triples with 52. I have yet to erase the image of him breaking his ankle while sliding into home plate in 2011 from my memory.

[Yahoo Sports] Phillies to receive warning from MLB after Gabe Kapler’s bullpen mistake - Major League Baseball has issued a warning to Philadelphia Phillies’ rookie manager Gabe Kapler after bringing out Iet Milner from the bullpen in relief prior to him throwing a single warmup pitch. Umpire Jerry Layne allowed Milner to warmup on the mound prior to restarting the inning, but stated after the game that he would be reviewing the issue with the league.

[Washington Post] The Orioles and Twins broke a litany of MLB’s unwritten rules in just one inning - Minnesota Twins’ starting pitcher Jose Berrios was two outs away from a one hit shutout against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. With Chance Sisco at the plate, a left handed hitter, the Twins decided to go with a defensive shift. Much to the Twins’ surprise, Sisco decided to place a perfect bunt down the third base side absent a defender. Twins players had no shortage of remarks regarding that decision after the game essentially claiming that one of baseball’s unwritten rules had been broken. So which team is in the wrong here? Did the Twins have more of a right to attempt to win the baseball game and use a defensive shift against a left hander already up 5-0? Should Chance Sisco stand at the plate in that situation and just take his out? Are we making a mountain out of a mole hill?

“I could’ve said something, but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there, with Chris Davis, Adam Jones and those guys,” Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. “I’m sure they’ll address it and move forward.”