Yesterday was an emotional roller coaster for me. The annoying variety that you just cannot wait to end. I was initially excited to be attending the game with the Brute Squad. Those guys are infinitely more entertaining than I could ever be. That was until someone decided it would be a good idea to rear end me at a good clip while exiting the I-10. That’s bad. After educating an Arizona DPS officer on insurance coverage concerns, and why it was necessary for me to collect certain information, I was on my way. I feel like if you’re attending a game with the Brute Squad you have to do something to demonstrate your machismo.
I met up with the guys and gals at Game 7 and was witness to some highly entertaining videos filmed by the Brute Squad. Be sure to check those out on Facebook. The game was frustrating to say the least, more on that to follow, and did nothing to uplift my spirits. Afterwards it was back to Game 7 where the cover photo with Marlins Man was taken. He was extremely nice about it because I was originally grabbing a picture while his back was turned obliging another passerby. When he noticed what I was doing, he asked me to take the picture again while he was prepared which was unexpected and much appreciated by me. To finish it all off, two kind women felt that it was reasonable to buy me a drink. I guess they could tell I had been through a lot. Yesterday was weird. Enough about my day let’s get to the real reason you are all here.
Nationals 2, Diamondbacks 1
[D’backs.com] Missed opportunities cost D-backs in loss - Praise is in order for Allen Lorenz Pollock, otherwise known as A.J., for driving in the Diamondbacks’ only run of the game. Paul Goldschmidt walked with two outs in the 3rd, and was driven in by a double from Pollock. Arizona missed yet another golden opportunity to bust a game open early. Stephen Strasburg loaded the bases in the 1st after recording only a single out, but a fly out from Steven Souza Jr. and Ketel Marte strikeout killed the rally before it had a chance to get off the ground. As is tradition. Souza earned his first career ejection in the 8th for slinging his bat down to third base after a called third strike to end the inning.
“I really pride myself on not crossing the line with umpires,” Souza said. “I’ve never cursed at an umpire, I’ve never disrespected an umpire and if I’ve ever gotten too close I’ve always walked away because I know how hard the job is. I think what bothers me the most is that this game really felt on my shoulders. I really take full responsibility. The first inning I had the bases loaded, I think my second at-bat I had a runner on second, A.J. had driven in a run and then I had another opportunity and just couldn’t come through. I’m going to be better. I can tell you I’m going to keep working as hard as I can to turn it around because A.J. is doing a heck of a job and he can’t keep doing all of it alone.”
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks finally lose first series of the season - Troy Scribner was acceptable in his spot start, but that’s mostly because #NotKrisMedlen. He needed 98 pitches to complete 3 2⁄3 innings giving up 2 earned runs, 6 walks, on 4 strikeouts. T.J. McFarland pitched in relief and was solid as he has been all season with another 3 scoreless innings. Jorge De La Rosa, Yoshihisa Hirano, and Andrew Chafin all denied the Nationals a baserunner, so blame is most appropriately placed on the offense for this loss.
“A little frustrating,” Scribner said when asked to evaluate his performance. “I know that I can do better than that. I expect to do better than that. I’ve got some work to do until the next time.”
[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks drop first series of season as losing streak hits four - Defense was rock solid in this contest not that it should surprise anyone. Arizona threw out two Nationals at home plate in the game. Pedro Severino botched a safety squeeze bunting directly to McFarland who tossed it home beating Howie Kendrick to the plate. In the 6th inning, Nick Ahmed fielded a grounder from Anthony Rendon and made a clean throw home to beat the speedster Trea Turner.
“It’s been a theme, there’s no doubt about it,” manager Torey Lovullo said, referring to the team’s recent lack of offense. “Sometimes good pitching can shut you down the way it has. We have a very offensive team that’s loaded with potential to just explode at any time, and we’ll wait for that moment to happen.”
[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks’ Jake Lamb to begin minor league rehab assignment - This far into the season I wonder if I would suffocate faster holding my breath waiting for Jake Lamb to successfully return to the team healthy or for Paul Goldschmidt to break out of his funk. First, Lamb had elbow tendinitis while rehabbing his AC joint injury. He then appeared to be close to returning before his shoulder flared up again and he had to be shut down after receiving a cortisone shot. Lamb will finally begin a minor league rehab assignment on Sunday, and an anemic Arizona offense could definitely use his bat in the lineup.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks announce expanded return of popular Summer Pass ticket program at Chase Field - You all can thank me in the comments section. The Diamondbacks have announced the return and expansion of their successful Summer Pass. This season fans will have access to 40 games for the price of $80. For anyone who can last the marathon of 40 games, that would result in $2 tickets per game. The Summer Pass goes on sale Monday at 9:00 A.M.
“We saw that there was high demand for this because of the success of the program. We wanted to figure out a way, not only to bring it back, but to improve it and increase the number of games that we offered. And that was really the thought here. We heard such good feedback from the fans that purchased the Summer Pass last year.”
We were obviously thrilled with the results of the summer pass and are looking at ways to build upon the program for the 2018 season and future years. We are not ready to announce yet, but will as soon as we determine that it is appropriate for another year. #DHallChat https://t.co/eN8rjtF1pZ— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) December 14, 2017
[The Athletic] ‘Just tell them that I suck’: Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt addresses his struggles at the plate - This slump from Paul Goldschmidt is one of the worst we have seen in his career, and he has a heightened awareness of the impact it has on his team. His 30.7% K rate, 23% soft contact rate, and 75% contact rate with pitches inside the strike zone are all among the worst in his career. But you didn’t need numbers to tell you that. You can see it in all of his at bats lately. Something has to give and hopefully soon.
“I feel bad that my lack of production wears on other guys on this team and wears on the manager and he has to deal with it,” Goldschmidt said. “It’s one thing if I’ve got to deal with not going out there and performing. I can do that. But when it affects our team and affects other guys, that stinks.”
Around the League
[The Washington Post] Cubs’ Ben Zobrist, Indians’ Mike Clevinger in trouble with MLB’s fun police over footwear - Wait a second here. Do you all remember that Zack Godley start at Chase Field earlier this season? Brenly and Bert made it a point that he had inexplicably changed cleats mid-game from his all black P.F. Flyers to red and black New Balance. They chalked it up to a likely comfort issue. Turns out the league may have actually had something to do with that. Specifically, a player’s shoes must be at least 51% of his team’s primary color. Although the Diamondbacks occasionally wear black, their primary color is not black. And how do you even measure 51% on a shoe anyways? Paging shoewizard. This is all speculation on my part, but the league is clearly cracking down. Ben Zobrist and Mike Clevinger have taken to social media with their letters from the league. I’d venture to say Godley received one as well. Read the language in the letter Zobrist posted. The league states that the Players’ Union collectively bargained for this. While that is absolutely true, it is interesting that the league would throw enforcement blame back towards the players. That probably has nothing to do with increasing animosity between the two sides.
[Sporting News] Padres designate 3B Chase Headley for assignment - The San Diego Padres only have so much room on their MLB roster for AAA players. They actually tried to shop Chase Headley on the trade market this offseason after reacquiring him from the Yankees, but there was unsurprisingly no trade partners. Headley is far removed from his successful 2012 season with San Diego and is making $13 million in the final year of his contract this season.