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Snake Bytes 5/21: Woes

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The Arizona Diamondbacks have gone from one extreme to the other in a span of two months.

Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Going to forgo individual commentary in this one as game time is around the corner...

Mets 5, Diamondbacks 4

[D’backs.com] Slumping D-backs lose late lead, fall to Mets - None of the nine losses the D-backs have experienced over the past 10 games have been pleasant, but Saturday night’s 5-4 defeat at the hands at the Mets at Citi Field was particularly bad because of how it transpired. The offense had shown signs of life in building a 4-2 lead through seven innings, and with setup man Archie Bradley starting the eighth and closer Brad Boxberger set for the ninth, things looked good. And then in the blink of an eye, things turned. Jay Bruce led off the eighth with a single, Devin Mesoraco followed with a two-run homer and suddenly the Mets had tied the game -- and they would go on to win in the ninth. Two appearances ago, Bradley gave up a tiebreaking two-run homer. That one was by the NationalsMark Reynolds.

[Arizona Sports] Mets beat D-backs in fog for 1st back-to-back wins in month - Devin Mesoraco hit a tying, two-run homer through Citi Field’s murky fog in the eighth inning, Wilmer Flores hit a game-ending sacrifice fly in the ninth and the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 Saturday night to win consecutive games for the first time in a month. John Ryan Murphy hit a two-run homer and tied his career high with three RBIs, helping Arizona open a 4-2 lead. But Archie Bradley entered in the eighth and blew the lead in just three pitches, allowing a leadoff single to Jay Bruce and Mesoraco’s third home run in 21 at-bats since the Mets acquired him from Cincinnati on May 8 for former ace Matt Harvey.

[AZ Central] Mets rally late as Diamondbacks’ free fall continues - The loss was the Diamondbacks’ third in a row, their ninth out of their past 10 games and their 12th in 16. They continued to look on as the cushion they built with their incredible start has all but vanished, their lead atop the National League West sitting at a half-game. In a quiet clubhouse after the game, Bradley ran through his inning and took stock of the room. He called it a loss that hurt more than most, given the position the Diamondbacks were in late, given the way the club has struggled in recent weeks.

[The Athletic] The Diamondbacks have dropped 9 of 10, but ‘no one’s panicking - “I’ve seen guys freak out. I’ve seen guys throw stuff. Things like that,” said reliever Archie Bradley, who gave up a game-tying home run in the eighth. “That really hasn’t been the case here. We all understand we have a really good team. We have really good players. We have a great coaching staff. Everything we’re doing is the same thing we were doing when we were winning games. We’re just not executing in those big situations like we were before, tonight being a perfect example.”

Diamondbacks News

[D’backs.com] Souza has strained pectoral, but no DL yet - “We had an MRI this morning, obviously there’s a little bit of a strain in there,” Souza said. “Nothing like it was back in March, but there’s something in there and we’re just day to day right now.” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said he would not know until just before game time whether Souza would be available to pinch-hit. Lovullo assured the front office that if Souza were not able to pinch-hit, that he was comfortable essentially playing a man down until Monday. That’s when the MRI films will have made their way back to Phoenix and been read by team physician Gary Waslewski, who will give the organization a better idea on a course of action.

[AZ Central] Arizona Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin taking steps to recover lost velocity - In hopes of getting his velocity back to its early-season levels, the Diamondbacks have twice had left-hander Patrick Corbin skip his between-starts bullpen session. Corbin showed a slight uptick in his most recent start, and the Diamondbacks are hoping it will continue to trend in the right direction against the Mets on Saturday night. “I’ve done this with him before in the past where he had maybe a little dip in velocity and we backed off his bullpens, and it seems like it’s worked in the past,” pitching coach Mike Butcher said. “So we’re going to back to the same thing we did before.”

[The Athletic] A glimmer of offensive hope for the Diamondbacks: Ketel Marte is hitting the ball hard again - [Marte had] been hitting mostly second in the absence of Jake Lamb and Steven Souza Jr., but he hadn’t been hitting. In his first 23 games of the season, 20 of them in the two-hole, he was batting just .232 with a .617 OPS. Marte looked little like the guy who had provided such a lift midway through the 2017 season, and Lovullo wanted to take the pressure off. He told Marte he would be hitting sixth going forward, and Marte accepted it without question. But a drop in the lineup wasn’t going to fix Marte by itself. There were significant issues with Marte’s swing – or swings, since the 24-year-old switch-hits – that needed correction.

[Fangraphs] Diamondbacks Get Permission for New Stadium - On the surface, it seems like a reasonable deal: the Diamondbacks get to look for a new park, and the County doesn’t have to pay millions for repairs on top of the $250 million it paid to build the park. But the question then is who will pay for the new stadium, because so far, nobody seems to want that dubious honor. The Diamondbacks were just 20th in attendance last year, but there’s no guarantee a new ballpark would fix that problem. So far, for example, the Braves have struggled to fill SunTrust Park, although attendance has risen somewhat since they left Turner Field. Still, Atlanta ranks just 12th of 15 National League teams in attendance this year. A new ballpark isn’t a panacea for attendance problems. Further, Maricopa County has already said that it won’t pay for a new ballpark for the team, which could cost over a billion dollars even though it’s expected to be smaller.

[MLB Trade Rumors] Diamondbacks Select Clay Buchholz - Arizona has officially selected Buchholz’s contract. To create space for him, the team transferred righty Randall Delgado to the 60-day DL with a strained left oblique and optioned fellow righty Jimmie Sherfy to Triple-A.

[CBS Sports] It is time to worry about Paul Goldschmidt and Anthony Rizzo struggling, but are these cold starts or a ‘lost’ season? - At first glance, Goldy’s BABIP doesn’t look askew at .295, but his career mark is .352 because he crushes baseballs. Herein lies the issue so far this year. Unlike Rizzo, Goldschmidt isn’t really hitting the ball as hard as he has in the past. It’s evident to the eye test and the numbers bear it out. His hard hit percentage is down a tick (41.4 percent compared to 44.3 percent in 2017), but it’s the soft hit percentage that is alarming (21.2 percent compared to 11.3 percent last season). Over 1/5 of the balls he touches are hit softly. Oh, and he’s striking out a lot more, too, at a 30.1 percent clip compared to a career rate of 22.4 percent. He’s on pace for 207 strikeouts and his previous career high is 151.

Around the League

[MLB Trade Rumors] Braves Release Jose Bautista - Although Bautista did display some of his signature power (two home runs, .200 ISO) as a Brave and post a respectable 12.5 percent walk rate, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever receive another big league opportunity. Not only has Bautista’s once-great offensive game fallen off a cliff since the end of the 2016 campaign, but he no longer seems capable of providing any value in the field or on the bases. Nevertheless, Bautista isn’t ready to retire, according to Anthopoulos, who added that the Braves would welcome him back at the Triple-A level if he’s interested in returning to Gwinnett.

[Sports Illustrated] Nationals’ Howie Kendrick Out for Season With Torn Achilles - Veteran Washington Nationals infielder-outfielder Howie Kendrick tore his right Achilles tendon in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers and will miss the rest of the season. Kendrick confirmed the injury while standing on crutches and wearing a walking boot in the Nationals’ clubhouse after Washington was swept in the doubleheader. He will have surgery as early as Monday. “I know I won’t be back this year,” Kendrick said.

[NESN] Red Sox’s Mookie Betts Leads MLB In Absurd Amount Of Stat Categories -