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Snake Bytes 5/22: Free Falling

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This is not fun right now.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Brewers 4, Diamondbacks 2

[D’backs.com] Greinke can’t contain Crew as D-backs fall - The Arizona Diamondbacks have been removed from at least a tie of first place in the National League West for the first time since the beginning of the season. Zack Greinke was not particularly terrible in the loss, although he did surrender three home runs, but once again the offense gave him absolutely no breathing room. Zack recorded nine strikeouts, five hits, and no walks over six innings. Andrew Chafin and Fernando Salas combined for two innings of scoreless relief.

“Zack threw the ball really, really good,” Lovullo said. “He continues to throw the ball really well. I know that he made some mistakes out over the plate to some hitters that normally square up mistakes. The home runs that he gave up, I’m sure you can address with him, but I know that he’d probably want those pitches back. That’s just part of being a starting pitcher.”

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks’ spiral continues in loss to Brewers - Arizona blew an opportunity to bust the game wide open right from the get go. Brewers starter Chase Anderson walked in a run with the bases loaded and only a single out in the first inning, but Jarrod Dyson and Nick Ahmed could not add to the scoring with a strikeout and line out. The D’backs registered a pathetic three hits in this contest along with four walks.

“I feel like, at times, velocity is beating us,” Lovullo said. “It’s not a mystery. I think the rest of the league is paying close attention to that. I think, at times, we need to do a better job hitting the fastball.”

[Arizona Sports] D-backs’ slide, lack of offense continues in loss to Brewers - Jake Lamb hit a solo home run in this one, an opposite field shot just over the wall for his first of the season. Jeff Mathis narrowly missed a solo home run himself in the seventh inning. Arizona has now lost 11 of their last 12 games.

Diamondbacks News

[D’backs.com] Ability to throw will determine if Souza hits DL - For whatever reason that I cannot quite understand, the Diamondbacks are hoping that they will be able to withhold Steven Souza Jr. fron another stint on the disabled list. MRI results confirmed that he reaggravated the pectoral injury. He did have a pinch hit appearance on Monday, and it appears that throwing gives him the most difficulty. Arizona is essentially playing with a 24 man roster until they decide what to do with him.

“I think we want to exhaust every opportunity we can to allow him to be healthy before we make that decision,” Lovullo said. “... At times yesterday I couldn’t do things that I wanted to. ... It limits you, but we’re willing to wait for Steven. That’s how important he is to this team.”

[Arizona Sports] D-backs’ lineup ranks among bottom half of MLB - The D’backs have the third worst batting average on balls in play in the league at .277, yet their batted ball profile puts them right in the middle of the pack in hard hit rate at 35.4%. The offense has been so horrendous in the past week and a half that it should be difficult to sustain going forward. Even marginal improvement would return this team to winning at an acceptable pace again. We just need to hope it does not take much longer and they fall further behind.

[The Athletic] Zack Greinke and Archie Bradley are getting it done for the Diamondbacks, but in very different ways - Quite a few of you do not hesitate to express your disinterest in advanced metrics, esoteric you repeatedly say much to my annoyance. What you may not realize is that they are actually a way to quantify what your eyes are telling you. Command+ attempts to do the same by measuring how often a pitcher is able to hit his intended target. It should come as no surprise then that Zack Greinke would have a better Command+ than Archie Bradley. Bradley is able to rely on his dominant velocity to blow hitter away while Greinke has to hit his spots perfectly as his velocity continues to diminish.

[Roof and Panels Open] Is Goldy OK? - Perhaps once Paul Goldschmidt begins to turn his fortunes around so too will his teammates. In a way, his performance has essentially set the pace for the entire team. His career body of work suggests that he should not continue to be this bad as the season grows older.

Around the League

[ESPN] Power Rankings: NL East contenders make their move to the top - Unsurprisingly the Diamondbacks have plummeted in this week’s power rankings. ESPN removes Arizona from the top 5 all the way down to #13. CBS Sports hops off the bandwagon at #12. Bleacher Report drops the snakes fours spots down to #13. USA Today bumps them down to #12. The Athletic is the most optimistic placing them at #9.

[MLB.com] Astros release former top prospect Singleton - The Houston Astros have released Jon Singleton. He was their #3 prospect in a loaded farm system as recently as 2013. Singleton was suspended for 100 games after his third failed drug test for an abuse substance this January.

[Yahoo Sports] The story of Jordan Hicks’ 105.1-mph pitch, which was (maybe) the hardest ever thrown - Jordan Hicks, relief pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, has no chill. How this young buck has managed to only stikeout nine batters in twenty-two innings while throwing ~104 mph is beyond me.

[Sporting News] Nationals’ Juan Soto hits home run in second career at-bat - The injury ravaged Washington Nationals promoted 19 year old Juan Soto. On Monday, he became the first teenager since Bryce Harper in 2012 to hit a home run in an MLB game. I was working a temporary minimum wage job at a Valley resort at that same age, so that’s cool.