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Snake Bytes 5/9: Bombs Away in LA!

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Brad Boxberger suffered his first blown save of the season, but Daniel Descalso picked him up with a three-run blast in the 12th inning. It was the fourth long ball of the night by the Diamondbacks.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona 8, Los Angeles 5

Zack Godley provided just enough pitching to keep Arizona in the lead. A.J. Pollock, Nick Ahmed, and Stephen Suza, Jr. all had multi-hit games. Brad Boxberger suffered his first blown save of the year, but Yoshi Hirano and T.J. McFarland both turned in strong outings to pick him up, giving Daniel Descalso the chance to win the game with a three-run blast in the 12th inning.

Pollock Leads the Way (Again)

The Dodgers walked Paul GOldschmidt in the first inning of last night’s affair. THen they employed the pull-side shift on A.J. Pollock, moving second baseman Chase Utley to the left side of the field. Pollock responded by simply depositing the ball in the left-center bleachers. In 11 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018, A.J. Pollock has seven home runs. Chris Owings, John Ryan Murphy, and Daniel Descalso all went deep in the game as well.

Descalso Seals the Deal in Extras

After Brad Boxberger suffered his first blown save of the season on an unlikely home run by Enrique Hernandez, it started to look like the Diamondbacks might be on their way to letting the Dodgers steal another victory in the season series. Things got even more tense when Yoshi Hirano loaded the bases in the bottom of the tenth, bringing up Chase Utley. But Hirano struck Utley out looking. Then, in the 12th, Daniel Descalso ended the night with a home run to right with two men on, giving the Diamondbacks both the lead and some insurance.

Tempers Flare in Los Angeles

The growing rivalry between the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers always seems to turn the heat up on incidents that happen within the games the two teams play against each other. On Tuesday night, tempers flared up and Stephen Souza, Jr. found himself in a shouting match with the L.A. dugout after he slid late on an attempt to steal third base. To his credit, once the play was called dead, Souza’s first move was to check on third baseman, Max Muncy and make sure he was all right. That didn’t keep the Dodgers’ dugout from giving Souza plenty of flack, which he happily returned, including (apparently) calling out Chase Utley for a dirty slide against Nick Ahmed at second earlier this season.

Braden Shipley to the DL

Arizona’s pitching depth, considered by many to be the biggest concern for the team coming into 2018 is now getting tested even further. Joining starters Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray, possible starter replacement, Braden Shipley was moved to the 10-day DL with elbow inflammation. The right-hander received a cortisone shot and will be evaluated again in a few days.

Early Injuries Shaping the NL West

THe Diamondbacks just elcomed Stephen Souza, Jr. to the team after he missed the start of the season with an oblique injury. Jake Lamb has missed more games than he has played. Taijuan Walker is out for the season. Robbie Ray is probably out until the break. Braden Shipley just went on the DL with elbow inflammation. Randall Delgado and Shelby Miller are still on the shelf from injuries sustained last season. Despite all this the Diamondbacks are atop the NL West with the best record in the National League. A quick look at the injury rolls for the teams chasing them, namely the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, shows that the Diamondbacks aren’t the only ones having to weather injury-riddled adversity.

A.J. Pollock’s Second Breakout

A.J. Pollock broke out in a major way in 2015, ranking in the top 10 among position players in WAR and establishing himself as a potentially budding superstar. Then a pair of injuries cost him almost all of 2016 and most of 2017. This season, Pollock has returned to the field healthy, and with an altered approach at the plate. This new approach has Pollock on pace to eclipse the performance he put up in 2015, just in time to hit free agency this winter.


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