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Snake Bytes 6/12: Performance over Pride

Some things never change. Clint Hurdle can’t ignore a pair of erratic pitches from Braden Shipley, and lets his ego get the best of him.

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks 9, Pittsburgh Pirates 5

[D’] D-backs score 9 unanswered runs after HBP - Patrick Corbin was cruising for most of the game until he was done in during the 5th inning. Corbin surrendered 3 of his 6 hits in that frame, two doubles and a single, as well as 2 of his 3 walks allowing the Pirates to scratch across 4 runs. Braden Shipley, Archie Bradley, and Brad Boxberger combined for 3 23 scoreless innings to allow the Arizona lineup ample time to correct course. Bradley did have to tap dance out of a bases loaded jam in the 8th inning after quickly recording the first two outs.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks rally to roar past Pirates in series opener - Clint Hurdle completely ruined an impressive start from Joe Musgrove because he had to stroke his ego. Musgrove had held the Diamondbacks scoreless into the 7th inning allowing only 4 hits up to that point. Braden Shipley was erratic in the top of the 7th, not surprising from a AAAA pitcher, and unintentionally hit Josh Harrison in the back shoulder with a high fastball. He nearly hit Austin Meadows in the next at bat, so Hurdle being the “Old School Grit” manager that he is decided Musgrove needed to retaliate in the 7th. Musgrove began the inning by plunking Chris Owings in the rear, and that arguably awakened the sleeping beast that was Arizona’s offense. The D’backs went on to score 9 unanswered runs to come from behind with the sweetest form of retaliation.

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks get late surge in win over the Pirates - Every Diamondbacks starter had a hit last night excluding Chris Owings. Dark horse team MVP Daniel Descalso put the game out of reach in the bottom of the 8th with a two run triple. He has finally surpassed A.J. Pollock for the team lead in RBI. Jake Lamb had the biggest hit in the game. After the D’backs had scored twice to make it 5-2 in the bottom of the 7th, he hit a 3-run opposite field home run to tie the game.

“A pretty special night. You score eight, nine runs in your last two innings offensively and you come back after laying pretty flat against a pretty dominant pitcher, those guys have a lot to be proud of today,” D-backs skipper Torey Lovullo said after the game.

Diamondbacks News

[D’] Goldy, Escobar named Players of the Week - Paul Goldschmidt mashed his way to National League Player of the Week honors. In the first full week of June, Goldy slashed .640/.690/1.440, with 4 home runs, 11 RBIs, 6 doubles, and a triple over 6 games. His wRC+ has skyrocketed to 136+ prior to Monday’s contest, and his hard contact rate has improved to 46.2%. Paul will not be able to remain as scorching hot as that forever, but it’s a great sign as he continues to put together strong at bats. This is his second time taking home the honor in his career.

[Arizona Sports] Manager Torey Lovullo provides updates on rash of D-backs injuries - Robbie Ray will likely make his first rehab start late this week after a confident bullpen session yesterday. If he wakes up today feeling fine, Torey Lovullo said Ray will head to Visalia for a 50 pitch rehab outing. Shelby Miller had a rough go in his last rehab start which included a 37 pitch inning. The team will increase his pitch count to 85 the next time out. Steven Souza Jr. and A.J. Pollock are still being brought back slowly to ensure they are 100%. Pollock has not resumed baseball activities at this point.

[Arizona Sports] Goldschmidt’s offensive revival is no surprise to Lovullo and staff - Nobody should be surprised to see what Goldy has done recently given his career track record, but it is refreshing considering that he had been slumping since September of last season. What signaled his changing fortunes to me were a handful of drawn out at bats where he continued to foul off pitch after pitch until he crushed an offering to his liking or took an eventual walk.

“It was an internal belief that it was going to happen,” [Torey Lovullo] said. “We all felt that way about Paul. We felt strongly that the track record would lead him down this road. But it was the time he spent when alone or with the hitting coaches that nobody was aware of where they’re talking about those small details that I just mentioned that would help him get back into that good swing mode.”

[The Athletic] Jon Jay’s arrival can help the Diamondbacks in a multitude of ways - Jon Jay is still looking for his first hit as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lovullo gave him the night off on Monday utilizing him in a pinch hit role late in the game. He has walked 3 times in his time as a D’back. The organization will look for him to be a table setter at the top of the lineup once Pollock and Souza return from the disabled list. Jay can give each outfielder adequate rest because he does not have significant platoon splits against left and right handed pitchers over his career.

Around the League

[ESPN] Power Rankings: Rivals stake their claims for Astros’ throne - Losing Wednesday’s contest against the Giants late in the game might have held the D’backs down a smidge according to ESPN. They advance only one spot to #13. CBS Sports feels a bit better after the hot streak, led by Paul Goldschmidt, moving up to #11. USA Today has them as the highest ranked team in the NL West also at #11. Ditto for Sports Illustrated, except at #12. Bleacher Report already had them at #11, so they stay there this week. The Athletic takes note of the Jon Jay addition moving the team into a tie for #10.

[Sports Illustrated] Watch: High School Pitcher Skips Celebration to Hug Friend After Championship-Clinching Strikeout - Two childhood friends squared off against each other in the final at bat of the Minnesota high school state tournament. Ty Koehn of Mounds View put his friendship with Jack Kocon ahead of celebrating victory with his teammates. With the way social media has taken off in the past two decades, youths who play on travel teams or club sports are able to maintain strong bonds with members of those teams even after they part ways to different schools.

“I knew the game was going to keep going or it was going to end right there,” Koehn added. “I knew I had to say something. Our friendship is more important than just the silly outcome of a game. I had to make sure he knew that before we celebrated.”

[Sporting News] Angels GM denies report Shohei Ohtani will need Tommy John surgery - Conflicting reports surrounding the health of Shohei Ohtani. Pedro Gomez of ESPN reported he would need Tommy John Surgery, but Angels GM Billy Eppler pumped the brakes stating that team physicians had not decided on the best course of action. Having Tommy John this late into the year would likely keep Ohtani on the shelf until 2020.

[Bleacher Report] Freddie Freeman, Nolan Arenado Among NL’s Top 2018 MLB All-Star Vote Leaders - The first ballot update for the National League All Star Team has been released. Perhaps unsurprising to most, the Diamondbacks do not have a single player among the top 5 in voting for any position. However, that could change quickly if the team continues to play well throughout the month of June.