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Snake Bytes 6/3: Division Leaders Again

Only 5.5 games separate the division leading Arizona Diamondbacks and cellar dwelling San Diego Padres.

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Miami Marlins v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

D’backs 6, Marlins 2

[AZ Central] D-Backs finding their groove vs. losing teams - Consecutive series against the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins, two of the worst teams in the league, could not have come at a better time for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Two nights in a row the D’backs brought home tacos by the conclusion of the third inning. Arizona will need to keep those good offensive outcomes coming in the next two series against the Colorado Rockies and San Fransisco Giants.

“We didn’t really have much farther down to go so it was bound to get better,” Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “We have to keep it going. It’s still really early in the year. It’s been a good five games. There’s a long way to go.”

[D’] D-backs sink Fish, surge back into 1st place - Paul Goldschmidt became the first D’back to homer on his bobblehead night since Chris Young in 2011. He turned on an inside 94 MPH fastball from left hander Caleb Smith and drove it to the diamond level down the left field line. David Peralta added a two run shot in the 3rd inning. Ketel Marte has looked like his 2017 self in this series. After hitting a home run from each side of the plate on Friday, he had a triple to the gap in left center on Saturday.

“When the guys in front of you are having good at-bats, it puts more stress on the pitcher,” Goldschmidt said. “You’re not just counting on that one opportunity. You get three, four or five opportunities and hopefully you can come through in one or two of them.”

[Arizona Sports] D-backs strike first and often yet again, win their second straight series - Zack Greinke put together another solid outing. He gave up a fair share of hard contact, but most of that was directed right at the gloves of his defenders and he scattered the hits he did surrender. Greinke pitched 6 23 innings allowing 7 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, and 1 earned run.

“It was going pretty bad. We can’t do much better than we’ve done so far this homestand. Hopefully, we can continue it. We’re playing pretty good. We should be able to continue it if we just keep doing what we’re doing and we’ll continue winning games.” -- Greinke

Diamondbacks News

[D’] De La Rosa placed on DL; Barrett recalled - Jorge De La Rosa was placed on the 10 day disabled list with an injury to his right achilles. The injury occurred during Friday evening’s contest, but it does not appear there will be a lengthy stint on the disabled list. Jake Barrett was subsequently called up from Reno to take the bullpen spot.

[Arizona Sports] Arizona Diamondbacks’ T.J. McFarland graduating college this weekend - T.J. McFarland went the way of teammate Paul Goldschmidt and completed his college degree at the University of Phoenix. McFarland earned his degree in finance as a contingency for his post playing days. A great deal of professional baseball players forgo college completely when drafted from high school only to never make the Major Leagues and leaving them scrambling to find their footing. Not McFarland. He made a promise to his parents that he would complete college, but it took him over a decade because of the success of his playing career.

[The Athletic] How pivotal are hard-throwing pitchers? The Diamondbacks may soon find out - The Arizona Diamondbacks have lost all of their hard throwing arms in the rotation, Shelby Miller, Robbie Ray, and Taijuan Walker, due to injury. Miller will be returning soon and Ray shortly thereafter, but right now the D’backs pitchers rank dead last in terms of average velocity. The makeup of the Diamondbacks’ pitching staff is remarkably different from other teams in the league which seemingly run out a never ending stream of hard throwers.

“I think velocity is only one part of the equation for a pitcher,” said general manager Mike Hazen. “Command, pitchability, secondary stuff, pitching to a game plan, attacking hitters. All those things come into it, too, and not all of that is relying on velocity. It’s not really something you look at.”

[Roof and Panels Open] Evaluating the 2008 Draft - There is a reason I leave draft and prospect analysis to the experts. I make myself sound like a clown enough as it is with my inaccurate opinions. You want me to stick my neck out there for a prospect who might not ever even make it on to a Major League roster? Kudos to the talented authors who take the risk. The Diamondbacks will draft towards the end of the round, as they did in 2008, so it is anyone’s guess as to what kind of talent they will be able to land.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks pitchers Shelby Miller and Robbie Ray working their way back from injuries - Arizona should receive significant shots to both arms in the second half upon the return of Shelby Miller and Robbie Ray to the big league club. Miller appears to be closer to return than Ray. Pair that with the eventual returns of A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza Jr., and it could be a fun second half of the season in the desert. Miller provided a barbecue to his Visalia teammates during his rehab start there.

“I was excited to get a little bit more competition involved,” Miller said. “It’s funny; it brings back memories of how crazy the minor leagues are — how bad the locker rooms are, the food, and the things the guys go through down there is pretty amazing.

Around the League

[] Belt undergoes surgery to remove appendix - Injuries continue to leave their mark on the landscape of the National League West. First baseman Brandon Belt of the San Fransisco Giants was taken to the hospital to have an appendectomy Friday night. He was removed from the game after the second inning after initially saying he was not feeling well. One could almost put together a formidable All Star roster with all of the players currently on the disabled list in this division.

[] 5 clubs that have had the most 1st-round success - The 2018 MLB Draft is right around the corner. The Diamondbacks hold the 25th pick in the draft, so it is anyone’s guess as to who the team will select at that point. Arizona has historically had great success in the first round, although some of those selections have had most of their success in a different team’s uniform (Max Scherzer, Justin Upton, Trevor Bauer, and Dansby Swanson).

[Forbes] Each MLB Team’s Greatest Walk-Off Homer - I’d say this author’s selection for the Arizona Diamondbacks most memorable walk off home run was more than fair. On September 27th, 2011, with a divison title already clinched, the D’backs trailed the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 in the bottom of the 10th. They were down to their final out and did not have a single man on base. As they had done the entire season, they fought until the bitter end refusing to go down quietly. After scratching across two runs to bring the winning run to the plate with the bases loaded, Ryan “Tatman” Roberts pumped the first pitch he saw into the left field bleachers for a walk off grand slam. In tribute to his manager Kirk Gibson, Roberts pumped his arm as he rounded the bases in celebration.