[D’backs.com] Miller still seeking form in rough loss to Giants - Another start, another loss for Shelby Miller. His velocity looks really good. Fastball command is decent, but control of his offspeed pitches isn’t quite there. It has essentially turned him into a one pitch arm for the time being as opposing hitters sit on his fastball. Brandon Crawford golfed a curveball at shin level into the pool, so there isn’t much he can do about that. He threw 96 pitches over 5 innings allowing 9 hits, 6 earned runs, 6 strikeouts, and 1 walk.
“I know it’s my second start back in the big leagues, but at the same time I’ve had rehab starts and you go through all these things that are preparing you for this moment,” Miller said. “So being healthy going into it is fine and those are positives, but I feel like I’m past that point and right now we’re getting close to the All-Star break and we’re playing division teams that are right behind us trying to get first place away from us and I’m going out there and not pitching well so that’s more what I’m upset about. I’m not really focused on the little positives that I can take from coming back from a major surgery.”
[AZ Central] Shelby Miller gets roughed up by Giants in second start, says he expects more from himself - Arizona’s offense was largely impotent again for the second evening in a row outside of David Peralta. He racked up 2 doubles bringing his season total to 16. Unfortunately, the first of his two doubles was quickly erased when Jake Lamb ran into an out on the base path caught between third and home.
[Arizona Sports] Shelby Miller, Diamondbacks handled by red-hot Giants - 38,117 were on hand to witness the losing effort. Another dozen plus made their way to SnakePit Towers in the West Valley to catch the game there. As Jim noted in the recap, it quickly became more entertaining to enjoy the company of those around you rather than the game itself.
People in Arizona my dog Crash a big black lab pictured below is missing!!!! he is chipped has shots and everything please help me find him!!!!! pic.twitter.com/SLRcKCZ2oW— Archie Bradley (@ArchieBradley7) July 1, 2018
[D’backs.com] Hamstring cramp forces Marte to exit game - Ketel Marte had to exit the game last night in the 7th inning with a hamstring cramp. He suffered the injury while trying to beat out and infield single, which he did successfully. His last few steps to the bag were hobbled before he finally fell to the ground. Fortunately, it does not appear to be serious with the team reporting it only as cramping.
[Arizona Sports] D-backs recall Jimmie Sherfy, place Deven Marrero on 10-day DL - Jimmie Sherfy’s plane had not even touched down in Reno before he was on his way back to Phoenix. Arizona will now have its middle infield depth tested with Deven Marrero on the disabled list and Ketel Marte surely on the shelf for a few games.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks reliever Yoshihisa Hirano’s downplays record scoreless streak - Not only did Yoshi Hirano show indifference to his own scoreless appearances streak, but he also did not know who Joe DiMaggio was when asked of his consecutive games hit streak. The latter is not surprising considering Yoshi has spent his entire life across the Pacific and that DiMaggio’s streak came well before his time. Hirano’s success and experience on an international stage has hardened him to focus on his assignments and not get wrapped up in minute details.
“I’m a little more at ease now,” Hirano said. “The first few times out, I had to get used to different hitters and different teams and I had a lot of things I had to learn in the beginning. Right now, I feel like I’ve been able to face enough guys in the league and have been able to see the crowds to get a better feel. It’s different from Japan, but I feel more comfortable now.”
[Roof and Panels Open] The Closing Window and Manny Machado - What price are you, or more appropriately Mike Hazen, willing to pay in order to land Manny Machado? The Diamondbacks will likely lose Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock at the conclusion of this season, so this stands to be their best shot at a deep playoff run before the departure of two of their best players. Machado would provide significant firepower to an offense that could desperately use his bat.
Around the League
[Chin Music Baseball] The 10 best MLB players in June - As June comes to a close, Paul Goldschmidt stands on top as the best hitter in the league for the calendar month based on wRC+ and fWAR. He is destroying left handed pitching, and his 58.5% hard contact % this month is by far the best in his career for a single month. It has been such a tremendous turnaround for him that we have witnessed him smiling in the middle of an at bat. Arizona will need an encore of that performance to fight off the Los Angeles Dodgers for the division lead.
[MLB.com] Velasquez throws lefty for out, departs early - Don’t ever challenge Philadelphia Phillies starter Vince Velasquez to a bar fight. In the 2nd inning of yesterday’s contest, the right hander was drilled with a comebacker in his throwing elbow. Unfazed he rushed to where the ball rebounded, threw down his glove from his left hand, and fired a bullet to first base with his left arm in time for the out. It will likely end up as one of the top plays on the season for not only fighting off the pain to record the out but doing so with his non dominant throwing arm. Throwing southpaw is not completely foreign to Velazquez who had to do so in college as an outfielder due to bone spurs in his right arm.
[Sports Illustrated] Midseason Report Card: The Diamondbacks and Dodgers Will Fight for the NL West Crown - I have a difficult time getting behind the narrative that the National League West is somehow worse than it was last season, or that it isn’t possible three teams from the division will make the playoffs this year. At the halfway point in the season, the Dodgers and Giants are only 1.5 games back from a Wild Card spot. The list of players injured within the division in the first half is staggering and could construct a formidable team in it’s own right. The division is more competitive than it was last season because there isn’t one team running away from the pack, and the Giants find themselves in the thick of the race again. Lets hold off on the doomsday narrative for the division until the second pairing of 81 games has concluded.