[D’backs.com] Greinke concludes All-Star first half with gem - The Diamondbacks have been hurting to receive length from their starting pitchers recently. Zack, Zack, and Associates was back in business for the first two games of the series against the Braves. After Zack Godley went 6 innings of 1 run ball in the opener, Zack Greinke topped him with 7 & 2⁄3 scoreless on Saturday. He retired 23 of the 27 batters he faced and allowed only a single extra base hit.
“Any time your pitchers are in control as we have been against a very potent offense, you are going to win some games,” Lovullo said. “We are doing enough offensively and we are winning the games. That’s the bottom line, but it’s all around our pitching.”
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks blank Braves, clinch series victory - Great although Zack Greinke’s performance was, Arizona got by with another meager offensive showing. The team failed to score more than 1 run with the bases loaded and 1 out in the first inning, and were 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Jeff Mathis was the only Diamondbacks player with multiple hits in the game.
“It sounds weird to say with our record and how well we’ve played, but I still feel like, except for a little time in June and in that first month, that we’re still not clicking,” Bradley said. “We still haven’t put together a full, solid month where we’re hitting, pitching and playing defense all together. If we can sneak by and find a way until we put it all together, it’s going to be pretty good.”
[Arizona Sports] Greinke again rules on road as Diamondbacks shut out Braves - Arizona had a chance to put up a crooked number early. Braves’ starter Sean Newcomb could hardly find the strikezone. David Peralta, Nick Ahmed, Paul Goldschmidt, and A.J. Pollock combined to swing at only 3 of his first 21 pitches, and Newcomb walked 3 of the first 4 batters he faced. However, he retired the next 10 batters after Steven Souza Jr had an RBI single in the first.
[D’backs.com] Buchholz likely to start rehab game Thursday - If all goes well in his rehab start, Clay Buchholz could return to the starting rotation after the All Star Break. Anybody but Shelby Miller. The 33 year old was 2-1 in 7 starts with an ERA- of 63, 3.50 FIP. Like most members of the D’backs starting rotation, his success was driven by the superior defense behind him. It also didn’t hurt that he was posting the lowest walk rate of his career with a superb .207 batting average against before going to the disabled list with an oblique strain.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed at the top of his game despite trade rumors - Nick Ahmed has had to weather competition for playing time with Chris Owings, Ketel Marte, Jean Segura, and Didi Gregorius during his time in Arizona. This season he has had to perform with the possibility, at least rumored, that the D’backs were going to add Manny Machado. He’s responded with a career high in home runs, doubles, and hard hit rate. His superior defense at shortstop has never been in question, and he is closer to league average production at the plate than he ever has been before.
“I feel like I’m doing more damage this year,” Ahmed said. “If you look at a stat like the batting average, it’s lower than I’d obviously like. But I’m doing more damage and I’m hitting the ball hard consistently, at least if you exclude May.”
“I think every little kid out there should watch the way Zack Greinke is pitching right now,” Bradley said. “He’s not pitching with a ton of velocity right now, but he’s hitting spots. He’s changing speeds. He’s changing the shape of his curveball. He’s setting guys up. He’s doing the things that you have to do when you kind of lose your velo, and he’s doing it at a pace and with command that you just don’t see from other guys out there.”
Around the League
[Bleacher Report] Mike Matheny Fired as Manager of Cardinals After 7 Seasons - The St. Louis Cardinals have fired manager Mike Matheny as they sit just one win above .500, and seven games back in the National League Central. He had the Cardinals in the postseason for four straight seasons from 2012 to 2015, but they have not returned since. St. Louis had hoped to contend for the division title after adding Marcell Ozuna in the offseason, but currently sit completely out of a playoff spot.
[ESPN] Orioles make progress in Manny Machado trade talks, sources say - Your daily Manny Machado update. Nobody knows where he will land because the Baltimore Orioles front office is dysfunctional. The D’backs have been mentioned less in recent weeks, and that’s possibly because Baltimore has received better offers than what Arizona could afford in terms of prospects.