D’backs fans who made the trip out to San Diego for this series need to give themselves a pat on the back. There has been a strong showing from the Arizona fandom this weekend. Last night’s game at Petco drew a reported 37,149. Most of that can be attributed to a Trevor Hoffman bobblehead night, he’ll be inducted into Cooperstown this weekend, but I’d wager 10,000+ D’backs fans were in attendance as well.
If you have never made the trip to this ballpark before, I highly recommend it. Since the last time I was here in 2017, the city has embraced the alternate transportation of bikes and scooters for rent. There are electric scooters and bikes scattered throughout the city owned by a handful of companies. All you have to do is download the respective company’s mobile app to your phone, and you can basically eliminate the need for a car in the downtown area. We made it from our hotel in Little Italy to Petco in a shade under 20 minutes. It would have taken us at least an hour walking the same distance.
The experience at Petco Park as opposed to Chase Field isn’t even comparable in my opinion. There is a greater variety of concessions options, and the Padres organization does a fantastic job of showcasing local food vendors. I couldn’t even tell you where to find the pre-made hamburgers and hot dogs, and that’s a good problem to have. My personal favorite is the Philly cheesesteak from Gaglione Bros. I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too. How the hell could San Diego have a good Philly cheesesteak? It’s about as authentic as it gets this close to the Pacific, folks.
All following commentary is from the articles’ respective authors because I’ve enjoyed the vices of the Gaslamp District a tad bit too much.
Arizona Diamondbacks 9, San Diego Padres 4
[D’backs.com] Jay breaks deadlock with 2-run double vs. Friars - The D-backs’ offense exploded for a big inning early, scoring four in the second. They recieved a little help though, as Padres starter Tyson Ross walked the bases loaded before recording an out. RBI singles by Mathis and starter Patrick Corbin accounted for the first two runs, and Jay and Goldschmidt drove in the other two via a groundout and a single, respectively. The D-backs’ lead was short-lived. Corbin didn’t have his best stuff, and ran into trouble in the third inning, when the Padres tagged him for four hits (three of them doubles) and three runs. They tacked on one more in the fourth after Christian Villanueva drew a leadoff walk and Ross helped his own cause with an RBI single that drove in Villanueva, knotting the game at four.
[Arizona Sports] Jon Jay works the count, drives in 3 and leads the D-backs to a win - Suddenly, the D-backs remembered how to hit the ball hard. Newly-acquired Eduardo Escobar decided to show Arizona why the team traded for him in the ninth frame, hitting his 38th double of the season, a league-high. Mathis drove him in with another double, and then fellow catcher Alex Avila knocked him home with a double off the wall. The D-backs’ lack of consistency has been reflected in their record all season. They get hot, they get cold, and sometimes, they score five runs in two innings to make a win appear convincing. They’ve scored 15 runs over four innings this series. In the other 14 frames, they’ve scored zero.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks inflict damage on Padres’ pen in win - As the year unfolds, the San Diego Padres could begin to promote some of their better prospects, a development that could, in theory, work against the Diamondbacks, who might then have to face tougher competition. But on Saturday night, more than a week after the Padres’ status as non-contenders led them to trade away two of their better relievers, the schedule worked in the Diamondbacks’ favor. With five runs over the final two innings, the Diamondbacks blew open a tie game en route to a 9-4 victory, their second in as many days against the Padres and their fourth in six games on this road trip, which concludes on Sunday afternoon with a chance at a sweep.
[The Athletic] Meet new Diamondbacks infielder Eduardo Escobar, heart of the clubhouse and sworn enemy of cats - [Eduardo] Escobar is deathly afraid of cats, a fear he’s had since he was a child. “If a cat came here right now,” he said, “I’d run hard to the field.” To illustrate, he offers an example. He was playing shortstop back in Venezuela when a cat ran onto the field along the left-field line. In response, Escobar began to shade farther and farther toward second base. “The manager saw me and said, ‘Where are you going?’” Escobar said. “‘I’m running because this cat is coming to me!’ I don’t like cats.”
[Arizona Sports] D-backs GM Hazen on Escobar: He complements what we’re trying to do - [Mike] Hazen spoke with the media Friday after the team traded for infielder Eduardo Escobar from the Minnesota Twins, discussing what he brings to the team. “We feel like he complements what we’re trying to do pretty well,” Hazen said of Escobar. “Plays a good defensive infield, versatility, has experience at multiple positions, being a switch-hitter.” Escobar, a .274 hitter this season, is an offensive upgrade for what the D-backs have had at shortstop and third base. Escobar’s WAR (wins above replacement) on the season is 2.6 while the D-backs’ total WAR at shortstop is 1.2 and a 1.6 number at third base.
[AZ Central] Flawed Arizona Diamondbacks push forward as trade deadline nears - Despite being a team that, since April, hasn’t been able to avoid ice-cold streaks. Despite a roster filled with questions, if not holes. Despite having to peel away from an already-depleted farm system. The Diamondbacks are going for it – because, really, what else are they supposed to do? As the trade deadline has inched closer, the Diamondbacks’ front office has found itself in what – from the outside, at least – has looked like an uncomfortable position. Their mostly healthy lineup has failed to find consistency. Two-fifths of their rotation has been unreliable. And while watching their division rivals land the best player on the trade market, the Diamondbacks have fielded a team that has struggled for months to win series against good teams.
[Beyond the Box Score] Why the Diamondbacks made the best trade for a non-Machado infielder - It’s fairly rare that you see multiple trades involving players of the same position within hours of one another, especially when those players do not play the position of pitcher. Capitalizing on this rare opportunity, I decided that I want to break down each of the three trades and figure out which team made the best deal from the contender’s point of view. The first step that should be taken in evaluating any trade should be a look at the player’s statistics. Clearly, the Diamondbacks acquired the best of the three infielders to date. Escobar’s 2.5 fWAR is nearly a half-win better than Cabrera’s 2.1 mark and almost a full win better than Moustakas’ 1.7.
Around the League
[Sports Illustrated] Will It Work? A Week With the Mariners as They Try to End the Longest Playoff Drought in Pro Sports - Jerry Dipoto sits behind his desk in an office high above Safeco Field. Behind him are shelves lined with books on human behavior like The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F--- and The Undoing Project, Michael Lewis’s tome on behavioral economics. A few hundred feet below, a vivid example of human behavior: a large, bearded man is standing on a street corner screaming into a bullhorn about the apocalypse. “The End is near!” the man shouts, while Dipoto’s phone buzzes, traffic creeps along outside his window and his team marches into long-forgotten territory known as a pennant race.
[CBS Sports] National Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend: Seven things to know about the 2018 Hall of Fame class - It’s fitting Trammel and Morris are going into the Hall of Fame together. They were teammates with the Tigers from 1977 to ‘90, they both exhausted their 15 years of eligibility on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, and both were voted in by the relatively new Modern Era committee. Only one set of Hall of Famers were teammates longer than Morris and Trammell: Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. Mantle and Ford were teammates for 15 seasons from 1953 to ‘67 with the Yankees. Like Morris and Trammell, they were enshrined in Cooperstown in the same year as well. Mantle and Ford both went into the Hall of Fame in 1974.
[MLB.com] Archer drawing interest from ‘dozen or so’ teams - A source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that “many teams are inquiring [about Archer] and the Rays are spending a lot of time on it,” and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees, Dodgers and Padres are among the teams trying to acquire the righty. Meanwhile, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes that there are a “dozen or so teams said to have expressed some level of serious interest” in Archer, including the Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, Cardinals, Astros, Braves, Brewers, Cubs, Indians and Phillies. However, Crasnick notes the asking price for Archer remains substantial, as the Rays want a return commensurate with a “No. 1 starter type.”