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Snake Bytes 7/31: Back to Reality

Arizona bullpen sluggish upon return from road trip.

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MLB: Texas Rangers at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers 9, Arizona Diamondbacks 5

[D’backs.com] Souza homers, but D-backs’ ‘pen falters in loss - Arizona’s bullpen could not keep it together at the end of the game and was ultimately outdone by the American league offense of the Texas Rangers. Yoshihisa Hirano, Matt Andriese, and Andrew Chafin combined to allow five earned runs over three, painfully long innings. Andriese gave up two solo home runs, one to Rougned Odor and the other to Shin Soo Choo.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks lose power late in loss to Rangers - Too many missed opportunities for the Arizona offense in this contest as well. The Diamondbacks opened up the bottom of the first with a run and runners on first and second with only a single out, but could manage no more after strikeouts from Steven Souza Jr. and Nick Ahmed. Runners on first and second with one out resulted in no runs scored in the bottom of the fourth. Nick Ahmed ran into an out on the basepath in the bottom of the seventh attempting to advance from second to third on a wild pitch. Texas eventually put a fork in the snakes in the bottom of the eighth when the D’backs could not drive in Ketel Marte after a leadoff triple.

[Arizona Sports] Portion of lights at Chase Field go out, force delay for D-backs - There was a strong and unexpected monsoon storm that swept through the Valley which ultimately caused a delay at Chase Field. The strong rain and win knocked out my reception of the game for innings three and four, and when I finally got my picture back the game itself was stopped. That’s because a power surge caused some of the field lighting to go dark, which required cooling them down for a period of time before they could be turned on again. Meanwhile, Petco Park and other stadiums around the league have a lighting system that they can strobe. The truth of the stadium dispute has been revealed. /s

Diamondbacks News

[D’backs.com] Lamb (shoulder) getting more opinions on MRI - Jake Lamb is having his MRI on his left shoulder sent to James “The Scalpel” Andrews. Team doctors currently feel optimistic after seeing the results themselves, but it is difficult to imagine that Lamb’s shoulder has been 100% healthy the entire season.

“It was just frustrating doing it again, but it’s just part of the game,” Lamb said. “I’ve just got to get healthy as soon as possible. It’s a lot better than the first time it happened, so that’s a positive for sure. It’s just a little tight.”

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks to honor late GM Kevin Towers on Thursday - For Throwback Thursday this week, the D’backs will don last generation’s Sedona Red alternate uniforms in honor of the 2011 National League West Champion team. They will honor the man at the helm of the front office that season, Kevin Towers, with a patch on the jersey as well.

[AZ Central] Consistent defense a driving factor in keeping Diamondbacks relevant in playoff race - Ranked by defensive runs saved, Arizona possesses the second best defense in the league this season for an entire time. The Milwaukee Brewers lead the way with 98 defensive runs saved, Arizona at 95, with the third place Chicago Cubs at 51. It’s a formula that has provided successful results for pitching staff provided that they pay attention to where their defenders are and pitch for contact to their placement.

“Defense is what guides you through tough parts of the season,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “And they’ve been very consistent for us every time we go out there. I think that’s a part of the game that’s got to be locked down if you’re going to contend for a world championship.

[Brute Squad] So you think you’re a Texas Rangers fan? -

Around the League

[ESPN] Power Rankings: Contenders clash in climb toward No. 1 - Since the All Star Break, Arizona has not lost a game by more than a single run (obviously written prior to the conclusion of Monday’s contest). We’d normally be content with that result, except they are 1-4 in one run contests since July 20th. Flip that script the other way around and the team would be leading the division, and the National League for that matter, in wins. That has changed the way critics evaluate them for the time being. ESPN jumps them five spots to #8. Yahoo sports slots the D’backs at #9, as does USA Today. MLB.com already had Arizona at #10 last week, so it wasn’t a significant jump to spot them at #9. CBS Sports has the snakes at #10. The Athletic places Arizona the highest among the polls at #7.

[Cut 4] Fernando Rodney’s cleat got stuck, and the resulting wild pitch totally caught Francisco Lindor by surprise - When your walkup music gets you a little too lit, bad things can happen from time to time. They don’t call it the “Fernando Rodney Experience” for nothing.

[MLB Trade Rumors] Red Sox Acquire Ian Kinsler - The Boston Red Sox are conducting some fine tuning of their roster as they aim for a deep postseason run. They’ve been without Dustin Pedroia at second base for essentially the entire season save three games.

[Sports Illustrated] Nationals Are Telling Teams Bryce Harper Is Available - As the Washington Nationals teeter closer to missing out on the playoffs altogether, they might need to swallow their pride and trade Bryce Harper before the non-waiver trade deadline. It is far from guaranteed that he would re-sign with them this offseason, he’ll be a free agent for the first time in his career. Shipping him to a contender for the proper asking price could net them a higher return than the compensation pick they would receive should he sign somewhere else.