Your favorite Pit blogger (/s) is going to be stuck in Colorado staring at hail stricken vehicles fourteen hours straight for at least the next two weeks. That means I definitely will not be able to watch this team until I’m back in the Valley, having to rely only on box scores, so all following commentary is pulled directly from the linked articles. Stop losing! I would also like to personally fire a shot at the round table question a few weeks back which asked what the longest we went without sleep was. Seriously, not cool.
[D’backs.com] Offense shows life, bullpen falters vs. Reds - The Arizona bullpen faltered in a four-run eighth inning that doomed the D-backs in a 6-3 loss to the Reds at Great American Ball Park on Saturday night in a game that saw them lose a pair of leads. A back-and-forth game tilted in Arizona’s favor after David Peralta’s solo home run in the eighth inning provided a 3-2 lead. But reliever Archie Bradley -- who escaped a jam in the seventh inning -- quickly found trouble again in the eighth. Bradley hit Eugenio Suarez with a pitch and issued a walk to load the bases for Tucker Barnhart laced a two-out, two-run double into the left-center-field gap to give the Reds a 4-3 lead.
[Arizona Sports] Arizona Diamondbacks, Archie Bradley allow Reds 8th inning comeback - Bradley (3-4) hit Eugenio Suarez leading off the inning and walked Curt Casali with two outs. Pinch-hitter Tucker Barnhart then lined a 3-2 pitch into the gap in left-center, and Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto followed with RBI singles off T.J. McFarland. “I’ve always had trouble with Archie Bradley, since the lower minors,” Barnhart said. “I faced him at every stop. He’s a good pitcher and I respect the hell out of him. He’s gotten me more times than I’ve gotten him. “I was looking for something out over the plate that I could get to the outfield for Geno to score.” In their last six series against first-place teams, the Reds have won five and split one.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks’ Jeff Mathis again paired with slumping starter - After Corbin went through a rough stretch in June, Lovullo paired him with Mathis, and Lovullo believes Corbin’s immediate turnaround – he allowed a combined four runs over his next four starts – was no coincidence. Ray has endured his own stretch of inconsistency, and Lovullo figures there’s no harm in seeing if Mathis can have a similar effect. “I just wanted to give him a different look,” Lovullo said. “Jeff is a very experienced catcher that can make adjustments on the fly. I feel like Robbie would benefit from having somebody else catching him and maybe add some new weapons or a new thought process to his equation.”
[Arizona Sports] Now healthy, D-backs SS Nick Ahmed proving he’s a threat with a bat - Shortstop Nick Ahmed’s defensive value for the Arizona Diamondbacks has been proven over and over since he debuted in 2014. He ranks in the top-10 of all MLB players with 14 defensive runs saved this year, according to FanGraphs, and once again he’s forced Arizona to use him as an everyday starter regardless of his offensive abilities. It just so happens that Ahmed’s best offensive season as a major leaguer is only the cherry on top.
[D’backs.com] Goldy’s lack of stolen-base attempts by design - Paul Goldschmidt has been one of the better basestealing first basemen in baseball the last couple of years, but he has not used that particular skill as much this season. Goldschmidt has stolen at least 15 bases in five of his six full seasons in the Major Leagues, but he has only stolen four on seven attempts in 114 games so far this year. D-backs manager Torey Lovullo says a lot of that responsibility falls on him. “I have probably taken that out of his hands a little bit,” Lovullo said. “We are trying to preserve him a little. He has a lot of gifts and we don’t want to take those away. We have still been allowing it from time to time, but just not as frequently.”
[The Athletic] After alternating hot and cold months, the Diamondbacks are alternating hot and cold games - A good portion of the Diamondbacks’ season has been defined by their hot and cold stretches. They ripped off nine consecutive series victories to start the season, then stumbled into an arctic stretch in May. Then the calendar flipped to June and they were hot again, going 19-9. The goal is to lengthen the peaks and shorten the valleys, but in August the Diamondbacks have only crammed them closer together. After a 3-0 loss Friday to the Reds at Great American Ball Park, the Diamondbacks continued what is shaping up to be a whiplash-inducing month of ebbs and flows. One game, the Diamondbacks rip off nine runs. The next, they score two. The dichotomy is stark: Arizona has scored an average of six runs per game in four wins this month, and 1.25 runs per game in four losses. “That’s the part of the game I don’t understand,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “It’s hard.”
Around the League
[MLB Trade Rumors] Pending FA Hitters Who Have Helped Themselves In 2018 - A.J. Pollock, CF, Diamondbacks: Pollock was one of baseball’s rising stars before missing nearly the entire 2016 campaign on account of fractured right elbow. Two years later, he looks back to form, though a fractured thumb did cost the soon-to-be 31-year-old significant time earlier this season. As a result of that injury, Pollock has only appeared in 71 games thus far, but he has made a major impact in the process. Pollock has been worth 2.3 fWAR on the strength of a .283/.344/.539 (133 wRC+) slash at the plate, and has added 15 homers, 10 steals on 12 tries and a .256 ISO.
[MLB.com] J.D. slugs Sox to DH sweep with HRs 36, 37 - Lol. Nah bro, Imma add my own commentary here. Thirty seven home runs with ~40 games left to play? I’m too tired to do math, sue me. What a beautiful baseball player this man is. If he doesn’t single-handily carry the Sox to the World Series, I’d be shocked.
[CBS Sports] Barry Bonds has number retired by Giants, takes left field in San Francisco one last time - Prior to Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the San Francisco Giants retired Barry Bonds’s No. 25 jersey. Bonds was among those who made speeches, but perhaps the most memorable aspect of the night came thereafter, when he assumed his old post in left field one last time. Bonds, of course, is Major League Baseball’s all-time home-run king, having retired with 762 dingers. He split his career between the Pirates and Giants organizations, finishing a 22-year run with a career .298/.444/.607 line as well as 514 stolen bases. Though Bonds never failed a PED test, steroid allegations have kept him out of Cooperstown.