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Snake Bytes 9/16: Houston We Have... Whatever

A quick return to the depths crushes any remaining optimism.

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Houston Astros 10

[D’backs.com] D-backs pay for sloppy play against Astros - The loss, Arizona’s seventh in 10 games, was a combination of ineffective pitching, sloppy defense and few answers for Houston starter Charlie Morton, who threw 55 strikes in an efficient six-inning, 70-pitch outing. The D-backs now trail the first-place Dodgers by four games in the National League West and the Rockies by 3 1/2 games for the second NL Wild Card spot. “We played sloppy baseball today in a couple of situations,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “We can’t do that, especially in this environment, this time of the year, against this team. We’ve got to figure that out. We’ve got to make plays, we’ve got to be fundamentally sound. We lose a little focus and concentration at times, and that’s what happens.”

[Arizona Sports] Zack Godley only lasts 3.2 innings as Diamondbacks lose to Astros - The Astros put together a three-run rally in the fourth inning with a string of singles from Springer, Jose Altuve, Marwin Gonzalez and Yuli Gurriel. Gonzalez’s hit drove in two, and he advanced to third on Gurriel’s dribbler into right field and came around to score when the ball went under the glove of right fielder Steven Souza. That chased Zack Godley (14-10), who gave up five runs and seven hits, while matching a season-high with six walks in 3 2/3 innings. He lost his third straight start, failing to make it to the sixth inning for the fifth time in his last six outings – going 1-4 in that stretch.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks drop another clunker, fall to Astros - In two days at Minute Maid Park, the Diamondbacks have given a small snapshot that almost perfectly encapsulates their season. On Friday, they hung with and beat the defending World Series champions, getting solid pitching, delivering timely hits and playing clean baseball. On Saturday, they did none of those things. For as much as Friday night’s win provided a glimpse of the kind of team they see themselves as, Saturday evening’s 10-4 loss to the Houston Astros was more like how others have begun to view them, at least since they began their stumble toward the finish line.

Diamondbacks News

[D’backs.com] Buchholz no stranger to returning from injury - The 34-year-old Buchholz was placed on the 60-day DL on Saturday, one day after the club announced the right-hander will be shut down for the rest of the year with a right elbow flexor strain. Right-handed reliever Randall Delgado was selected from Triple-A Reno and will join the D-backs bullpen. Buchholz, who missed almost all of 2017 with the Phillies due to a partial tear in his right flexor tendon, will begin a series of PRP (platelet-rich plasma) treatments and plans to be ready to audition for a spot on a Major League starting staff, whether it’s with the D-backs or elsewhere. Though unhappy that his season ended early, Buchholz listed a couple of reasons to be optimistic, including the realization that unlike his injury last year, this one doesn’t require surgery. “Last year, it pulled the bone off my elbow,” he said. “It’s not that. It’s more muscle. It’s probably some fatigue I’m dealing with.”

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks recall Randall Delgado to replace injured Clay Buchholz - Randall Delgado has been selected from the Triple-A Reno Aces in a corresponding move as Clay Buchholz was placed on the 60-day disabled list, ending the 34-year-old veteran’s season. Delgado has played in 267 career games over eight seasons in the MLB including a stint with the Braves in 2011-12. He has been in the D-backs organization since 2013 and his 19 wins as a reliever with the D-backs rank third all-time behind only Brad Ziegler and Byung-Hyun Kim.

[AZ Central] Alex Bregman happy with Astros but ‘pissed’ Diamondbacks didn’t take him No. 1 - Third baseman Alex Bregman said he couldn’t be happier being with the Houston Astros, the team that drafted him second overall out of LSU in 2015 and the club he helped to win a World Series last October. But he didn’t deny being upset that the Diamondbacks didn’t select him with the first overall pick that year. They instead went with Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson. “I was super happy to come to a good organization like the Astros, an organization that was up-and-coming,” Bregman said. “But, yeah, I was pissed. I wanted to be the Number 1 overall pick. Part of the reason I wear (uniform) Number 2 is because of that.”

Around the League

[MLB.com] Jackson claims Southern League title - Evan Marzilli plated the game-winning run with a pinch-hit double in the ninth inning as Double-A Jackson edged Biloxi, 3-2, to win the 2018 Southern League championship on Saturday. The Generals wrapped up the best-of-five series in four games, winning three straight contests after being shut out by Biloxi, 7-0, in the opener. What’s more, the club’s Southern League title comes in its second year as an Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate.

[Yahoo Sports] MLB postseason picture: Streaking Dodgers shake up NL West and Wild Card standings - With their lopsided victory at Busch Stadium, Los Angeles extended its winning streak to four games while making huge progress in the standings. First, the Dodgers passed St. Louis for the NL’s second Wild Card spot. Later on, they also passed the Colorado Rockies for first place in the NL West after Colorado lost again to the San Francisco Giants. Obviously, leading the division is a much bigger deal for the Dodgers. When all’s said and done, playoff teams want to avoid the do-or-die Wild-Card game. But the success they’ve had this weekend guarantees they’ll at least finish the weekend tied for a wild card position. That’s a big improvement from where they started the week.

[ESPN] A’s riding D-list starting rotation right into October - When Oakland began to attract attention as a potential dark horse team in spring training, the projected rotation consisted of Sean Manaea, Kendall Graveman, Jharel Cotton and Daniel Mengden, with Paul Blackburn, Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Jesse Hahn and top prospect A.J. Puk among the candidates for the No. 5 spot. Then pitchers started grabbing body parts, and the MRI results began to come back, and it was time to adapt or die. The list of aforementioned pitchers incurred a devastating run of Tommy John surgeries and shoulder woes, mixed with a strained foot here and a case of lateral epicondylitis there. That’s tennis elbow, the malady that sent Blackburn to the disabled list in early June.