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Snake Bytes 9/2: Achilles Heel

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What a nightmare.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

Arizona Diamondbacks 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 3

[D’backs.com] D-backs drop another heartbreaker in LA - D-backs setup man Archie Bradley had a message for D-backs fans after Saturday night’s 3-2 late-inning loss to the Dodgers. It’s going to be OK. “This is a tough loss, don’t get me wrong,” Bradley said. “But to our fans, to people outside this clubhouse, this isn’t a ‘we just lost in the playoffs.’ This is a tough loss in a tough environment.” The D-backs held a 2-0 lead before Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer off Bradley in the eighth.

[Arizona Sports] Archie Bradley gives up three-run home run, D-backs fall to Dodgers - Matt Kemp slugged a go-ahead, two-strike, three-run homer in the eighth inning, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-2 victory over Arizona and a tie atop the NL West with the Diamondbacks on Saturday night. With fans on their feet chanting “Let’s go Dodgers,” Kemp took two quick strikes from Archie Bradley before launching his 19th homer into center field for a 3-2 lead. It was the only runs the Dodgers scored against several D-backs pitchers Saturday.

[AZ Central] Archie Bradley blows lead, Steven Souza blows up after Diamondbacks’ crushing loss - In an otherwise quiet visitors’ clubhouse, Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza’s voice grew increasingly heated on Saturday night. He had been asked a question about his team’s slumbering offense. He disagreed, adamantly, with the premise. “How is it a rough stretch?” Souza said. “Explain to me how it’s a rough stretch.” Before the facts could be presented – about how the Diamondbacks have scored 21 runs in their past nine games, about how their offense has been inconsistent, at best, for the better part of a month – Souza began to rant, then cut his interview short.

[The Athletic] ‘Explain to me how it’s a rough stretch’: The Diamondbacks offense is becoming a sore subject - “We just faced Madison Bumgarner,” [Souza] said. “We faced Clayton Kershaw. We faced Rich Hill. We faced (Dereck) Rodriguez. This isn’t a rough stretch; these are good pitchers. I’m not going to keep answering these questions. I’m done answering these questions. If you have anything else to ask me, I’ll answer it. But I’m done. I’m tired of answering this all year.”

Diamondbacks News

[D’backs.com] D-backs add 6 to expanded roster - The D-backs called up six players from Triple-A Reno on Saturday, the first day rosters expanded to a max of 40. Right-handers Silvino Bracho, Matt Koch and Jimmie Sherfy, infielder Chris Owings, outfielder Socrates Brito and catcher Chris Stewart joined the team for the stretch run. It’s possible the D-backs will make even more callups when Double-A Jackson’s season comes to an end. Manager Torey Lovullo met individually with the players when they arrived. “I think they understood that we’re in a pennant race, they know the importance of the moment and they’re going to prepare and do what they can when they’re asked,” Lovullo said.

[The Athletic] Could Patrick Corbin be headed for a $100 million payday? - Patrick​ Corbin picked a good time​ to​ figure​ things out. It’s hard to imagine how​ the​ Diamondbacks​ would​​ have kept afloat atop the National League West without the 29-year-old left-hander turning into a strikeout machine and one of the top pitchers in the NL. He leads the Arizona pitching staff with 5.5 fWAR, which is also the fourth-best total among NL pitchers. He’s on pace to strike out nearly 250 batters and has been one of baseball’s best at preventing home runs. Corbin didn’t throw a single pitch in four playoff games last season, and now he’s a lock to start one if the Diamondbacks clinch the division. It’s fortunate timing for the Diamondbacks, who lost Taijuan Walker to Tommy John surgery and watched Robbie Ray and Zack Godley regress. But it could be even better for Corbin’s bank account. He’s poised to hit free agency before the age of 30, coming off his best season as a professional. And, depending on whether Clayton Kershaw exercises his opt-out clause with the Dodgers, Corbin could be the best starting pitcher available.

Around the League

[Yahoo Sports] Umpire Joe West confiscated Phillies pitcher Austin Davis’ cheat sheet on the mound - As Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant approached the plate in the eighth inning on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Austin Davis quickly pulled out his cheat sheet out of his back pocket. Bryant hit a single, and the game moved on. Then, as Addison Russell came out to the plate for the next at-bat, Davis did it again. That’s when umpire Joe West approached the mound. “I saw him take it out and I went, ‘What the heck is that?’” West told the Associated Press after the game. West cited Rule 6.o2(c)(7), which states that a pitcher may not “have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance,” and confiscated the card. “I told him we don’t allow him to carry anything on their glove, person or clothing except in some cases where there’s a rain situation we allow them to put a rosin bag in their pocket,” West told the Associated Press. “Other than that they can’t have anything on the pitcher.”

[Sports Illustrated] Shohei Ohtani Will Return to Mound Sunday Against Astros - Angels dual threat Shohei Ohtani will return to the mound for Sunday’s game against the Astros, the team announced Thursday. Ohtani was placed on the disabled list with a right ulnar collateral ligament sprain June 8. He returned from the DL July 3 to serve as a designated hitter but hasn’t taken the mound since June 6. The Angels were trying to determine if Ohtani could return to regular pitching without needing Tommy John surgery during July and August. He threw a bullpen session in mid-August. The righthander is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in nine starts this season. Ohtani is hitting .275 with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs this season.

[FiveThirtyEight] The Rockies Are Still In The Playoff Race Because Of Their … Pitching? - On Tuesday in Anaheim, the Colorado Rockies beat the Anaheim Angels to move into a first-place tie with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West. Most franchises wouldn’t put up a banner just for leading their division at the end of August, but things are different for the Rockies: In their 25 years of existence, they have never won a division title. They’ve reached the postseason on four occasions and even advanced to the 2007 World Series, but each time was as a National League Wild Card. The Rockies enter play Friday in second place, 1 ½ games back of Arizona. The Rockies have come this far despite entering Friday with a run differential of -14 — 139 runs worse than the third-place Dodgers. That’s a big part of why FiveThirtyEight’s playoff forecast is skeptical of Colorado’s ability to sustain success through September, giving the Rockies a 19 percent chance of winning the division.