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Snake Bytes, 9/21: Undefeated again

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The D-backs extended the unbeaten streak to their longest in more than two weeks, by the cunning tactic of not playing.

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World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship - Semifinal Round Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Team news

[The Athletic] Mike Hazen wants ‘sustainable, consistent’ success, not just one year of it - “I always view these positions in every organization as being able to create an organization that consistently competes for the World Series,” Hazen said. “That’s what our goal is. Different organizations, given where you start, you’re going to have to take different paths to get there. We’re trying to create that with everything that we’re doing from a coaching standpoint, from a teaching standpoint, building an infrastructure standpoint underneath, to acquiring impact talent underneath, to create that sustainable, consistent competition for a World Series championship.”

[Arizona Sports] Porter on Diamondbacks' struggles: 'I think there’s definite frustration' - Arizona assistant general manager Jared Porter has witnessed his team’s frustration firsthand over the course of their rough patch. “I don’t know if I would use the word ‘angry.’ I think there’s definite frustration,” Porter said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug and Wolf. “We feel like we do have a talented club and unfortunately we’ve gone through a real tough stretch here…”

[AZ Central] Don't forget Torey Lovullo in Arizona Diamondbacks' blame game - A year ago, every move he made seemed to work, everything he touched turned golden. He was the National League Manager of the Year and deserved it. At times this year, everything he touched seemed to turn brown and die. That was especially true over the last month or so. His curious decisions are major points in the timeline of the Diamondbacks' collapse.

[The Sports Daily] Zack Greinke is all about that consistency - The veteran right-hander’s usage of his fastball and curveball have been nearly identical to the year prior, but there’s been a shift in his other two pitches. Grienke’s throwing his slider at a rate five percentage points lower than 2017, with that difference basically going directly to his changeup. That makes sense when looking at the results to this point, too — opposing hitters have managed just a .491 OPS, .099 ISO, and 41 wRC+ against that pitch, while their performance against sliders has been much better (.688, .165, and 90, respectively).

[dbacks.com] Ahmed aiming to improve water in Dominican - “Having kids puts things in perspective,” Nick Ahmed said. “Everyone in the world doesn’t necessarily have the same blessings and opportunities we do, so just looking at our son and thinking about not being able to give him clean water to drink, or him getting diseases or not having enough food to give him to eat so he can grow and develop really hurt us. Our son is amazing, and knowing that there’s people in the world that work extremely hard and for whatever reason -- whether it’s bad luck or some kind of injury or the area of the world they’re born into -- it made our hearts pretty heavy for the people going through something like that.”

And, elsewhere...

[USA Today] Hall of Famer John Smoltz says MLB needs drastic changes - Smoltz wants to eliminate the shift (“I think it’s single-handedly killing the game), curtail the relentless use of relievers, stop the exploitation of the disabled list, but most of all, revolutionize the schedule. Smoltz proposes that MLB adopt a split-season schedule, just as they do in the minor leagues, in a move that he believes will create dramatic division races again, reduce the number of teams tanking for draft picks, and make baseball great again in September.

[MLB] Arcia 1st ever to catch, pitch, homer in 1 game - Arcia started behind the plate and then took the mound in the seventh after the Angels had tumbled into a 16-run deficit. The 29-year-old rookie gave up back-to-back home runs to Nick Martini and Chad Pinder that extended the A’s lead to 21-2, though he worked a scoreless eighth to cap his second pitching appearance of the season. In the ninth, Arcia helped atone for his pitching missteps by crushing a two-out solo shot off Chris Hatcher. [Bonus fun fact: Despite it being the home of the Raiders for 46 seasons, the A’s win today was the first 21-3 game in Coliseum history.]

[Deadspin] Add “Not Getting Ejected” To List Of Bryce Harper’s Missed Goals For 2018 - He’s still gonna finish the year batting around or below .250, and with a growing reputation as a guy who can be neutralized by the shift, if not also as a not especially well-liked teammate. He is going to be paid something like $350 million this offseason, which in all likelihood will start in just 10 days, and I’m guessing that will make him feel a lot better about his relative bummer of a year. But while he’s still playing out the string on this lost season, he’s evidently got some rage stored away from all the disappointment.