[D’backs.com] Marte nearly cycles vs. Kershaw, but D-backs fall - Ketel Marte finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle and drove in three runs, but it was not enough as the D-backs fell, 7-4, to the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw on Monday night at Chase Field. The loss was the eighth in the last nine games for the sliding D-backs, who fell to 5-17 in September. Marte was 3-for-4 overall, but went 3-for-3 off Kershaw with an RBI single, an RBI triple and a solo home run. That was the entire offense until A.J. Pollock led off the ninth with a homer off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.
[Arizona Sports] Ketel Marte misses cycle as D-backs are outdueled by Dodgers - D-backs starting pitcher Robbie Ray got into trouble early, allowing four of the first five batters of the game to reach base, including a Freese RBI single that scored Chris Taylor. Despite loading the bases with one out, Ray was able to pitch his way out of the jam and limit the damage to just one run. Ray labored again in the fifth inning. After an eleven-pitch at-bat by Justin Turner, Freese tied the game with a solo dinger of his own. While Ray was on point for most of this start, his pitch count soared to 100 by the fifth inning which prematurely ended his night. The left-hander went five innings and allowed two earned runs, four hits, and three walks with seven strikeouts. 66 of his 100 pitches were strikes.
[D’backs.com] D-backs sign Japanese righty Yoshikawa - I feel as if we discussed this over a month ago, but I guess it’s official now?
[Arizona Sports] Chisholm named D-backs’ Player of Year, Widener wins Pitcher of Year - In 112 games, Chisholm, who is ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the D-backs’ organization by MLB.com, hit .272 with 25 home runs, 70 RBI and 79 runs scored. He was named a Midwest League All-Star and led the the D-backs farm system in homers. He also ranked third in runs, tied for fifth in triples (6), seventh in RBI and ninth in walks (39). He’s ranked as the third-best prospect in the organization by Baseball America while also taking home the Best Infield Arm award. The 20-year-old shortstop joins Jack Cust (20) in 1999 and Justin Upton (20) in 2007 as the youngest players to receive the Player of the Year award. The left-handed hitter also joins Paul Goldschmidt (2010) as the only players to take home the hardware playing in Single-A.
[The Athletic] What went wrong with the Diamondbacks offense, and how do they fix it next season? - How does one assign responsibility for a collapse like the Diamondbacks suffered down the stretch of this season? Some of it certainly goes to a bullpen that was one of the best in baseball before becoming one of the worst in September. Some belongs to Torey Lovullo, whose in-game decisions backfired left and right over the final month of the season. Even a usually stellar defense failed to show up at times. But mostly, the culpability is with the Diamondbacks’ offense. They own the worst batting average in baseball, a distinction that has been theirs for most of the season.
[AZ Central] Slow second half of season dooms Diamondbacks as playoff hopes eliminated - “Especially these last few weeks, just didn’t play well enough,” first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “You think back on it and it just stinks. You want to play well; we just didn’t play well enough.” The elimination caps a stunning fall from contention for the Diamondbacks, who spent most of the first five months of the season in first place. Their loss on Sunday was their 21st in their past 29 games.
Around the League
[Bleacher Report] Athletics Clinch Berth in 2018 MLB Playoffs After Rays Loss to Yankees - One of Major League Baseball’s best surprises in 2018, the Oakland Athletics, secured a spot in the postseason following the Tampa Bay Rays’ 4-1 defeat to the New York Yankees on Monday. Coming off a 75-87 record last season, expectations for the A’s were modest. Their biggest offseason move was acquiring outfielder Stephen Piscotty in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals. The combination of a loaded bullpen, excellent defense and development from position players such as Matt Olson and Matt Chapman led to Oakland’s resurgence in the American League West.
[ESPN] Records that could fall in final week of MLB season - From the difference between teams at the top of the standings and those at the very bottom, to the number of balls in play (or not in play, to be specific), it has been a historic season in the majors. Here are the records that could fall and milestones that could be passed in the season’s final week.