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Snake Bytes, 9/7: Arrow-ing loss


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2016 Stagecoach California’s Country Music Festival - Day 2 Photo by Matt Cowan/Getty Images for Stagecoach


[AZ Centrall] Diamondbacks fall further back in playoff race with loss to Braves
- The Diamondbacks’ late-season schedule has been staring at them for months, looming in the distance. And, so far, it has lived up to expectations, at least in terms of its degree of difficulty. In losing 7-6 in 10 innings to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night, the Diamondbacks fell behind, rallied, fell behind farther, forced extras and ultimately fell short. They could point to any number of missteps that cost them the game. They could point to an equal number of big moments that kept it within reach.

[Arizona Sports] Despite Goldschmidt's heroics, D-backs bullpen collapses in extras - “We didn’t play particularly our best game today, but when we needed to, we rallied around one another, we tied the game and unfortunately we couldn’t close the deal,” he said after the game. “I felt like had we gotten out of that 10th inning, we would have had a lot of momentum.” The D-backs hit 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position and had more opportunities before Goldschmidt’s heroics. In the seventh down two runs, consecutive pinch-hitters — Jon Jay and Chris Owings — hit singles. With runners on the corners and no outs, the top of the order came up. The chance was there but the D-backs didn’t take advantage.

[] Goldy’s HR forces extras, but D-backs fall in 10 - Lovullo went with closer Brad Boxberger to start the 10th, and after retiring the first two hitters, Boxberger allowed back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Ronald Acuna Jr. then drew a walk, and Lovullo decided to bring in Yoshihisa Hirano to face Ender Inciarte. “I wanted to make sure we were going to be able to throw strikes to the hitter,” Lovullo said. “Box looked like he had really good stuff, but he started to get nicked up. The pitch count was climbing. I just felt like a fresh arm and a fresh situation was going to give us an opportunity to get out of that inning.”

[The Athletic] Brad Boxberger ‘is still our closer,’ Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo says. But what does that really mean? - For the second outing in a row, Brad Boxberger walked off the mound and into the dugout, the score of the game unchanged from when he entered it. He is, at least nominally, the Diamondbacks’ closer. But it’s been a while since he’s been allowed to close. That change went poorly — Hirano unleashed a wild pitch, allowing a run to score and sending the Diamondbacks to a crushing 7-6 loss to the Braves on Thursday — and it opened questions about what the term “closer” really means to Lovullo. Does it mean the most-trusted reliever? Does it mean the guy who starts the ninth inning with a lead? Does it mean the guy who finishes it?

Team news

[Arizona Sports] Arizona Diamondbacks continue partnership with Mexico - We have really good relationships down there,” Hall said. “We donated jerseys to the kids so that they could wear them in little league, so we’re going to go down there and make an announcement with the Sonoran governor, (Claudia) Pavlovich.” The team’s association with Hermosillo spans back to the franchise’s inception, and the D-backs played 10 exhibition games in the town from 1998-2015. “It’s really cool to go down there to see all the D-backs banners and jerseys,” Hall said. “I mean it’s like being in Phoenix. It’s like a home game whenever we’re down there.”

[AZ Central] Torey Lovullo’s faith in Diamondbacks closer Brad Boxberger waning - Boxberger seemed to choose his words carefully on Thursday night when asked how the change has played into his performance. “It’s definitely a mental change and shifting gears from the whole year that we’ve been doing it,” Boxberger said. “Definitely a little change in gears, but no excuse on how tonight went.” It was the fourth time in nine outings Boxberger had been charged with an earned run. As far as other ninth-inning options, Lovullo doesn’t appear to have many besides than Hirano, at least not with the way Bradley has pitched since the All-Star break (15 runs in 18 1/3 innings).

[The Athletic] A Q&A with David Peralta about being on fire - I like to go the other way. Anybody can pull the ball. But to prove to the pitchers that you can use the whole field and do damage either way, it’s an advantage, because they have to be more careful. They know I can go out of the park oppo or I can pull it. So they’ll be more careful, and try to be perfect, and then they’ll make a mistake. I like to work gap to gap. I’m not a home run hitter because I’m not, I’m not a pull hitter, because I’m not.

[] Inbox: Should Hirano be used differently? - No question that the final three games against the Dodgers were tough to take for fans, so I understand some of the frustration that I've been hearing from them this week. Still, there's plenty of reason to be optimistic because there's still 23 games to play and the D-backs have seven games left against the Rockies and three against the Dodgers. Keep in mind the Dodgers and Rockies play each other six more times, starting this weekend, so at least one of them will be losing on those days, which also gives the D-backs an opportunity to make up ground.

The Brute Squad get angsty in their latest podcast

And, elsewhere...

[MLB] Players set to become free agents in 2018-19 offseason - Below is a list of notable players who are on an expiring contract or have an opt-out clause, grouped by position -- using a player's most-played position in 2018 -- and ranked by '18 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). Each player's 2019 seasonal age and 2018 WAR total are included in parentheses next to his name. (WAR totals are through Monday, Sept. 3, per FanGraphs.)

[McCovey Chronicles] Who should Giants fans root for in the NL West? - I'm not going to spoiler the result. But let's just say, I think we'll all be quietly pleased with any article that includes the following: "Coors Field was built by the devil as an advance fort in his war against God. All the signs are in the Denver Airport if you know where to look."

[ClickOnDetroit] Sources: Rod Allen choked Mario Impemba after disagreement - The 16-year run of Detroit Tigers television broadcasters Mario Impemba and Rod Allen is reportedly in serious jeopardy. Sources told Local 4 that Allen attacked Impemba following Tuesday night's broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit. Sources told Local 4 that Impemba left the broadcast booth at some point and Allen followed, assaulting Impemba from behind and choking him. The altercation was because of a disagreement over a chair in the booth, sources told Local 4. Allen was a broadcaster for the Diamondbacks from 1998-2002.

[AL] Trash Pandas voted nickname for new Madison baseball team | - To the minor league baseball industry that has brought you the Hartford Yard Goats and the Omaha Storm Chasers, you may now add Trash Pandas. The team, which currently exists as the Mobile BayBears, will begin play in Madison in 2020. Trash Pandas was the overwhelming choice as the nickname and Rocket City was the overwhelming choice as the team identifier, according to the announcement from the team.