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Snake Bytes 4/14: One Run Margins

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Hey, ya’ll got any more of them walk offs left in ya?

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MLB: San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks 4, San Diego Padres 5

[D’backs.com] D-backs squander bases-loaded threat in 7th - The D-backs, it seemed, had the Padres on the ropes, drawing three walks and reaching base by a hit batter in the seventh inning. Yet, somehow they failed to push across even one run in that inning as the Padres held on for a 5-4 win on Saturday night at Chase Field. The loss was the fourth straight for the D-backs, who will try to avoid being swept in this four-game series Sunday afternoon. “Just from me walking through the clubhouse and just getting the temperature of what’s going on, I think the guys are a little bit frustrated,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. That’s certainly understandable, given how things have been going. The D-backs have done almost enough to get wins, but not quite. Each loss in the series has been by one run.

[AZ Central] Mistakes compounding into frustration for Diamondbacks in third-straight loss to Padres - The Diamondbacks (6-9) put themselves in an early hole when right-hander Merrill Kelly labored through the first three innings of the game and allowed a pair of runs in the first and third innings, respectively. Although the Diamondbacks managed four base hits and six baserunners over their first three innings at the plate, they would not get a run across until the sixth inning and quickly found themselves with a one-run deficit after the Reyes home run in the top of the seventh.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs rally once again neutralized by Padres response in loss - The D-backs broke through the wall in the sixth. Christian Walker struck out after David Peralta’s walk, and from there, the D-backs had a runner advance on five straight batters. Eduardo Escobar and Nick Ahmed singled, with Ahmed bringing home Peralta. Carson Kelly’s double scored Escobar and a fielder’s choice for Ildemaro Vargas moved Kelly to third and saw Ahmed cross home plate. With Adam Jones at the plate down a run and Kelly 90 feet away from tying the game, a grounder hit deep into the left side was enough for Jones to not give Tatis a play and score Kelly. “It’s just one of the characteristics that this team has that we keep fighting and clawing,” manager Torey Lovullo said after the game of the inning. The back-breaking inning would be the seventh, and not just because of Reyes’ go-ahead dinger. The Padres walked four straight D-backs hitters to start the inning, and if you’re wondering why that didn’t result in any runs, it’s because Jarrod Dyson was caught stealing on second.

Arizona Diamondbacks News

[The Rattle] The Razor’s Edge - The Diamondbacks have walked a fine line since Mike Hazen took over as the team’s General Manager in October of 2016. Technically, I suppose, they were walking a fine line before Hazen’s tenure, but that was the line between carelessness and recklessness. Hazen’s line is a bit more palatable, if not more clear: contender or re-builder? The Diamondbacks seemed to kick the can yet again this offseason in deciding which path to follow. While it can make for an uneasy feeling for fans, it does allow the organization to maintain flexibility a bit longer, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

[MLB.com] Saturday’s top prospect performers - D-backs: Jake McCarthy, OF (No. 8) --1-for-3, 2B, R, BB (Class A Advanced Visalia) McCarthy has now hit in six straight for the Rawhide after an 0-for-12 start to his season. The No. 39 overall pick in last year’s Draft was sent straight to the California League for his first full season after putting up a .288/.375/.443 slash line and 21 steals across two levels in his pro debut.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks rookie Yoan Lopez hasn’t allowed a run since disastrous MLB debut last September - On Sept. 9, 2018, Yoan Lopez allowed two home runs and a triple without recording an out in his major-league debut. He hasn’t allowed a run since. Cheekily clinging to superstition, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo had no desire to be asked about it, so he took precautions before delivering a response. “Way to go,” Lovullo said when asked about Lopez’s scoreless streak. “I’ve got to knock on wood now.” In 14 2/3 innings since his debut, Lopez has trimmed that infinity ERA down to a minuscule 1.84 in 17 career appearances.

[Tahoe On Stage] Crushing with Aces, Yasmany Tomás seeks Dbacks return - Yasmany Tomás is awaiting a return to the Arizona desert. A former Diamondback, Tomás is bruising the ball with the Reno Aces, batting .400 with a team-high three homers and seven RBIs this season. The Cuban slugger went 2-for-5 with a towering home run in the Aces’ 12-7 loss to the El Paso Chihuahuas on Saturday. He crushed El Paso reliever Kyle McGrath’s high fastball that hit off the scoreboard and ricocheted off the foul poul in left field. Reno manager Chris Cron is anxious to see Tomás back in a Dbacks uniform. “Yas has continued to develop,” he said. “I’m excited for him. He’s a guy that has big-league time under his belt and has kept grinding to make the time. He just needs to continue to perform at high level.”

[Boston Herald] Former Red Sox GM Mike Hazen won’t tank with Diamondbacks - The Cubs and Astros were among the biggest losers in baseball for years before turning into the powerhouse World Series winners they became. [Mike] Hazen doesn’t want to do that. Maybe it’s ingrained in their souls after spending most of their careers in the Red Sox front office, working in a town where there’s no such thing as a rebuild, only a reload. A season of non-competitiveness is unacceptable in Boston. And Hazen’s crew is taking that same approach with a new franchise... If it’s not aggressively tanking, and it’s not aggressively competing, what is the strategy? “I think it’s easier and cleaner to say you’re one way or the other,” Hazen said. “You’re either all-in, devoting all your resources to your major league team, or you’re out, and you’re devoting few resources to your major league team. We’re not in that position. We’re trying to do both. “I think it’s a little messier. Making decisions like, why didn’t you bring Paul back, A.J. back, Corbin back if you’re all in? Well, I don’t think it’s black-and-white. OK, well, then you’re rebuilding? No, I don’t think it’s black-and-white there either. We still have a lot of really good players. You don’t know what can happen during the course of the season.”

Around the League

[FiveThirtyEight] What’s Behind MLB’s Bizarre Spike In Contract Extensions? - From mid-February through Thursday, 27 players had agreed to extensions worth a total of 132 years and $2.045 billion, according to data from the MLBTradeRumors.com extension database analyzed by FiveThirtyEight. There has never been a flurry of activity like this: March represented the most dollars ($1.126 billion) and years (58) awarded in contract extensions in a one-month period that we’ve seen. While veteran stars including Nolan Arenado, Chris Sale and Mike Trout all signed massive extensions this spring, players with little major league experience made up the majority of the deals.

[Sporting News] Craig Kimbrel’s price tag appears to have dropped - Craig Kimbrel’s price tag may be dropping. The free-agent closer is still committed to waiting for the right deal, it appears, but according to The Athletic, the right deal now falls somewhere between what Wade Davis got for the Rockies last season — three years, $52 million — and what Zack Britton received from the Yankees this year — three years, $39 million. Those numbers seem absolutely fair as Kimbrel is 14th all time with 333 career saves, but they are also intriguing because that is not what Kimbrel was reportedly asking for earlier this offseason. In a report that also came from The Athletic, Kimbrel was looking for a deal in the six-year range worth $100 million.

[NBC Sports] Streak broken! Chris Davis finally breaks MLB-record slump - The hitless streak is finally over! After 62 consecutive plate appearances and 33 at-bats this season, the Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has broken his hitless streak at 54 at-bats with a 2-run single. During the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox the Orioles had loaded bases with two outs when Davis came to bat. Davis lined a two-out single to right field driving in two runs. Immediately following the single Davis asked for the ball and an uproar of cheers erupted from Red Sox fans at Fenway Park. It gets even better than that, during the fifth inning Chris Davis hit a RBI double to take the lead for the Orioles 3-2. Later in the eighth inning Davis hit another RBI double, making a total of 4 RBIs alone it one day! Davis’ contributions resulted in the Orioles defeated the Red Sox 9-5.