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Snake Bytes, 4/19: Brooms over the Braves

The D-backs completed their first sweep of the year in Atlanta

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P. J. Proby Photo by Mike Lawn/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


[AP] D-backs complete sweep of Braves behind Walker, Weaver - Walker continued his remarkable late-innings production with a two-run homer in the seventh. [He] said Braves starter Mike Soroka’s exit after five innings gave him a fresh outlook. “For some reason he had my number,” Walker said. “… I just tried to re-start and check back into the game. I kept telling myself I’m going to help the team today, one way or the other.” Walker added a double in the ninth and is hitting .619 (13 for 21) after the sixth inning.

[] Clean sweep: Weaver shuts down Braves - Weaver secured the sweep, throwing five scoreless innings while allowing four hits and striking out a season-high nine batters. He set the tone by striking out the side in the first, a key shutdown inning after his teammates got him a 1-0 lead. The 1-2 changeup that struck out Braves leadoff man Ozzie Albies was crucial in doing so. “That pitch has always been huge for me,” said Weaver, who has put up back-to-back quality starts. “When that’s going well, everything just feeds off of it. Just being able to master location with that really bringing in that differential of speeds, and seeing how they were reacting on it, a lot of stuff out front so the fastball was able to play well off of that.”

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks complete road sweep the Atlanta Braves - “I think, for the most part, we controlled counts a lot better in this series,” Diamondbacks pitching coach Mike Butcher said. “It’s a really good hitting team over there. When you fall behind and make mistakes, they have a deep lineup where it could come back and hurt you. I thought we commanded way better counts. We did attack more. And when we got ahead, we executed pitches.” It was, reliever Archie Bradley said, a stark turnabout from the previous series against the San Diego Padres, who took three of four at Chase Field. Bradley thought the Diamondbacks were “almost being shy” in their approach against Padres hitters.

[Mainichi] Diamondbacks' Hirano earns 1st save of 2019 - In his 10th game appearance of the year, Hirano came on as the fifth pitcher for the Diamondbacks at SunTrust Park, and worked a scoreless ninth inning though he needed 20 pitches to nail it down. "I was told I would take the mound in a save situation so I was ready," Hirano said "My fastballs were effective and the batters were fouling off nasty forkballs. I'm glad I was able to contribute to the team's win," he said. The 35-year-old Japanese yielded a one-out single to Ender Inciarte, but struck out two and got the last batter to line out.

Team news

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks ride momentum of sweep to Chicago to face Cubs - Arizona’s three probable starters each sit in a fascinating spot to respond to their latest outings. Friday’s nod is to right-hander Merrill Kelly, who gave up a season-high eight hits and four earned runs in his last outing, a loss against the San Diego Padres. The former Arizona State standout did well early to quell any worry over his spring through two starts with a 2.57 ERA, but he can’t afford to have many more outings like his last one if he wants to hold a rotation spot when Taijuan Walker returns from Tommy John Surgery.

[AZ Central] Christian Walker making strides on both sides of the ball - “I’ve always taken my defense seriously, but trying to keep up with a guy like Goldschmidt you realize how important defense is,” Walker said. “For me, that was important to take it even more seriously and take it to the next level.” Walker said he came to appreciate the way Goldschmidt’s attention to detail helped slow the game down for him. He noted that Goldschmidt always had his feet in the proper position, thus never felt the need to rush. “So, for me, it’s just staying calm, maybe assessing the situation before the play happens and just trusting my instincts,” Walker said. “The game isn’t easier that way, but it seems to play a little bit smoother when things are a little more settled down mentally.”

[The Athletic] ‘As good as I can be is still pretty good’: Greg Holland wants to prove he’s still got it - “Sometimes when I’m struggling, I want my stuff to be better. I kind of think about it to the point where it’s like a block,” Holland said. “It can even be more detrimental the more you worry about mechanics and spin and stuff. Some people are able to take that information and be better with that information. Me, if I’m going out there with the intent of just competing and giving it everything I’ve got, then that typically translates into better stuff for me on the mound.”

And, elsewhere...

[ESPN] From 'blimp folder' to Foot Locker: Fake jobs MLB players use to fool fans - To protect their privacy, pro athletes have long been known to use bogus names when checking into hotels. But bogus jobs? Yep, that's a thing, too. As much as Americans love talking about work, the guys who play the American pastime for a living would rather not talk about it. Like, ever. In the spirit of true journalism (and nosiness), we canvassed MLB clubhouses to find some of the game's go-to counterfeit careers.

[FiveThirtyEight] Um, The Red Sox May Actually Be In Trouble - It’s a bad idea to read too much into any April baseball games, but this week’s two-game sweep at the hands of the archrival New York Yankees appears to have officially sent the Boston Red Sox into a full-blown crisis. The team’s record dipped to 6-13 — tied for the second-worst for a defending champ since 1947 (trailing only the fire-sale 1998 Marlins) — and they landed once again in last place in the American League East.

Finally, a story too good to miss that cropped up in my “baseball” search results...

[WGFL] 65-year-old Florida woman slugs 300-pound, half-naked attacker with baseball bat - It was early Sunday morning when 65-year-old Clarese Gainey heard a noise outside her apartment. As she looked out the window, she says she saw a man in his boxers pulling at her car door handle and knocking on the window, attempting to break in. “I grab my bat, I brace myself, and I ease the door open,” Gainey said. That’s when police and Gainey say 5’6, 300 pound Antonio Mosely charged her. “I took that bat and hit him upside the head like ‘pi-yah!’ He said ‘Ow!’”