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Snake Bytes 4/23: Don’t Call It A Meltdown

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At first the Arizona Diamondbacks were losing, and then they weren’t. This is what fun feels like.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Arizona Diamondbacks 12, Pittsburgh Pirates 4

[D’backs.com] For D-backs, rallies are better late than never - Monday evening’s comeback was a quick way to forget about Sunday’s frustrating loss. Pirates starter Joe Musgrove held Arizona to only a single run over the first six innings of the game, but his teammates in the bullpen imploded allowing the D’backs to score eleven unanswered runs. Right hander Nick Burdi of the Pirates went down with an apparently excruciating arm injury in the middle of Jarrod Dyson’s at bat. He had Tommy John Surgery in 2017, so he might unfortunately be headed back in that direction.

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks rally with 11 runs in two innings, beat Pirates - The D’backs did it all in the 7th inning. Bases clearing triples. A home run. Bunting for a single to load the bases. Swinging bunts. Bloopers into no man’s land. Everything that could go right in that inning did. David Peralta drove in the drove in the go ahead runs with the triple in the 7th followed by Christian Walker’s two run home run to bust the game wide open.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks’ latest late-inning offensive outburst leads to big win over Pirates - For everything that went right for Arizona in the seventh, Pittsburgh was equally as unfortunate in the first and second innings. Zack Godley left a lot to be desired in the early innings. He had to tap dance his way out of a bases loaded jam in the first with only a single out. Pittsburgh got to him in the second inning as well putting a runner on first and second with no outs but came out empty handed again. Godley was not as successful in the third and fifth allowing a pair of runs to score in each of those frames.

“I threw more strikes in the latter part of the game, started to get a little bit more feel for everything,” Godley said. “Early in the game I really couldn’t throw too much for strikes, and they knew that.”

Diamondbacks News

[D’backs.com] Versatile Swihart catching on with D-backs - Sure you’re only looking at carrying three catchers, Jan. How long before our existing three have “played too many games” in the rotation and “need a breather”?

“We have three really good catchers here right now, so we’re going to stand pat with those three that we have,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “Blake’s versatility is going to come up in a big way for us in other ways right now. We’re going to look at him as a corner outfielder at this point in time and give him the opportunity to get his feet on the ground, then get some work done with [first-base coach] David McKay and then transition over to [third-base coach] Tony Perezchica, maybe get some ground balls at first and third base.”

Around the League

[ESPN] Power Rankings: New challengers vie for No. 1 - At some point you have to just tune out the noise and focus on the task at hand. The D’backs are on their way to completing a very successful road trip, yet they are listed at #21 in ESPN’s power rankings. MLB.com finally places Arizona in the top 20 at #17. The Athletic also slots the snakes at #17. Arizona stays put at #22 in the CBS Sports poll. No movement at #20 over at Bleacher Report as well.

[ESPN] Harper ejected for yelling at umpire from dugout - Hard to believe that the Philadelphia Phillies had not had a player ejected since 2015 according to ESPN. I guess when things were going poorly there over the past few seasons there were few reasons to get passionate enough to go into a tirade. Bryce Haper just ended that streak of nearly four years without an ejection for the organization yesterday when home plate umpire Mark Carlson told him his hair was not that impressive.

[FiveThirtyEight] How The Rays Are Surprising Baseball Again - The Tampa Bay Rays are not supposed to be in first place in the AL East. Since 2008, the Rays have never ranked higher than 20th in payroll. This season, the Rays opened with a payroll $176 million less than the Red Sox and $144 million less than the Yankees. There are underdogs and then there are the Rays. Yet, it’s a few weeks into the 2019 season, and the Rays are still in first place. And our projections predict that they’ll be a playoff team.

[Fangraphs] What Can the MLBPA Do About Ozzie Albies’ Deal? - What all of this means is that an agent isn’t allowed to negotiate a contract on his client’s behalf that is bad for players’ rights. If Scott Boras negotiated a contract wherein Bryce Harper agreed to sign with the Dodgers for the league minimum, that would violate the Rules even if Harper was just fine with it. And the Rules allow the MLBPA to suspend or strip an agent of their certification at the union’s sole discretion for any violation of the rules, including everything from a lack of competence to undermining the union. (It’s also worth noting that agents are covered by a variety of state laws, and attorney agents are governed by legal ethics rules.) So no – the MLBPA can’t nix the Albies contract, even if it wanted to do so. But what the union could do is nix SportsMeter – or, more precisely, nix Meter’s certification. Certifications and licensures follow individuals, not companies. It’s worth noting, because it’s a powerful tool the union has yet to utilize.