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Snake Bytes, 4/29: Valar Morghulis

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A horde of unthinking zombies swarmed into our homeland over this weekend. Where was Arya Stark when we needed her?

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Premiere Of HBO’s “Game Of Thrones” Season 7 - Red Carpet Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Recaps

[AZ Central] Cubs outlast D-Backs in 15-inning series finale - Nick Ahmed’s fly ball hung in the air in left field, and for a brief moment on Sunday evening it seemed as if an already improbable game had taken another unlikely turn. It already had lasted 15 innings. More than 500 pitches had been thrown. Several battalions of baserunners had been stranded. “I thought,” Ahmed said, “maybe there was a chance.” Instead, the ball came to rest in Ben Zobrist’s glove, and the Diamondbacks shuffled back to their clubhouse with their most emotionally draining loss of the season.

[Arizona Sports] The Cubs outlast the D-backs in a 15-inning marathon series finale - Despite a heroic effort from third baseman Eduardo Escobar, the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped their final game against the Chicago Cubs, 6-5, in a grueling 15-inning affair on Sunday. Escobar was 2-for-6 with two home runs, three RBI and a walk for the D-backs. “Just a situation where I think we ran out of a little steam in the bottom of the 15th,” said manager Torey Lovullo after the game. “But we made things interesting and that’s one of the great qualities that this team walks around with is that they’re not going to shut down under any circumstance, and they fought as hard as they could for the entire 15 innings.”

[dbacks.com] D-backs' top pitching prospect drops in for gem - Called up from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day, he experienced a flight delay and got to Chase Field just before Sunday’s series finale with the Cubs started. Five hours, 36 minutes and 15 innings later, the D-backs were saddled with a 6-5 loss, and Duplantier, who had thrown four scoreless innings, was packing his bags, having been optioned back to Reno. “Long day,” Duplantier said. “But I’m never going to pass up an opportunity to come up here and help the team out. Happy for the experience, for sure.”

Team news

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks face decision on Zack Godley rotation replacement - The Diamondbacks do have some relief in the form of two off-days next week, meaning they will not require a fifth starter until May 7. It is unclear whether Godley would remain in the rotation or shift to the bullpen; if Godley were designated for assignment, he would almost certainly be claimed by another team. If the Diamondbacks elect to go away from Godley in the rotation, the most likely replacement would seem to be right-hander Taylor Clarke, who pitched three innings in relief for the Diamondbacks earlier this season and currently sports a 7.65 ERA for Triple-A Reno.

[dbacks.com] D-backs weighing potential changes to rotation - As for what happens with Godley’s spot in the rotation, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was noncommittal. “I have some decisions to make,” Lovullo said. “I have some tough decisions to make. Right now, today, I don’t know that answer. I’m on an information search. That’s how I operate. I poll people around me. I poll everyone that I possibly can around me to make the best decision possible moving forward. I want to be fair to certain decisions that will be made, and I want to make them promptly so we can make some adjustments.”

[The Athletic] What the Diamondbacks can do about Zack Godley’s rotation spot - It’s telling that Lovullo admits a question needs to be asked. When one of his players has struggled in previous seasons, the manager has responded with full-throated support. At times, he’s been criticized – including by himself – for changing horses too late for it to matter. But Godley has a 7.58 ERA in six starts this season, and 5.15 mark since the start of 2018. He seems to lose his feel far more often than he finds it. After Godley allowed five runs and four walks in just 2 2/3 innings Saturday night, Lovullo admitted that the right-hander’s job security was under discussion. By Sunday morning, that’s where it remained.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs Farm Rumblings: Cron and Locastro dominating; Visalia rolling - Cron was almost impossible to get out this past week, hitting .444 (8-for-21) with five home runs and 15 RBI. The 26-year-old is tied for the PCL lead with 11 home runs while his 33 RBI outpaces all competitors. Locastro has been on a torrid pace since being optioned to Reno on April 20, hitting .542 (13-for-25) with 10 runs scored, three homers and 10 RBI in just six games.

[Last Word on Baseball] Luke Weaver is a Valuable Addition to the Arizona Diamondbacks - Since his disastrous AZ Diamondbacks debut against the LA Dodgers, pitcher Luke Weaver has shown confidence and command in each of his other five starts. Although he did not figure in this past Sunday’s decision, he is beginning to demonstrate his importance to this team and the fans. Through the six games that he has pitched thus far he has 36 strikeouts in 31 innings and a 3.73 ERA. Even better, he has only seven walks with only three issued in his last four starts. He is showing confidence on the mound, attacking hitters with the location of his pitches.

And, elsewhere...

[SI] Boom or Bust: Revealing MLB's Defining Trends So Far in 2019 - The major trends in baseball kept flowing in the same direction in April: more strikeouts, more walks and more home runs. One month doesn’t make a season, but the first month of the 2019 season is an indication that how baseball is played continues to narrow. As skilled pitchers more and more keep the ball out of play, hitters more and more swing for the fences to make their few hits count. Increasingly it becomes a game of boom or bust.

[Twinkie Town] The Truth Is Out There: Baseball, Aliens, & A Scene To Remember - By 1999, The X-Files was about at the peak of its popularity. It had already been airing for nearly six full seasons, and the ratings would only decline from that point. The series was created and managed by Chris Carter, himself an avowed baseball fan who grew up in California listening to Vin Scully on the radio. Is it any coincidence that one of his show’s main character bears the same surname?

[ESPN] White Sox tie MLB record with 20 Ks vs. Tigers - According to ESPN Stats & Info, the White Sox became the seventh team to record 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning contest. Although the White Sox needed four pitchers to tie the record, catcher Welington Castillo was behind the plate for all 20 strikeouts. He joins Rich Gedman (Red Sox), Bill Haselman (Red Sox), Sandy Martinez (Cubs), Chris Ianetta (Angels), Wilson Ramos (Nationals) and Christian Vazquez (Red Sox) as the catchers to accomplish that feat.