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SnakeBytes, 5/31: Rocky Mountain Low

That... could have gone better.

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


[] Stagnant offense drops D-backs to .500 - “I felt like when we came in here, we were ready to score a lot of runs,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Maybe it’s coming into a situation where we’re trying to do a little bit too much, we’re trying to duplicate what we did in San Francisco. What we did in San Francisco was, we showed patience, used the whole field, took something off our swing to execute and get runners across.” For Jones’ part, he doesn’t think it’s really a matter of guys gripping the bat too tightly. “Even [Monday], we lined out five or six times,” he said. “You take away half of those and put them as base hits, it changes the game. And you never consider the plays [the Rockies] make on defense. I think we’re just grinding. I think we’re swinging the bats well.”

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks blow late lead, lose to Rockies, fall below .500 for season - The misery of this May, in which they are 11-16, hasn’t been as pronounced as last year’s, when they were 8-19. Nor has it felt as stunning. For one, they are not losing in the same fashion. A year ago, their vanishing offense was to blame for nearly all of their woes; that issue has surfaced again this year, but this time the losing feels like more of a group effort. Their loss on Thursday was their first in a game in which they scored more than five runs since May 5, which, as it happens, was their last time in Colorado. Right-hander Taylor Clarke lasted only two innings and the bullpen continued to spring leaks beyond just the struggles of erstwhile setup man Archie Bradley.

Team news

[] 3 key takeaways as D-backs wrap road trip - [Bradley] also said there’s only one way to stop the runaway train that is the D-backs bullpen. “It’s the easiest thing to say, and it’s the hardest thing to do.” Bradley said, “But it’s sticking to what you’ve been doing. I think there’s a time when you take a step back and look at what’s causing some of these things. But at the same time, you’ve gotta play catch the right way, look at video, there are some things that you just have to do. It’s tough, because sometimes the results don’t happen, and when you mess up, everyone sees it. The whole team feels it.”

[The Athletic] What is to be done about the Diamondbacks’ struggling bullpen? - Relief performance is so volatile in general that even a season’s worth of feedback is difficult to trust. Keeping that in perspective is important, but it’s also very difficult when multiple relievers are setting themselves alight. Each pitcher is dealing with his own mechanical and strategic issues, but Bradley thinks there’s a psychological component, too. “You get the feeling of ‘I don’t want to be the guy to lose the lead, I don’t want to be the guy to mess it up’ instead of ‘I want to be the guy to go in there,’” Bradley said. “When you blow some leads like that, that starts to creep in your head and creep in your vocab.”

[] Why Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke to Yankees rumors make sense - In theory, the Yankees won’t need a starting pitcher by the trade deadline. James Paxton is on the way back. CC Sabathia likely won’t be out long. Luis Severino could return. But as we’ve seen in the past when it comes to the Yankees, there’s no such thing as too much good pitching. Would (likely) come at a discount: Greinke is owed $70M from 2020-21. If Arizona expects to get anything decent back, they’ll have to pick up some (half?) of the tab. That could lead to the Yankees getting an All-Star caliber arm at a discount.

[] D-backs eye 'impact players' in 7 early picks - The D-backs are trying to compete at the big league level while also building up the talent in their system. Starting pitching was a strength for the organization at the top end heading into this year, but with recent promotions their depth has been stretched. Most of the team’s top position players are at least a year away from the Majors... “I just think we need to add impact players,” Hazen said. “Whether that comes in the rotation or an everyday player, I don’t care at this stage. Either one of those would be important to us. I think [we want] as many impact players [as] we can find, regardless of position.”

[AZ Central] MLB mock draft: Arizona Diamondbacks have options in 2019 MLB draft - The Arizona Diamondbacks have two selections in the first round of the 2019 MLB draft, which will be held on Monday. Their first pick comes at No. 16. Their second, a compensatory pick due to the team not signing their first round pick from a year ago, is at No. 26. Who could the team take with those selections? Take a look at the latest MLB mock draft projections for the Diamondbacks' picks:

And, elsewhere...

[] Cubs and Cardinals will reportedly play in MLB's 2020 London Series - The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will meet next year in a continuation of MLB's London Series, the Associated Press reports. According to a draft of the tentative 2020 schedule, the Cubs and Cardinals will play a two-game series in West Ham's Olympic Stadium on June 13 and 14 of next year. The first London Series takes place this year on June 29 and 30, when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will play a pair of games. The encounter will mark the first time an MLB regular season game has been played in Europe.

[DeadSpin[ Hear Me Out: Infinite-Field Baseball Games - WHOA. Did I mean, like, all the way infinite? Like, into space? Yes. I did. Could this be done? Logistically, not really. But spiritually? INFINITE YES. Here is how it would work: during a torpid moment in the sports calendar—let’s say August, because August is slow torture—Major League Baseball stakes out a plot of land somewhere out along the Great Plains, builds a baseball diamond there, and then paints the baselines all the way to the horizon. Anything within those baselines gets bulldozed: homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, grain processing facilities, state capitals, and such and such. Those are all important structures, but this is baseball we’re talking about here. I only care about property seizure if it happens to me.

[AP] MLB attendance down for 4th straight year - The Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins drew 12,653 Wednesday night -- combined. Baltimore, Cincinnati, Minnesota and Tampa Bay set stadium lows this year. Kansas City had its smallest home crowd since 2011, and Toronto and San Francisco since 2010. The Marlins' average attendance is less than that of Triple-A Las Vegas. Major League Baseball's overall average of 26,854 through Wednesday is 1.4 percent below the 27,242 through this similar point last season, which wound up below 30,000 for the first time since 2003.