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Snake Bytes 6/25: Not Expected But Welcomed

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Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw combined to allow 6 runs in the first inning alone.

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 5

[D’backs.com] Greinke takes Kersh deep as D-backs derail LA - Zack Greinke considers himself more of a baseball player than a pitcher, so he takes pride in his hitting and baserunning. In fact, he can even be found taking grounders at shortstop or third base on days he doesn’t pitch. Greinke flashed his hitting skills once again in Monday night’s 8-5 win over the Dodgers with a solo home run off left-hander Clayton Kershaw, his career-high third homer of the year.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs closer Greg Holland earns 200th career save in win over Dodgers - Arizona Diamondbacks closer Greg Holland earned his 200th career save Monday in an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He becomes the 51st member of the 200-saves club and is one of only six active closers to reach the milestone. Holland, 33, joins former D-backs closer Gregg Olson as the only two pitchers to achieve the feat in a Diamondbacks uniform. Olson pitched for Arizona from 1998-99. The right-handed Holland now has 11 saves in 13 tries for Arizona this season, his most since 2017 in which he led the National League in saves (41) for the Colorado Rockies.

Diamondbacks News

[The Athletic] Those shifty Diamondbacks: How Arizona excels at infield positioning - Nobody watches the game for the shifts. It’s easy to miss when teams make them. Infielders change spots between plate appearances, as the pitcher is stalking the mound and the batter is stepping to the plate. Those moments are covered with close-ups on television broadcasts. No camera captures the shortstop scooting five feet to his left. But those adjustments are happening constantly. For many teams, including the Diamondbacks, those shifts are the lifeblood of a healthy defense. To watch a Diamondbacks game – to really watch it – is to watch an infield quartet that is continuously in motion.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs pick Tommy Henry picks up win in Game 1 of CWS Championship - If you’ve never pitched in the College World Series, you have as many losses as Michigan ace and Arizona Diamondbacks draft pick Tommy Henry does in the College World Series. Henry, a second-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, improved his record to 2-0 in the tournament and 12-5 on the season in Game 1 of the College World Series Final against Vanderbilt. He nearly made it the full nine innings, throwing 8.1 and allowing seven hits and four runs (three earned) on eight strikeouts and one walk.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks starter Luke Weaver’s latest MRI reveals good news - In light of a starting rotation that has struggled of late, Luke Weaver’s latest MRI results came as much-needed good news for the Diamondbacks. Weaver, who suffered a flexor pronator mass sprain and a UCL strain on May 27, received news that both injuries were healing as expected. Weaver’s absence has been felt in the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation. The club has not found a solution to its fifth spot and has cycled through pitchers from Triple-A Reno to the bullpen. Weaver seemed to be on the verge of a breakout season with a 3.03 ERA through 11 starts, which made him look like more of a No. 2 starter as opposed to the back-of-the-rotation pitcher he was predicted to be in spring training. Entering play Monday, Weaver still ranked second among pitchers in Wins Above Replacement (1.6) despite not having played in the last month.

Around the League

[ESPN] Power Rankings: Yankees, Braves rise to challenge Dodgers for No. 1 - A substantial drop for the D’backs in this week’s rankings. Arizona slides all the way to #18 at ESPN. It’s a four spot tailspin to #16 at CBS Sports. The snakes round out the top half at #15 per Yahoo Sports. They somehow manage to improve at MLB.com to #10. The Athletic spots Arizona at #19.

[Bleacher Report] How Would the Rays Splitting Time Between Tampa and Montreal Actually Work? - According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the tentative plan is for the Rays to play roughly two-and-a-half months in Tampa, or around 35 home games, to start the season. They’d then fly north and play another 46 or so home games in Montreal. “The Rays can pay the players for the inconvenience,” Topkin noted, “similar to the stipends they get for taking international trips, and as part of a compensation package that also could offset other issues such as taxes, currency exchange (though they’re paid in U.S. dollars) and family travel costs.” There is precedent: In 2003 and 2004, the Montreal Expos played 22 home games in Puerto Rico. Attendance ticked upward, but it also preceded the Expos’ move to Washington, D.C., in 2005, where they would become the Nationals.

[Sports Illustrated] The Year of Bad Bullpens: MLB’s Pitching Model Is Broken - Relief pitching has reached a tipping point. For half a century, ever since the mound was lowered in 1969, relief pitchers posted a lower ERA than starting pitchers. That no longer is true. As managers go to bullpens earlier and earlier, and as the use of openers grows, workload is catching up to bullpens. Relievers have a higher ERA (4.50) than starters (4.44) for the first time since 1969. Only three years ago, relievers’ ERA was almost half a run better than that of starters (3.93 to 4.34). Bullpen ERA this year is the second worst in the past 69 years (only 2000 was worse) and the eighth worst of all time. And it’s getting worse as the workload piles up.

[Crawfish Boxes] Yordan Alvarez: A Deep Dive into his first dozen games. Is he another Paul Goldschmidt? - No. No he is not.