So I’ve spent just shy of a mortgage payment to watch the D’backs get spanked for two games as they clung to life in the wild card race while I write to you from a hotel with poor wireless service. What of it? I’ve had an absolute blast in the Brew City even if the D’backs haven’t played winning baseball during my stay. If you ever have the chance to make it here for a series, I can’t recommend it enough. The party starts well before the game even begins and doesn’t end after the ninth inning. Roughly twenty bars or hotels in the area offer complimentary shuttles to and from the game ensuring that patrons have a safe mode of transportation and can continue their “festivities” when they’re ready to leave the stadium. Why we don’t do anything similar in Phoenix is confounding to me. Perhaps it’s time to open a bar/restaurant in the Valley and buck that trend?
[D’backs.com] Gallen continues to make strong first impression - Zac Gallen continues to show why the D-backs are so high on him as a mainstay in their rotation. In Arizona’s 4-0 loss on Saturday night to the Brewers, Gallen allowed two runs on six hits and two walks over five innings, striking out eight. The 24-year-old got back to what’s made him successful since being acquired from the Marlins. The loss, the D-backs’ third straight, drops them to 5 1/2 games back of the Cubs in the race for the second National League Wild Card spot. (If Zac Gallen hopes to be a successful “mainstay” in the rotation, he’s gonna have to cut down on the amount of baserunners he allows in an inning. He’s done a decent job of stranding runners, but that will only continue for so long.)
[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks offense continues to struggle in third straight loss - After managing just two hits against Milwaukee on Friday, the Diamondbacks’ bats again were quiet on Saturday. Arizona had just four hits, three of which came against [Chase] Anderson. Anderson (6-3) picked up the win after allowing a career-high 10 runs in his last start Sunday in Washington. Of his 87 total pitches on Saturday, the right-hander threw 60 for strikes in front of a capacity crowd of 41,737.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks’ hitting woes at Miller Park continue in another quiet loss to Brewers - For the second night in a row, the Diamondbacks offense did not materialize. Their hitters managed just four hits in a 4-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday. They have scored one run in two days in this ballpark. Their struggles here date back even further. Last season, during a May that went down as the worst month of offense in franchise history, the Diamondbacks passed through this town while barely making a peep. Between that three-game series and the first two of this weekend, their offense has posted comically inept numbers. In those five games in this ballpark, the Diamondbacks have a total of 16 hits. They are hitting .112. They have posted a .220 on-base and a .196 slugging. They have performed, collectively, like a group of bad-hitting pitchers.
[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks recall Tim Locastro, place David Peralta on IL - The Arizona Diamondbacks announced that outfielder David Peralta will be taking another trip to the 10-day injured list Saturday. In a corresponding move, the team has also recalled Tim Locastro from triple-a Reno. Peralta’s latest IL stint is due to right AC joint inflammation, an injury that he has been dealing with for much of the season. This will be Peralta’s third trip to the IL. As of Friday, Peralta was batting .275 with 12 home runs and 57 RBI.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks testing limits of prospect Daulton Varsho’s versatility - The Diamondbacks believe prospect Daulton Varsho can stick behind the plate. They believe he will, in fact, catch games at the major-league level. They also believe he can play other positions. They began putting that belief to the test this week. Varsho started in center field in two games for Double-A Jackson this week, his first exposure at a position other than catcher in parts of three seasons in the minors. General Manager Mike Hazen said the feedback he has received thus far has been limited, but, like others in the organization, he has little doubt about Varsho’s ability to play the outfield. “We just feel like we have an athlete that we’re going to want to expose to different places on the diamond,” Hazen said. “And he rakes. It’s about giving him every opportunity in the future to impact our major-league roster.”
Around the League
[Chicago Tribune] MLB reinforces Players Weekend cap policy after Cubs go rogue - The all-black and all-white Players Weekend uniforms have been criticized by players, managers, media and fans, including Cubs manger Joe Maddon, who politely called them “awkward.” The Cubs even went rogue Friday, letting their players wear traditional blue hats. And MLB didn’t like it. “The pitcher (Jon Lester) was supposed to wear a black hat and (position players) were supposed to wear white,” Maddon said. “So they got together and figured (for) uniformity we’d all wear the same hat. A solidarity kind of a move.” “No, as we found out, we don’t,” Maddon said. After the Cubs went rogue in the only afternoon game, several other teams around baseball did likewise Friday night, opting to have all their players wear non-sanctioned hats. A major-league source said MLB sent an edict Saturday instructing teams to follow the rules.
[MLB.com] Panda’s season to end with Tommy John surgery - The Giants announced Saturday that Pablo Sandoval will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in the first week of September, prematurely ending a resurgent season for the 33-year-old veteran infielder. Sandoval traveled to Los Angeles on Wednesday to be evaluated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who recommended reconstructive surgery of the ulnar collateral ligament in Sandoval’s throwing elbow. Sandoval landed on the injured list with right elbow inflammation on Aug. 14 and received a cortisone shot in the hopes of alleviating the pain, but he showed little improvement in subsequent days, prompting the Giants to send him to ElAttrache for a second opinion. Sandoval has dealt with loose bodies in his elbow since 2013, but this latest bout of inflammation proved to be more severe than his previous flareups.
[ESPN] Cervelli (3 hits, 3 RBIs) sparks Braves in debut - Newly signed Francisco Cervelli had three hits and three RBIs in his Atlanta debut, and the Braves beat the New York Mets 9-5 on Saturday night for their seventh straight victory. The veteran catcher, released Thursday by Pittsburgh, signed with the first-place Braves earlier Saturday to help fill in with Brian McCann on the injured list. After recovering from yet another concussion, Cervelli played his first major league game since May 25. He stroked a two-run double into the left-field corner on the second pitch he saw for a 2-0 lead in the second. He singled his next time up and added an RBI double to deep center in the ninth. About two hours before the game, Cervelli said he was still waiting for his catching equipment to arrive at Citi Field.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Max Scherzer Not Yet Back To Full Health - Max Scherzer is back in the Nationals rotation, but he’s not yet back to full health, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. How he feels the day after a start is a touchstone for Scherzer, who classified his own health status as “not out of the woods yet.” In what amounted to a rehab start, Scherzer went four innings in a series finale win in Pittsburgh on Thursday, but as he gutted out a 4-inning, 71-pitch return, he was clearly working a gear or two below normal. It’s uncertain how long it will take before he’s back to full-blown Mad Max status. Still, Scherzer remains ever-confident in his ability to not only bounce back, but potentially emerge stronger. “You know, heck, in some ways this might make me a better pitcher,” Scherzer said, per Collier. “When I come out on the other side, I may be a better pitcher because of this because of what I’m learning how to do right now and how to still be sharp and yet still be controlled. So let’s look at this glass half full.”