Merrill Kelly managed seven innings of shutout baseball on Tuesday night. He received a great deal of help from his battery mate, Carson Kelly. Between the two of them, they hung nine Padres out to dry via the strikeout. Carson continued his strong framing work for the final two innings, including helping Archie Bradley to get the strikeout of Nick Martini to end the game.
The Diamondbacks have been leaning heavily on their bullpen of late. Merrill Kelly’s seven innings of shutout baseball are just what the doctor ordered to give them some much needed rest.
Although the Messers Kelly worked their magic against the Padres, the win was still hardly a pretty one. The Diamondbacks managed only two runs off the embattled San Diego pitching staff and Archie Bradley needed 32 pitches and an earned run allowed to secure the save. Still, a win is a win and the Diamondbacks refuse to say die.
Winning eight of their last nine games and sitting only 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot, the September schedule could play a role in helping keep Arizona’s slim playoff hopes alive. If they merely win, but not sweep, each series the rest of the way (only one team has a winning record), the Diamondbacks would end the season with 87 wins. A tall order, but not an impossible one.
From the Outfield Grass: Nick Ahmed Can Hit Now (Baseball Prospectus)
Multiple regimes have allowed Nick Ahmed and his slick fielding to work his way through his struggles at the plate instead of relegating him to the bench. Those decisions to allow him to play and develop are now paying off in spades.
Blake Swihart Coping With Brother’s Suicide (The Athletic)
Say what you want about Blake Swihart’s on-field performance this season. No one can deny the many has much bigger things weighing on his mind right now.
Some pitches are a thing of beauty. A perfectly executed pitch in the right place at the right time can make even the best of hitters look a bit silly.
The Nationals are bringing Aaron Barrett back to the Majors to help shore up their bullpen for a playoff run. The righty has been on a long and winding rod of injury and rehab since he went down for Tommy John surgery in September of 2015. That’s right, four years worth of injuries and surgeries and he is still at it.
Two of the top prospects in baseball, Luis Robert (#5) and Nick Madrigal (#40), both playing in the Chicago White Sox organization, will not see Major League playing time in September. The White Sox of course deny that service-time implications are involved, stating they want the players to get a full offseason of rest tso that they can properly build on their strong seasons in the minors, Given the performances the players put up, not everyone is convinced.