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Snake Bytes: 10/26 - Have To Do It Again

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Clayton Kershaw and Randy Arozarena keep on breaking records in a post-season that might end tonight unless the Rays manage to get back once again.

MLB: World Series-Los Angeles Dodgers at Tampa Bay Rays Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Diamondbacks news

[MLB Trade Rumors] Artie Lewicki to continue career overseas

The Diamondbacks released reliever Artie Lewicki who might continue his career for SK Wyverns in South Korea, according to MBC Plus, via Dan Kurtz. The KBO is wrapping up its regular season and the SK Wyverns are currently in 9th place out of 10 teams and therefore out of contention, making Lewicki then a possible signing for next season. Lewicki appeared in two games this season and pitched 3.1 innings for the D-Backs to a 5.40 ERA. Lewicki was claimed off waivers from the Detroit Tigers in October 2018 while recovering from TJ surgery.

Around the MLB

[Tampa Bay Times] Rays pushed to the brink after 4-2 loss to Dodgers

A shaky Tyler Glasnow start puts the Rays in an early hole, and they face a must-win Game 6 Tuesday. “Well,” manager Kevin Cash said, “we have to do it again. Just got to somehow prevent them from getting early leads on us. And that’s both ways. Offensively, we’ve got to do our part a little earlier and set a tone. On the pitching front, with Glas, they just got to him quick, drove his pitch count up.” Cash also shared his thoughts on the maybe game breaking failed home steal attempt of Margot: “I think Manny just felt like he had a bead on it and that he could time him up,” Cash said. “Frustrating inning, man on third, no outs, then first and third no outs. Pop up, strikeout, and then get thrown out trying to do that. Ideally, we’ve got to find a way to get that guy in to tie the game right there.”

[CBS Sports] Clayton Kershaw pushes Dodgers closer to elusive title with record-setting start

Kershaw limited the Rays to two runs in 5 2/3 innings in Game 5 and, in the process, he became the all-time leader in postseason strikeouts. In the past, a start like Game 5 might’ve unraveled on Kershaw, particularly in October. Instead, Kershaw managed to keep the Rays off the scoreboard in four of his five full innings, and he protected the early lead his offense gave him following the misery of Game 4. Game 5 probably won’t satisfy those wanting true greatness each time Kershaw takes the mound in the postseason, but there’s no sense in trying to appease the critics now. Some people are never satisfied.

[CBS Sports] Rays rookie Randy Arozarena sets MLB postseason record with ninth home run

The home run was Handsome Randy’s ninth of the 2020 postseason, setting a new MLB record. Barry Bonds (2002), Nelson Cruz (2011), and Carlos Beltran (2004) had previously hit eight home runs in a single postseason. Corey Seager swatted his eighth home run of the 2020 postseason earlier in the Game 4, moving into a temporary tie for the all-time record. Arozarena is breaking even more records and given how inconsistent the remainder of the Rays’ offense has been in October it’s no exaggeration to say they likely would’ve already been eliminated without his contributions.

[WBSC] MLB World Series to be broadcast in 220 countries/territories, 15 languages

DC was asking why the World Series are called the World Series. Well, at least no other league is more diverse: The rosters of the finalists feature a total of 16 players born in different countries or territories outside the Continental United States: Cuba, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Makes sense then that the most important series in America’s game is broadcasted all over the world.

[The Independent] Pandemic World Series draws smallest crowd in over century

World Series games are usually festive, packed early with fans celebrating the dual accomplishments of their team making it to baseball’s ultimate stage and of their snagging hard-to-find tickets, usually displayed in plastic hanging from lanyard draped around their necks. But this World Series had a surreal, at times somber aspect caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The small crowd was supplemented with fan audio from stadium speakers. “We just went to buy souvenirs and it was all Rangers stuff,” a Dodger fan said about visiting the stadium shop. “It’s all so weird,” said another fan.

[The Athletic] MLB owners lay off hundreds as revenues plummet, drastically changing the sport

Major League Baseball owners this month have combined to lay off hundreds of people across different club departments, portending an offseason that will forever change the sport. Already, the layoffs have threatened the livelihood of scores of people who work behind the scenes.

Paywall! But two weeks ago we shared a link to a similar article that is free to read.

Across the Pacific

[Australia] Former ABL players productive for Rays in the World Series

Former Australian Baseball Leaguers drove in all three of Tampa Bay’s runs in game one of the World Series but it was not enough as the Rays went down 8-3 at Globe Life Field. Former Canberra outfielder Kevin Kiermaier cut the Dodgers’ lead in half with a solo shot to right field. Former Perth infielder Mike Brosseau delivered a pinch-hit RBI-single and Kiermaier backed it up with a single to bring in Joey Wendle. In the second game former Adelaide infielder Ji-man Choi added to the success of former ABL players scoring a pair of runs. Then in game 4 the small bat of Kevin Kiermaier kept on making loud noise when he hit his second World Series homer.

[Japan] Masahiro Tanaka returning to NPB?

The Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) are reportedly willing to invest a record US$ 25 million per year to bring right-handed starting pitcher and current free agent Masahiro Tanaka back to Japan. The Eagles drafted Tanaka in 2006 and the hurler only played for them in his previous NPB days. If he does return to NPB, Tanaka could potentially suit up for Samurai Japan’s National/Olympic Team again at next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

[South Korea] Mission accomplished: how Dan Straily became the best version of himself in KBO

“I came here with the utmost respect for the league and the players, and never once thought I could just walk in here and dominate,” Straily said. “I knew I really had to work hard for it. I feel like some guys might feel like you can just show up here and succeed. But you have to really adjust your game and learn the hitters in any league you’re playing, and that’s no different in the KBO.” Straily said he had to make an adjustment coming from the relatively quiet American baseball culture into a more raucous KBO culture, with players often cheering hard for every pitch and every hit. “It was about embracing the culture of having fun at the baseball field that the KBO is so great at,” Straily said. “The KBO is such a fun atmosphere to play in, that I just wanted to embrace it and be a part of it. I was just being myself.”

Straily finished the KBO season for the Lotte Mariners with a 2.50 ERA in 194 2/3 innings with 205 strikeouts, becoming the 10th pitcher, and only the second foreign hurler, in KBO history to surpass the 200-strikeout mark in a season. With numbers like that, he could be in for a return to the MLB although as one of the fan favorites, Korean baseball teams are in line to resign him.

[South Korea] Korean journeyman Choi Ji-man takes improbable path to World Series

Choi, 29, was signed by the Seattle Mariners out of high school in South Korea in 2009. The Baltimore Orioles had signed him as a free agent in November 2015 but lost him to the Angels in the Rule 5 draft who made him a free agent in January 2017. Choi signed with the New York Yankees later that month but only appeared in six games in pinstripes in his lone season in the Bronx. Then it was off to Milwaukee for the 2018 season, but the Brewers traded him to the Rays in June 2018. There he settled and now is the first Korean born position player to be in the World Series. Three South Korean players that have been there before Choi were all pitchers: Kim Byung-hyun (2001 Arizona Diamondbacks), Park Chan-ho (2009 Philadelphia Phillies) and Ryu Hyun-jin (2018 Los Angeles Dodgers). Kim is the only one of the trio with a ring.

[Pakistan]: Touching the sky: Pakistan Federation Baseball to promote baseball at high elevation tourist destination

The city of Skardu (elevation 2,228 meters or 7,310 feet) will surpass Denver (5,130 feet) as the highest baseball location.

Across the Atlantic

[Germany] Germany: Heidenheim Heidekoepfe win National Baseball Championship

The Heidenheim Heidekoepfe swept the Bonn Capitals, 12-3, 3-0 and 8-3, in the championship series of the German Baseball Bundesliga. It’s the fifth National Title in the club’s history and second in a row. It’s also the fourth consecutive German Baseball Series played between Heidenheim and Bonn.

[Russia] Russia: Moskvich gets no hitter, wins National Cup to close out 2020 baseball season

Moskvich defeated RusStar Yunost (Junior), 10-0, in the Russian Baseball Cup final played at RusStar Arena. The final game — an all-Moscow affair — closed out the 2020 baseball season in Russia. The Russian Cup was a one-week long tournament that involved eight teams, representing the country from the western St Petersburg to the far eastern Vladivostok and Nakhodka. Back in August, Moskvich finished third in the 2020 Russian National Baseball Championship behind RusStar Major and the Moscow Wolves.

[Austria] Vienna Metrostars win 2020 Austrian Baseball Championship

The Vienna Metrostars have won the 2020 Austrian Baseball Championship. They defeated the Traiskirchen Grasshoppers 3-1 in the best-of-five final series in the Austrian Baseball-Bundesliga.

Across The Wall

[Dominican Republic] Luis Urueta confident in the Gigantes del Cibao (Google translate)

Back in June the Cibao Giants announced the signing of Diamondbacks bench coach Luis Urueta as their head coach for the Dominican winter league. It is not the first gig of the Colombian as head coach, having served in several occasions as head coach of the country’s top team Licey Tigers. He’ll be managing former D-Backs Jake Ellmore and Steven Souza Jr.

[Dominican Republic] Socrates Brito’s first goal is to reach the playoffs with Stars (Google translate)

The former Diamondback Socrates Brito is fully recovered and without consequences from the Covid-19 contagion that he suffered earlier this year. Brito explained that he was forced to stay in quarantine for two weeks, without leaving a hotel room. The situation made him lose his game form and was aggravated when he had to return to the country due to the death of a brother, which forced him to undergo a further two-week quarantine upon returning to the United States. In 3 years with the Diamondbacks Brito saw his performance decline each year until he got designated for assignment and claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019. In 2020 he was under contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates but could not get in shape for the shortened MLB season and preferred to abandon the season.

[Mexico] Roberto Osuna joins Charros and might pitch by the end of November in LMP

Osuna was placed on the Injured List August 1 after four appearances for the Houstron Astros this year with what the team termed “right elbow soreness.” An initial diagnosis recommended Tommy John surgery but those concerns have lessened to the point that the Astros closer is allowed to pitch in the Mexican winter league for rehab purposes.

Your random Diamondback

Pitcher Brennan Malone hopes to provide Pirates good return in Starling Marte trade

“You’re not expecting to get traded in your first year. It was a little bit of a shock”, said Malone on finding out on social media that he was one of the pieces that got traded to the Pirates in the Starling Marte trade. Now Malone is in Pirates’ fall instructional camp and working on the command of his fastball that touches the mid-90s, adding a toe tap to allow his arm better timing and consistency with his back leg. Where the Diamondbacks gave him freedom with his mechanics, Malone said the Pirates are providing more structure. “I rate myself as a power pitcher, given the things I have consistent right now. Of course, looking down the road, I want to be the full package. I want to be that complete start-of-the-rotation pitcher.”