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Snake Pit Sim Season: 4/23 - A Real Sweep

Arizona’s starting pitching has now gone from suspect to being a real difference maker.

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Diamondbacks’ veteran right-hander once again managed to complete seven-plus innings of work while limiting the opposition and keeping his team in the game. Through 7 13 innings of work Mike Leake threw 100 pitches. He allowed eight hits and three runs. To keep the game close, Leake limited the free passes to only one. But then, he also allowed a home run, in the fourth inning, a 426 foot moonshot to Freddie Freeman. Leake even made his pitch, down and in. He just joined the ever-increasing list of names in Freeman’s prolific book because Freeman is occasionally going to Freeman

With the nine base runners allowed, it seemed Leake was always pitching from the stretch. Even though five of the eight hits Leake allowed went for extra bases, he managed to continually induce weak contact. Even one of Ozuna’s doubles was not hit particularly hard, it just found room to roll.

It was a good thing Leake was on his game. Atlanta’s starter, Max Fried, was doing his own impersonation of Leake. However, where Leake was getting plenty of soft contact, the Diamondbacks were putting solid hits on Fried when they could get them. It was a triple by Marte and a single by Escobar in the top of the first that put the Diamondbacks out in front and gave Leake some room to work with. However, the real damage was done in the third inning.

David Peralta led the inning off by hitting a liner deep into the corner in right. Ketel Marte followed with a walk on a full count. Christian Walker then flew out to the track in straight away center. That brought up Kole Calhoun. Though Walker just missed a three-run bomb, Calhoun did not, hitting a 364-foot round-tripper down the left field line. That put the Diamondbacks up by four, which turned out to be just enough. In addition to Freeman’s fourth inning big fly, the Braves used small ball to score single tallies in the sixth and seventh.

In the eighth inning, Ozzie Albies lined a double over the head of Christian Walker at first. He was followed by Freeman. Freeman once again put a good swing on Leake’s offering, but this time he didn’t quite square the ball up. Instead of heading into the seats, the ball dropped harmlessly into Locastro’s glove in deep center. Perhaps worried by a combinatin of the pitch count and the back-to-back hard contact off of Leake, Virtual Lovullo pulled Leake from the game and turned the ball over to Andrew Chafin. Chafin did his job, allowing Lovullo to call on Bradley. Bradley continued to shine as Arizona’s closer. Despite allowing a hit and a walk, he did not allow Atlanta to score. He picked up his seventh save of the season and the Diamondbacks picked up the sweep. Also, for the first time this season, every member of the Diamondbacks lineup managed a hit in the game

Mike Leake was the player of the game. By keeping the Atlanta hitters way out in front or looking in the wrong place for a pitch, he managed to mostly keep them from hitting anything with authority that wasn’t a fol ball into one of the dugouts.

The Diamondbacks will take their six-game winning streak to Cincinnati to face the Reds. They will open the series with left-hander Robbie Ray (2-2, 5.40) while the Reds are expected to counter with right-hander, Trevor Bauer (1-1, 6.14)