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Snake Bytes, 8/24: Roadkill

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Well, that could have gone better.

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The Bay of Pigs, 40 Years Later Photo by Jorge Rey/Newsmakers

Team news

[AZ Central] Swept: Diamondbacks' collapse continues after lost series in San Francisco - The Diamondbacks finished on Sunday afternoon a road trip they could not explain. They swung the bats poorly again. Their bullpen failed them. And they did not just dip further below the .500 mark, they fell into last place in the National League West. After Sunday’s 6-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants, who completed a three-game sweep at Oracle Park, the Diamondbacks are 29 games into their season, one shy of the midway point. It remains difficult to say what kind of team they are. For stretches, they look like a very good one. During others, like the past five days in Oakland and San Francisco, they look ill-suited for playoff contention.

[Arizona Sports] Luke Weaver shines, D-backs offense remains quiet in 5th straight loss - Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Luke Weaver had the best outing of his 2020 season in Sunday’s 6-1 loss to the Giants. It also marked the right-hander’s return to San Francisco for the first time since suffering a forearm strain in May of last season. Weaver allowed two earned runs on five hits, five strikeouts and one walk over 5.2 innings of work (84 pitches/58 strikes). The 5.2 innings pitched is the first outing this season in which he went over five frames in a single start. “I felt like I started off well mixing pitches in there, getting inside, pitching threw a big jam — just executing, getting soft contact,” Weaver said of his performance after the game.

[dbacks.com] D-backs wrap 'extremely frustrating road trip' - “It’s hard to put my finger on it,” Lovullo said. “I got five of them, I’m going to try to figure that out. That’s my job. Offensively, our guys have done it before. They’re motivated. They work their butts off. That’s what’s so hard for me to watch is that I know exactly what their intent is, I know exactly where their heart is. We’re going to keep fighting. I can assure you that. This group of players are easy to believe in.” In Saturday night’s game the hitters seemed to be overly aggressive as 20 of their 27 outs came on three pitches or less. Sunday, it wasn’t so much about working counts, but rather Giants starter Trevor Cahill did a nice job pitching to them.

[The Athletic] There are few fast fixes for the Arizona bullpen — except hope it gets better - The Diamondbacks’ bullpen is hardly the most painful in baseball, nor are they the Diamondbacks’ biggest problem. That would be the offense, which managed just six runs in five games on the team’s just-completed road trip. Scoring more runs would help Arizona’s relievers — “The margins are so fine, so minute in that bullpen that they feel they have to walk in the game without making one tiny mistake,” Lovullo said — but so would pitching better. The Diamondbacks are 13-16 and in last place in the NL West with 31 games to go, and just seven before what could be a go-or-no-go deadline for Hazen. Pitching better might be their most realistic path to improvement.

[Pinstripe Alley] How the Yankees and Diamondbacks could make a trade - The Diamondbacks are in a strange zone of purgatory right now when it come to their ambitions. Their offseason moves acquiring Madison Bumgarner, Kole Calhoun and Starling Marte signaled a desire to be competitive for at least this season. However, even with the additions of those veterans as well as the presence of a handful of experienced players on the roster, Arizona is still among the youngest teams in the league. Regardless, my hunch is that the Diamondbacks are in more of a win-now mode than a building-for-the-future mode, so any potential movement between New York and Arizona will be operating within that framework.

After that road-trip, we could all use a drink. And the Official Hard Seltzer Sponsor of the Arizona Diamondbacks - Social Club Seltzer - is bringing the Chase Field experience right to people’s homes. Through Aug. 31, fans can win prizes including:

  • A virtual happy hour with Diamondbacks’ second baseman Ketel Marte
  • Chase Field stadium seats and authentic game bases
  • Signed baseballs, jerseys and, of course, Social Club Seltzer (via $25 gift cards)

To enter, head to the @dbacks sweepstakes post on Instagram or Twitter, say what game day snack you’d pair your Social Club seltzer using #Sweepstakes, and give @SocialClub a follow. Must be 21+ to enter to win, see here for rules. Also, every time the Arizona Diamondbacks win a game the rest of the month, the first 200 fans to tweet @SocialClub with #CelebrateTheHustle #Giveaway will receive a gift card they can use to try out Social Club Seltzer. Though given our recent form... :(

And, elsewhere...

[Yahoo] MLB roundup: Machado, Padres complete sweep of Astros - Manny Machado hit a two-run home run in the eighth Sunday afternoon to break a 3-3 tie and lead the streaking San Diego Padres to a 5-3 win over the visiting Houston Astros at Petco Park. The Padres' seventh straight win completed a three-game sweep of the Astros. It is the Padres' longest winning streak since 2013. Houston had won eight straight games coming into the series.

Patiño to Pujols: Best player at each age - On Monday night, the Nationals’ Luis García, who was born on May 16, 2000, hit a home run against the Atlanta Braves. This made García the first player born in the 2000s to homer in a Major League Baseball game, and it also served the purpose of making people like your author, who was old enough to have his parents already questioning most of his life decisions by May 16, 2000, feel a little like the Crypt Keeper. It’s a reminder that while your life keeps going, the baseball players just keep staying the same age. Thus, today, in honor of García, we take a look at the best baseball player at each age in the sport.

[ESPN] MLB experts predict - Answering biggest 2020 MLB trade deadline questions - Jesse Rogers: Archie Bradley. Closers are always in high demand at the deadline and this year should be no different. The Diamondbacks have some talent, but their slow start puts them in a position to sell. Bradley's contract status actually makes him the perfect candidate, as he still has another year left before reaching free agency. One-month rentals are tough to gauge, but a year and a month could bring back a decent prospect or two. And Bradley doesn't have to close -- he might make a great setup man for a team like the Padres or Reds.

Against the Clock (2019)

Rating: D
Dir: Mark Polish
Star: Dianna Agron, Mark Polish, Andy Garcia, James Frain
a.k.a. Headlock

We’ve been watching submissions for Phoenix FearCon lately. One short was flat-out awful. But it did provoke an interesting discussion on the memorability of dreadfulness. Over the past 20 or so years, we’ve put on a range of events: not just horror events, but everything from concerts through comedy competitions to pro wrestling shows. And it’s weird how the ones which stick in our mind most, are often where things went wrong. For example, the evening where a comedian was literally run off stage by a member of the audience and had to hide in the back of a car outside. On that basis, this may be the most memorable film of the year. You may not like it. But it will probably sear itself irreparably into your cortex.

It’s one of those where the synopsis doesn’t do it justice. Here’s what the IMDb has to say: “A CIA agent is sent on a mission and ends up in a coma. CIA want to extract intel from his brain [in] a lethal way but his wife says no. His comatose mind is active. She decides to investigate.” This, while technically accurate, is about as helpful to a viewer as describing Lord of the Rings as “a fight over a bit of jewellery”. It’s all in the execution, which is quite spectacularly dreadful. Polish isn’t just the director. He wrote it, edited it, and also plays the CIA agent, Kelley Chandler. This illustrates, once again, the perils and pitfalls which can result from no-one on a film-set being prepared to tell the creative mind that what they are proposing is a really stupid idea.

Mere words are inadequate to do this justice. For what is outstandingly god-awful is Polish’s visual style, especially the chunks that unfold inside Kelley’s head. Which is a good third of the movie, or at least feels like it. It’s an apparently infinite series of sequences, in which he staggers around various locations worldwide and falls over, all jizzed up [no, that’s not a typo] with so much digital junk, the whole thing must have been sponsored by Adobe After Effects. It looks like a hyperactive 11-year-old’s depiction of cyberspace. This GIF will give you an idea of the approach, which will have you clawing your own eyes out before long.

Oh, yeah. And he fights a guy made out of smoke, because… Well, I’m sure it’s something to do with the tussle for what’s inside his noggin, but like so much, it goes entirely unexplained. Such as why his corporeal form is wrapped in glowing white tubes. Meanwhile, outside his head, his wife Tess (Agron), is trying to stop the CIA, led by Gerald Hotchkiss (Garcia, sporting an accent of uncertain origin and even more questionable purpose) from popping her husband’s brain into a blender. None of it is in the slightest bit affecting on an emotional or intellectual level. But I have to say this. You will remember it.

This review originally appeared on my movie site, Film Blitz.