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Snake Bytes, 9/21: Home for the winter

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The D-backs head back to Arizona after finishing the final road-trip of 2020.

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MLB: SEP 20 Diamondbacks at Astros Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Team news

[AZ Central] Madison Bumgarner turns his best start of the year in latest Diamondbacks loss - Bumgarner was ahead in the count often. And for perhaps the first time this season he was able to put hitters away with relative ease. Bumgarner faced 18 hitters on Sunday. Against 14 of them, he was ahead in the count after three pitches or had already recorded an out on three pitches or less. “We made a lot of good pitches,” Bumgarner said. “Still made some mistakes. Nobody is going to go through an entire game without (any), but the less you make the less chance you have of them hurting you, too. We made some good pitches. Made some adjustments to what I was doing. Not physically. Mentally. Thought process and all that. Did things a little different and it showed up.”

[] MadBum sees improvement with 5 scoreless - “He did a great job of controlling the zone, throwing all pitches, hitting his spots,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “He gave us five scoreless and handed off to the bullpen. That was a real, real encouraging sign. I know speaking to him for a couple minutes after the outing, he was real encouraged by the results. Really, ultimately, we know what a competitor he is, we know what his expectations are. I know he has been battling through some frustration. Super encouraged by our conversation and the results today.”

[Arizona Sports] Torey Lovullo ejected in 4th inning of D-backs vs. Astros game - “Usually if I get ejected from a baseball game, it’s not that call. It’s not one call,” Lovullo said. “I know the umpires are doing their absolute best … so it was a build-up of several pitches, an accumulation of things and some input that I was getting from the hitters.” After the game, Lovullo acknowledged that this was “probably” in reference to a Madison Bumgarner pitch from the inning before. That pitch was similarly aimed for the lower outside corner and was very close to hitting the mark, but was called a ball.

And, elsewhere...

[Yahoo] Fan breaks into Fenway Park during Red Sox game, starts throwing stuff onto field - An unidentified fan decked out in Red Sox gear broke into the stadium and proceeded to start yelling and throwing stuff onto the field. That surreal moment became a protracted standoff in which the fan stood his ground on the Fenway catwalk and even threatened to jump onto the batters’ eye. He was eventually arrested by police.

[] Padres clinch first playoff berth in 14 years - With a wild 7-4, 11-inning victory over Seattle on Sunday afternoon, the Friars secured their spot at the table. Now, they’re coming for the big cake. “You’ve seen what we can do,” said star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.Fernando Tatis Jr., the longstanding beacon of that bright future. “Everybody knows what we can do on this team. I know we ain’t settling just for this step. We’re going for way more.”

[] Wait til next year: As MLB plays on, the businesses it feeds fight for survival - The cathedrals lie empty. Busch. Wrigley. Fenway. Yankee Stadium. PNC Park. Progressive Field. Sure, their lights are on as Major League Baseball tries to squeeze in a truncated 60-game season in the middle of a pandemic. But no one is home save for a few dozen players running around in masks under the din of artificial crowd noise in front of a handful of well-positioned cardboard cutouts. Step outside the gates, and the artifice evaporates. Reality sets in.

CarousHELL (2016)

Rating: B

Dir: Steve Rudzinski

Star: Steve Rimpici, Sé Marie, Teague Shaw, P.J. Gaynard

This week in “Recommended for you on Amazon Prime”. For The VelociPastor begat Post Apocalyptic Commando Shark, which begat Killer Sofa, which begat this. I may never get to see another good movie on that streaming platform ever again. But how could we possibly resist this synopsis? “Duke, a carousel unicorn, hates his job. He has to let kids climb on his back and ride him for hours every day. But one kid has finally pushed him too far. Duke breaks free of his carnival hell and embarks on a bloody rampage of revenge on humanity.” And, I have to say, that’s an accurate summary of what goes on here. I will qualify that: the creature on the poster below, is considerably more impressive than the one in the film, as shown top. Though, you know what? It’s probably for the best, and in keeping with the generally low production values.

The plot likely deserves a little more explanation. Laurie (Marie) gets lumbered by her stripper mom with taking care of her little brother (Shaw) for the day. She has a party that night, but before heading to it, takes him to the funfair. There, his ill-treatment of carousel unicorn Duke (voiced by Rimpici, doing a sterling Patton Oswalt impression) proves to be the breaking point. For reasons that are never satisfactorily explained, it breaks free, following Laurie and her sibling to the party. The guests are remarkably chill when Duke shows up; indeed, there’s one with a unicorn fetish which leads to… Well, let’s just say, they missed a chance to have Duke lying on the bed, with a post-coital cigarette dangling from his mouth. However, it’s not long before the unicorn gets back on task, and only funfair mascot Cowboy Cool (Gaynard, looking like Frank Sidebottom in a Stetson) can end his reign of terror.

This is at its best when its at its silliest, such as the wielding by Duke of a range of weapons, including an ax, bow and even ninja death starts. All of these show impressive application, considering he has hooves rather than opposable thumbs. There’s also a plethora of references to the “My Tiny Uni” show, which is a favourite of our unicorn fetishist, though her boyfriend is mortifed to be “outed” as a fan of the show. I was also amused by the long-suffering pizza delivery guy, who is just desperate to get paid, and is oblivious to everything else, including Laurie’s seduction attempts. However, it would be fair to say that you’re here for the killer unicorn, and he all but vanishes in the middle. With a brisk 66-minute running time, I was hoping for it to be all killer and no filler, so was a bit disappointed by the party chit-chat, even though some of it was entertaining enough. Still, of all the ridiculous films Amazon Prime has “recommended”, this was likely the one we enjoyed most. Bring on Killer Piñata

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