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SnakeBytes 5/21: I can haz strikeout?

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Merrill Kelly set a new career high for strike outs, and the Diamondbacks offense also struck out a ton.

Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts to a strike from Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the Diamondbacks last at bat in the ninth inning Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Diamondbacks News

(AZ Central) Eduardo Escobar expresses frustration after short-handed Diamondbacks swept by Dodgers

The loss on Thursday was their fifth in a row. It was their eighth in the past nine games, a stretch in which they have scored two runs or less in all eight of the losses. It also was their 14th loss in their past 17 games.

(Yahoo! Sports) Homers from Albert Pujols, Will Smith lift Dodgers over Diamondbacks

Designated for assignment and released by the Angels, Pujols found a home with the defending World Series-champion Dodgers, and he rewarded that faith with his first homer for his new club, a two-run shot to right field in the second inning of Thursday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

MLB News

(ESPN) New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom strikes out eight in three shutout innings in rehab start

“According to Statcast data, deGrom threw 25 four-seam fastballs, averaging 94.5 mph and topping out at 101.9. He mixed in 15 sliders and a single changeup.”

Imagine being some Low-A minor leaguer, doesn’t even get paid minimum wage, probably has to work at McDonald’s between games to pay the bills. You show up to the ball park, hoping to continue your development to hopefully get to the big leagues one day and BAM you’ve got to face the greatest active pitcher in the game.

(Dallas Morning News) This historic rash of no-hitters is highlighting MLB’s largest problem. Could there be an easy fix?

But pitching is also far more imposing than it’s ever been. Once upon a time, a guy who threw in the upper ’90s was an anomaly. Now it’s your average bullpen. Easy to say that a hitter should go the other way to beat the shift; harder to do when you’re looking for a 99-mph fastball and you get a 90-mph slider or 83-mph changeup instead.

Unless MLB really likes all these games where fans sit around impatiently waiting for something to happen, it needs to get proactive. The last time it was close to this bad, when players hit .237 in ’68, MLB officials responded by lowering the mound. The numbers rebounded, and everybody was happy.

(Sporting News) Who will throw MLB’s next no-hitter? These 8 pitchers fit most likely description

So who could throw the next no-hitter? That could be hard to predict. Betting markets would likely put the odds on a DeGrom or Darvish type of arm, but in the sample size of seven no-hitters — yes, Bumgarner’s getting credit for his gem on the mound — those pitchers don’t look like the ones who have blanked teams in the hit column.

(Los Angeles Daily News) Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw: frequent no-hitters ‘not good for the game’

“No-hitters are cool and I have all the respect in the world for Corey Kluber and Bum and all those guys that have thrown no-hitters,” Kershaw said. “But to have one happen every night … it’s probably not good for the game. Fans want to see some hits, I get that, and some action and not many people striking out.