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Snake Bytes 7/18: Methods of Heartbreak

Yesterday might be one of the worst days in Arizona sports history.

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MLB: Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks 2, Chicago Cubs 4

[D’] Gallen’s return a silver lining in bitter loss - Zac Gallen returned from the injured list and looked sharp through 5 2/3 innings, and the bullpen managed to keep the Cubs off the board while the offense did just enough to take a one-run lead into the ninth. Closer Joakim Soria came on and retired the first two Chicago hitters, and then in the span of four pitches, everything changed. Rafael Ortega doubled to right on the first pitch he saw, pinch-hitter Robinson Chirinos lined a ball off the glove of a leaping Nick Ahmed at short, again on the first pitch, and the game was tied. Two pitches later, Willson Contreras launched a homer over the wall in left to complete the three-run rally and leave the D-backs on the wrong side of a 4-2 loss at Chase Field.

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks bullpen spoils Gallen’s return in loss to Cubs - “It’s like biting on an onion,” manager Torey Lovullo said about the D-backs ninth inning meltdown. “It’s hard to describe the feeling. And it hurts and it’s painful, but we feel this way because we care. We should let it burn a little bit,” Lovullo added. Arizona starters have now allowed two runs or fewer in seven of the team’s last eight games, but despite the effort the D-backs are 3-4 in those games.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks waste strong start from Gallen, give up 3 runs in 9th in loss to Cubs - “I understand the situation,” Gallen said. “We’re not playing well.” At 26-68, the Diamondbacks have the worst record in the majors. They are on pace for 117 losses. And Gallen noted something else that might be contributing to the lack of home fans: the Phoenix Suns and their run to the NBA Finals. “You’ve got a pretty good show going on across the street,” Gallen said. “It definitely is not fun. It’s cool to play in front of fans, but it’s a lot more fun when it’s your fans. Hopefully we’re going to right the ship here and get the fans back in the seats.”

Around the League

[The Athletic] Alex Verdugo hit by ball thrown from stands as anger, frustration boil over for Red Sox in Yankee Stadium - What started out as the highly anticipated major-league debut of Red Sox prospect Jarren Duran ended in a rain-shortened loss laced with anger, frustration and safety concerns. In the bottom of the sixth inning just before reliever Hirokazu Sawamura threw a pitch, a fan in the left-field stands at Yankee Stadium threw a ball at left fielder Alex Verdugo, hitting him in the back. Verdugo, triggered by the action, turned and immediately began walking toward the stands yelling at the fans. Duran ran over from center field to pull Verdugo back as the umpires, stadium security and the Red Sox coaching staff ran out to try to cool the situation and find the fan who threw the ball.

[Sports Illustrated] Nationals Park Shooting: 3 Injured, MLB Game Suspended - Three people were injured in a shooting Saturday night outside Nationals Park in Washington, an incident that saw baseball fans and players scrambling for safety during a game between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres that was eventually suspended. “I just want to assure the public that at no time during this incident were individuals inside the stadium attending the game in any kind of danger,’’ according to Ashan Benedict, executive assistant chief of police for DC’s Metropolitan Police Department. “This was not an active shooter incident and it’s not being investigated as such. Everything took place outside the stadium.’’ A fan outside of the stadium was one of three people wounded, however, and fans and media members who were inside the ballpark reported hearing multiple gunshot-like sounds during the sixth inning of the game. Fans fled their seats and sought shelter due to hearing the gunfire, though police later made it clear that the “shootout’’ was the result of an incident between people stationed in two cars outside the stadium. The other two injuries, officials said, involved people who were in those cars, police said.

[MLB Trade Rumors] Yankees’ Tim Locastro Suffers Torn ACL - Tim Locastro’s season is over after the Yankees outfielder suffered a torn ACL in tonight’s 3-1 win over the Red Sox. Yankees manager Aaron Boone informed reporters of Locastro’s injury following the game. In the first inning, Locastro made a running catch into the left field wall in foul ground to snag an Alex Verdugo fly ball, though he came up limping after the play was done. Locastro stayed in the game for the inning’s final two outs, but was replaced in left field at the start of the second frame.

[CBS Sports] Pirates sign No. 1 MLB Draft pick Henry Davis as catcher reportedly gets $6.5 million bonus - The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed Henry Davis, the No. 1 pick in Major League Baseball’s 2021 amateur draft, the team announced Sunday morning... Davis’ agreement will pay him a $6.5 million signing bonus, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. MLB’s slot value for the No. 1 pick spot was a little over $8.4 million. For some perspective, here are the signing bonuses for each No. 1 pick since MLB implemented the current slotting system following the 2011 season, per Baseball Reference.

[Call to the Pen] Cincinnati Reds: MLB highlight video shows hypocrisy with Nick Castellanos - Let’s go back to April 3. On that day, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos was hit by a pitch from Cardinals’ pitcher Jake Woodford. He would end up scoring on a wild pitch later in the inning, and then stood flexing over the Cardinals’ reliever. That touched off a benches clearing shoving match, where Castellanos was the sole player ejected and suspended for his actions. Naturally, Major League Baseball has decided that Castellanos’ actions, while inappropriate for the diamond, are a perfect marketing opportunity. They included that moment as part of their look back on the first half of the MLB season on Facebook. Essentially, with their ruling, the league said that those actions did not have a place in the game. They did not that level of taunting, regardless of the circumstance, to be part of the game. However, it is perfectly acceptable to show that clip over and over again, and to use it as part of their video promoting the highlights of the first half.