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Snake Bytes 8/24: That’s Buc’d Up

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Does the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen hate us?

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 6

[D’backs.com] Bullpen labors after Mejía’s strong start - The D-backs’ bullpen had a rough night on Monday night at PNC Park. The relievers blew a three-run lead in the seventh inning as the Pirates won the series opener, 6-5. Arizona let a 5-2 lead slip away, then the nightmare reached its zenith in the bottom of the eighth inning. Right-hander Noé Ramirez had a problem throwing strikes and walked the bases loaded. Ramirez left the game in favor of righty Jake Faria. He was able to get Ke’Bryan Hayes to ground out, but Kevin Newman scored on the play and gave the Pirates a one-run lead.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs bullpen falls apart, gives up 3-run lead in loss to Pirates - Entering play on Monday, the D-backs had allowed 200 runs in the seventh and eighth innings, per Fangraphs. That’s 43 runs more than the Baltimore Orioles in second, and only one other team in baseball outside of those two has eclipsed 145. To further emphasize the number being an outlier, looking back at the last three 162-game seasons from 2017-19, only six total times did a team reach 200. Make it 204 for the D-backs after Monday’s 6-5 loss to the Pirates, one in which D-backs relievers gave up four runs across those two innings. It was a particular bummer in this game because right-hander Humberto Mejia was in line for his first MLB win in his debut for the D-backs.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks’ bullpen blows lead late in series-opening loss to Pirates - Christian Walker gave Arizona a 5-1 lead with a three-run double that chased Pirates starter Wil Crowe with two outs in the fifth. A single from Ketel Marte put Arizona ahead 2-1 earlier in the inning after starting pitcher Humberto Mejía led off the inning with a double, his first hit in the majors... Daulton Varsho homered in a third straight game to put the Diamondbacks ahead 1-0 in the second.

Around the League

[MLB Trade Rumors] Marlins To Promote Edward Cabrera - The Marlins are promoting top pitching prospect Edward Cabrera to make his Major League debut Wednesday against the Nationals, per a club announcement (Twitter link, with video of Cabrera being informed he’s being called up to the Majors). Cabrera is already on the 40-man roster, so Miami will only need to make a corresponding 26-man roster move. It’s been a monster season between Class-A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A for the highly touted Cabrera, as evidenced by a combined 2.93 ERA and 36.9 percent strikeout rate in 61 1/3 innings. Cabrera was out earlier in the season due to an inflamed nerve in his right biceps — an injury that cost him the first two months of the season. He looks quite healthy now, having punched out 11 or more batters in three of his past four starts at the Triple-A level. Cabrera, 23, is featured on virtually any ranking of the game’s top prospects one could find.

[MLB.com] Welcome back Travis! Shaw slams walk-off - The losses and the frustration had been piling up for the Red Sox of late, and those troubles threatened to mount again on Monday afternoon. This time, a slumping team took action to reverse its fate. An 8-4 victory in 11 innings over the Rangers became final when Travis Shaw emphatically welcomed himself back to Boston and the Red Sox – his original franchise — with a walk-off grand slam at Fenway Park.

[MLB Daily Dish] Padres fire pitching coach Larry Rothschild - It is not particularly common for coaching staff changes to happen in the middle of the season, especially for a team that has a winning record. However, pitching coach Larry Rothschild has come under scrutiny in recent weeks due to the pitching staff’s flat performances of late. Rothschild has a ton of experience, but he has not been able to get the rotation to contribute consistently and other than Mark Melancon, the bullpen hasn’t been overly reliable, either. Filling in the void left by Rothschild’s firing is Ben Fritz who pitched for the Oakland Athletics organization before joining the Padres’ organization in 2015 and has served as the Padres’ bullpen coach since 2019.

[Yahoo Sports] Feds: Ex-Angels staffer Eric Kay used Tyler Skaggs as middleman to deal drugs to multiple MLB players - Federal prosecutors intend to prove that former Los Angeles Angels staffer Eric Kay ran a drug distribution operation that supplied illegal narcotics to several MLB players, including the fentanyl that allegedly led to the death of Tyler Skaggs in 2019. According to court documents filed on Friday and obtained by the Los Angeles Times and The League of Justice’s Amy Dash, “approximately” five MLB players are prepared to testify that they obtained oxycodone from Kay. Prosecutors allege that Kay coordinated the supply of narcotics from nine different suppliers and sometimes used Skaggs as a middleman for distribution.