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Snake Bytes 8/26: Sweep Avoided

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Tyler Gilbert impresses once again

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

Diamondbacks News:

Diamondbacks 5, Pirates 2

From the Keegan: Unfortunately, the perfect game bid was broken up with one out in the bottom of the fourth, and Gilbert had to put in far more effort from that point forward. Ke’Bryan Hayes jumped on a first pitch cutter down the heart of the plate for a double off of the right field wall. Hayes advanced to third on a passed ball by Daulton Varsho behind the plate.

Diamondbacks farm system ranked 9th, led by Lawlar

From the article: Lawlar isn’t the only member of Arizona’s 2021 Draft class who is now among its Top 30 Prospects, as the additions of shortstop Ryan Bliss (No. 14), catcher Adrian Del Castillo (No. 18) and right-hander Jacob Steinmetz (No. 25) have also helped the organization maintain its high spot in the farm system rankings.

Diamondbacks trying to salvage something from bad season as spoilers

From the article: “It’s been a tough year, and everyone knows that,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said earlier this week. “We’ve had some unbelievably bad luck. We’ve had some real tough injuries. A lot of things have gone wrong, both in and out of our control.”

Merrill Kelly ends isolation

From the blurb: There was no update Tuesday regarding Kelly’s status, but Lovullo told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic on Monday that the pitcher is feeling good, though the right-hander will not rejoin the team on its current road trip.

Kelly will need time to build up

From the blurb: After testing positive for the coronavirus Aug. 14, Kelly completed a 10-day quarantine and is no longer exhibiting symptoms. However, because of the layoff, Kelly will likely need to complete multiple bullpen sessions and/or simulated games before the Diamondbacks feel comfortable activating him.

Baseball News:

MLB complete postseason schedule released

From the article: There are fewer than six weeks remaining in the regular season, and, on Wednesday, MLB announced the 2021 postseason schedule. MLB used a 16-team postseason format during the pandemic-shortened 60-game season a year ago. This season they’re going back to the usual 10-team format, which means the return of the winner-take-all Wild Card Game.

As a reminder, the three division winners in each league advance directly to the League Division Series. The non-division winners with the two best records meet in the Wild Card Game, with the winner advancing to face the team with the league’s best record in the LDS. The LDS is a best-of-five, then the League Championship Series and World Series are both best-of-sevens.

What MLB players would change about their sport

From the article: Through annual surveys, the league has asked fans what they think of the game and how it could be changed for the better. Debates on rule changes, special events like the recent Field of Dreams game, uniform experiments and how to appeal to younger fans are a social media staple. We at ESPN have our own suggestions, too.

But what do the players think?

We polled 20 big leaguers to get their take on the prevalence of the shift, the role of analytics and baseball’s ever-slowing pace of play. A few of them agreed to play commissioner for a day, too, with results both realistic and a bit over-the-top.

Here’s what they told us.

The Orioles ineptness allows baseball execs to tell on themselves

From the article: Of course, the whole premise is laughable. This is the system that these execs and their bosses created. There’s a matter of degrees to it. The Cubs can simply surrender their chances of competitiveness and you won’t hear a peep from these guys. Cleveland has waved on any chance of improving their team since about 2017, nothing. But the Orioles ineptness becoming a national story is too much. Perhaps the light they shine on this method of team management is just too harsh?

They’ve spent years convincing fans around baseball that this is the only way. Without using the words “trust the process,” they’ve said everything short of that catchphrase. Legions of fans have some version of Stockholm syndrome, lustily perusing prospects lists and pouring over minor league highlights in accordance. GMs and writers can’t wait to point to the Cubs and Astros as examples of this being the best way.

Snek Byte:

Sexually frustrated sea snakes mistake scuba divers for potential mates

From the article: A scuba diver off Australia noticed some odd behavior whenever he came into contact with male sea snakes: The venomous reptiles would coil around his fins, licking the water around him and even sometimes chasing him underwater. Now, he knows why: It was mating season, and the males thought he was a potential mate.

“Females don’t do any chasing; they do the fleeing [during mating],” Lynch said. “So swimming away from a male snake is mimicking courtship behavior,” which encourages the male to follow.