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Snake Bytes, 8/22: A Farewell in the Cards

The D-backs gave the Cardinals a sweep as a parting gift for Molina and Pujols

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MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


[] ‘Recipe for some tough outings’: Bullpen continues to struggle - In Arizona’s previous six games coming in, the D-backs relievers had been reached for 16 earned runs on 24 hits in 17 innings, recording a combined ERA of 8.47. On Sunday, the ‘pen combined for three runs on five hits through three innings pitched. “Not putting the ball in play, a lot of walks,” Lovullo said of what he’s seeing from the relievers. “That’s a recipe for some tough outings. I just want our guys to put the ball in play and believe in their stuff.”

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks bullpen blows lead as Cardinals complete 3-game series sweep - Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly had been sharp for nearly two months, allowing two runs or less in eight of nine starts. The veteran right-hander was in trouble almost from the first pitch against St. Louis, giving up Nootbaar’s leadoff homer and Arenado’s run-scoring single... Kelly got a boost from an inning-ending double play in the second and fell into a rhythm after that. He worked around two baserunners twice, allowing three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts in six innings.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks scrape but can’t keep up, get swept by Cardinals - Since the All-Star break, the Diamondbacks have taken series from the Nationals and the Giants, the Rockies and the Pirates. But they have been beaten by the Guardians — and clobbered by the Braves and now the Cardinals, both of whom swept the Diamondbacks in three games. It could be a harsh omen for what is ahead: After an interleague road trip on which they face two mediocre clubs in Kansas City and Chicago, the Diamondbacks will return home to begin what could be a brutal slog through their schedule.

Team news

[Through the Fence Baseball] With growing pains, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ outfield of the future coming into focus - The temptation is to move the calendar ahead, but that’s too convenient. For a team like the Arizona Diamondbacks, mired in another season of mediocrity, the excitement of new players, who are productive, is enticing. During a number of weeks, Arizona decision-makers pushed the clock ahead and tempted their fans about what the future may entail.

[AZ Central] Love it or leave it? Diamondbacks must make decision about Chase Field - Chase Field might not be falling apart, but collectively those anecdotes suggest the building isn’t being given tender loving care. Or much care at all. And that leads to conspiratorial theories that the Diamondbacks, who are responsible for the building’s upkeep, aren’t keeping it up because they either want everyone to see how badly they need a new stadium, or they don’t want to sink money into a place they plan to leave sometime in the next few years, or they just don’t want to spend the money.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs recall RHP Luis Frias from Triple-A Reno, option Edwin Uceta - The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Sunday the team recalled right-handed pitcher Luis Frias from Triple-A Reno and optioned right-handed pitcher Edwin Uceta. Frias has appeared in four games for the D-backs in 2022, allowing nine earned runs, seven walks and three strikeouts over six innings pitched. The righty has a 13.50 ERA this season in the majors but had a 2.70 ERA in his brief 3.1 inning stint with Arizona in 2021. With the Reno Aces, Frias has posted a 4.09 ERA, 71 strikeouts and 25 walks over 24 games.

And elsewhere...

[MLB Trade Rumors] Padres To Use Closer Committee, Give Josh Hader "A Little Break" From Save Chances - The All-Star has been scorched for six runs over his last three outings and 1 1/3 innings of work, and as a result, Hader has temporarily lost the closer’s job. As Padres manager Bob Melvin told reporters (including The Athletic’s Dennis Lin), the team will deploy a committee for the ninth inning, while giving Hader “a little break” from save situations. This obviously isn’t the outcome the Padres were hoping for when they gave up a significant prospect package to the Brewers on August 1, in addition to taking on the remainder of Hader’s $11MM salary for the 2022 season.

[The Comeback] Tampa Bay Rays make MLB history - The long history of Major League Baseball means it’s relatively rare to see something completely new. But the Tampa Bay Rays did just that with their lineup for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Royals, with their nine-batter lineup featuring players from eight different countries: United States, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Columbia, Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, and Taiwan.

[Tampa Bay Times] Fired Angels manager Joe Maddon having a blast, and blasting how some teams are run - “It’s like, once that happened, I dissolved my affiliation with them,” Maddon said. “There’s no emotion anymore. There’s no anything. It’s like to me they don’t even exist, organizationally.cHe said the Angels having a worse record since his firing — 25-38 through Friday — doesn’t impact his perspective. “It doesn’t make me feel better, it doesn’t make me feel worse,” Maddon said. “Organizationally, I’m kind of numb to the whole thing. Because when you wish them badly, I’m wishing really good friends badly — and I can’t do that.”

And, since I’m back doing Snake Bytes for a couple of weeks, while DbacksEurope is on a well-earned vacation, let’s finish with one of my movie reviews.

[Film Blitz] Shark Side of the Moon (2022) -The main problem is the sharks, which are flat-out terrible in execution. Seriously, Post Apocalyptic Commando Shark did more with considerably less. I wasn’t expecting quality, and was still severely underwhelmed, in particular whenever there was any supposed interaction between humans and sharks. Mind you, the human characters are hardly any less plastic and unconvincing than the CGI, and the details of the plot make not the slightest sense. There is some camp value in the complete disregard for anything approaching science. I did complain about people having conversations in a vacuum. But, as Mrs. SnakePit quickly pointed out, “Sharks. On the moon.” Fair comment.