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Snake Bytes, 10/16: Let Battle Commence!

Game One of the NLCS is tonight in Philadelphia

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National League Championship Series Game 5: Atlanta Braves v. Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

ish95 and myself will be watching the game tonight at State 48 in Westgate, should anyone feel like joining us. I'll be there a little late due to work, but ish95 should be there for first pitch, I believe. Drop a comment if you are coming, so we can get an appropriately sized table.

Team news

[] 110 losses to NLCS at light speed: Here’s how the D-backs did it - “There was a lot of apprehension around that,” D-backs GM Mike Hazen said of his confidence in their building plan. “Yeah, you don't lose 110 games by accident.” What made it all the more remarkable is that the D-backs broke camp that year thinking they had a competitive team. “The biggest misinformation around that [was] we weren't tanking that season,” Hazen said. “We weren't trying to lose. We were trying to win. I felt we put a team out there that had a chance to compete. So we didn't just lose 110 games. We weren't doing it on purpose either.” “We could have made changes,” D-backs team president/CEO Derrick Hall said. “We, of course, had conversations about making changes. But we thought, at the end of the day, we had the right people in place. And I think it’s proven to be true.”

[SI] Zac Gallen in Philadelphia to Take Care of Business - Despite having so many family members to get tickets for, he's not had to deal with family pressures as he prepares for one of the biggest games of his career. "Everyone has been pretty solid for the most part and not necessarily asking me to do things and see them and what not. But for me it's more so we're here to handle business, so it's not a vacation. It's not a time to come home and see everyone you know, until obviously my job is done Monday night. Then I'll be able to let down a little bit and see some family. Even last night and today just obviously at the hotel kind of doing my thing really. Yeah, it's just treating it like a business trip."

[AZ Central] 'Craziest scenario I've ever seen:' Greg Schulte's retirement delayed by Diamondbacks sweep - When you talk with Schulte, you become aware of his encyclopedic knowledge of all things Diamondbacks. It’s true no team in history had hit four home runs in one inning in the postseason. But the Diamondbacks have done it in the regular season. In 2010. Schulte talked about it like it was yesterday. “It was Adam LaRoche, Miguel Montero, Mark Reynolds and Stephen Drew,” he said, rattling off the names without hesitation before going into detail about each at bat like he was calling a game playing out in front of him.

[] Life comes full circle for former teammates Lovullo, Thomson - Most never reached the Majors. Fewer still on that Class A Lakeland team made any sort of impact. At least two were different right from the jump. There was Rob Thomson, the native Canadian, demonstrative as a catcher and a bit older than most. At 23, Thomson’s time as a Minor League baseball player was already running short. There was also Torey Lovullo, a quieter presence, introspective and talented. Lovullo had spent most of his first professional season at a lower Class A level before joining the Lakeland Tigers late in the summer. There, he met Thomson. Thirty-six years later, their paths are crossing again.

[USA Today] Phillies have a rowdy home-field advantage with 'best fan base' in NLCS vs. Diamondbacks - “I’m sure those fans are doing research about me and my family already,” D-backs closer Paul Sewald said. “It’s rowdy.” The worst place to be as a visiting ballplayer is in the bullpen. It’s located on an upper level above the Phillies’ bullpen close to the fans, where you can see, hear and feel absolutely everything. And it can get ugly. It’s like Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium on steroids. “The Fenway and Yankee Stadium security guards are really on it in those places,” Sewald said. And in Philadelphia? Uh, not so much. “There’s a little inlet there that I think a lot of us are going to spend a lot of our time in away from the fans,” Sewald said.

[SI] Christian Walker's Thoughts on NLCS and More - When asked if growing up around Philly will help him handle or know what to expect for the atmosphere for Game One on Monday, he said "Obviously you won't know for sure until you're in it and you feel it. But my personal stance on it coming in is I'm going to try to harness it. It's going to be a lot of energy. It's no secret. It's for the Phillies, but also there's a certain buzz in the air. It's hard to explain. Dodgers Stadium is a really cool environment as well. If you're not careful, the momentum can switch there pretty quickly. We're familiar with that a little bit. But, yeah, I think there's a way to harness it and let it excite you without it unraveling the execution."

[AP] Corbin Carroll is proving his worth during the Diamondbacks playoff run - “If you really want to see my adrenaline flowing, make me do, like, a public speech or something,” Carroll said, laughing. It’s safe to say staring at about 50 reporters during a Division Series pregame news conference wasn’t Carroll’s favorite activity, but the 23-year-old outfielder is starting to get used to his transformation into baseball star. “I think the exciting thing is we’re still getting better,” the NL Rookie of the Year favorite said. “Still adapting to this level. Still kind of going through the trials and tribulations and coming out the other side a better product. I think there’s a lot to be excited about.”

[AZ Central] NLCS matchups: Breaking down Diamondbacks, Phillies strengths and weaknesses - In contrast to Diamondbacks, Phillies bullpen filled with power. Among the Phillies’ relievers who figure to pitch in high-leverage roles during this series, only Matt Strahm has an average fastball velocity under 95 mph. The rest of their top arms include Craig Kimbrel, Gregory Soto, José Alvarado and Seranthony Domínguez. Respectively, those pitchers average 96, 99, 99 and 98 on their fastballs. “It's about the preparedness,” Lovullo said when asked about combatting that velocity. “We've got all of our information in the bucket, in the hopper right now, and we're going to pull it out and give it to the players and have those conversations, have those meetings with the players.”

[SI] J.T. Realmuto and Rob Thomson Talk About the Diamondbacks - "They're hot. That's what the postseason is all about. When you get in a rhythm you get confidence, you get momentum, and that's something that they've really played with this postseason. Their lineup is really deep. They have really good right-handed hitters. They have really good left-handed hitters. They hit for power. They hit for average. They walk. They take their walks. Most of them are stealing bases. So it's definitely a challenging lineup to navigate through, but the most daunting thing about them right now is how much confidence they're playing with.

And, elsewhere...

[AP] Montgomery shuts out Astros, Taveras homers as Rangers get 2-0 win in Game 1 of ALCS - Montgomery pitched five-hit ball over 6 1/3 innings and Taveras provided a two-run lead with his solo homer in the fifth. Evan Carter, a 21-year-old rookie, doubled and scored in the second and made two nifty defensive plays in left field. “We just found a way to get a couple of runs across the board,” Texas manager Bruce Bochy said. “That was the difference in the game, obviously. But our guy was really good, Monty, terrific job he did. And he got in a couple of jams there and found a way to get out of it.”

[] Alyssa Nakken interviews to be Giants manager - The Giants have formally interviewed assistant coach Alyssa Nakken for their managerial opening, the club confirmed on Sunday. The news was first reported by Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. Nakken, 33, is believed to be the first woman to interview for a managerial position in the Majors, adding to her trailblazing legacy with the Giants. A former standout softball player at Sacramento State, Nakken became the first full-time woman coach in the Majors when she was added to Gabe Kapler’s staff in January 2020. She made even more history with her on-field coaching debut in April of '22, when she filled in for first-base coach Antoan Richardson during a game against the Padres.

[CBS Sports] Four reasons why top-seeded teams, including three 100-win clubs, keep getting eliminated - They were flawed to begin with. Why, exactly, should I have expected the Dodgers and their patchwork rotation -- Clayton Kershaw and his achy shoulder, rookie Bobby Miller, 44-homer man Lance Lynn -- to beat any team this postseason? Granted, the rotation allowing 13 runs and getting 14 outs in three games is extreme, but the Dodgers could have played the D-backs in a best-of-nine and I don't think the outcome would have been different. Their rotation was that compromised.