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Snake Bytes 10/17 - Ouchie

Not the start we hoped for in the NLCS, but certainly one we can come back from

Syndication: Arizona Republic Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Diamondbacks News

[MLB] D-backs confident ‘we’re going to show up’ after Game 1 loss by Steve Gilbert

“I think they just ambushed him,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I think they came out ready to jump on his fastball. There’s no mystery that Zac fills up the zone. He has an aggressive fastball and aggressive mindset. They just counterpunched him.”

It was jarring to have their ace allow five runs in five innings, and the offense, which had been so potent against the Brewers and Dodgers, took awhile to regain its footing.

[fangraphs] Phillies Jump on Gallen Early, Hang on for 1-0 NLCS Lead by Michael Baumann

The last time the Arizona Diamondbacks won a game in the NLCS, Randy Johnson took the win and Erubiel Durazo hit the game-winning home run off Tom Glavine. It’s been a minute.

When Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen took the mound in Philadelphia, he was hoping to make a dent in that history; the Phillies have been red hot all October, but so has Arizona, and Gallen’s arm is one of the best weapons the D-backs have. But Kyle Schwarber hit the first pitch Gallen threw off the video board on the facing of the second deck at Citizens Bank Park. A minute? The Phillies took the lead in seconds. Two batters later, Bryce Harper crushed another fastball out to right center. It wasn’t quite over before it began, but the Phillies took the lead on the first pitch they saw and never gave it up.

[Inside the Diamondbacks] Phillies Slam Gallen Early, D-Backs Rally Falls Short in Loss by Jack Sommers

The first pitch of the night from Gallen was a grooved fastball down the middle and leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber swung away, launching a 420 foot blast into the right field bleachers. One out later, Bryce Harper did the exact same thing on another first pitch fastball down the middle. Then in the bottom of the second Nick Castellanos took yet another fastball over the middle of the plate out of the park to opposite field, and the Phillies had a 3-0 lead.

[MLBTR] The Opener: NLCS, ALCS, Ng by Darragh McDonald

The Phillies took the first game of the National League Championship series, winning last night’s contest 5-3 to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The second game goes tonight at 7:07 pm Central, with Merrill Kelly starting for the Diamondbacks and Aaron Nola for the Phillies. Can Arizona even the series or will the Phils take a 2-0 lead out west? Kelly tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his one postseason start thus far while Nola, an impending free agent, has a 1.42 ERA in his 12 2/3 innings so far in this year’s playoffs.

Baseball News

[MLB] Make a wish! Bryce crushes birthday homer by Anthony DiComo

For years, Bryce Harper pined to play a baseball game on his birthday. As a National, he never made it deep enough in the postseason to achieve that feat. As a Phillie, Harper didn’t reach the playoffs until last year, when his birthday happened to fall on an off-day following the National League Division Series.

An October birthday may come with its perks — crisp fall weather chief among them — but it doesn’t often afford opportunities for on-field excellence.

[fangraphs] NLDS Managerial Report Card: Dave Roberts by Ben Clemens

How long would you let Clayton Kershaw go? He opened Game 1 double-single-single-double-homer, which might have been enough for me. On the other hand, the Dodgers weren’t expecting much length from the rest of their starters – I wouldn’t want to ask my bullpen for 27 outs when the plan for the next two games was a Bobby Miller start and then a Lance Lynn/bullpen game combo. Unfortunately, Kershaw didn’t have it – he gave up another run on some hard contact while only recording a single out. I might have been tempted to let him go as long as he could with whatever he had left in the tank, but it was pretty clear that the only thing in question for this game was how to minimize pitcher fatigue.

Given that, 5.2 innings out of Emmet Sheehan and Shelby Miller sounds like a great idea to me. A few higher-leverage arms (Michael Grove, Alex Vesia, Caleb Ferguson) closed things out, but Roberts kept the big names under wraps, exactly as he should have.

[MLBTR] 21 Players Elect Free Agency by Nick Deeds

With the offseason quickly approaching, a number of players elect minor league free agency on a regular basis. Separate from MLB free agents, who reach free agency five days after the World Series by accumulating six years of service time in the big leagues, eligible minor league players can begin electing free agency as soon as the regular season comes to a close. Each of these players were outrighted off of their organization’s 40-man roster at some point during the season and either have been outrighted previously in their career or have the service time necessary to reach free agency since they were not added back to their former club’s rosters. For these players, reaching free agency is the expected outcome, and there will surely be more in the coming weeks. Here at MLBTR, we’ll provide occasional updates as players continue to elect minor league free agency.