“That was a great series, we knew it was going to be a battle coming into it,” said first baseman Walker. “When it’s back-and-forth like that, to be able to answer that next half-inning, that’s huge. Merrill [Kelly] wasn’t happy with the way his day ended, but for us to go back out there and put another run up there late for him, that changes everything. That changes his day, changes the team’s day.”
On a day when starter Merrill Kelly didn’t have his best stuff, the D-backs offense picked him up, taking advantage of three Pirates errors to grind out an 8-3 win at PNC Park and grab another series victory.
“Really, really good team win,” Kelly said. “I feel like today is a game that shows what type of team we are and what type of team we can be, you know, coming in the rubber game of the series, day game …”
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. extended his hit streak to 13 games and Ketel Marte continued his on-base streak 21 games as both players drove in runs to help the Arizona Diamondbacks win yet another series over an NL Wild Card contender in the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I definitely can,” Bumgarner said, “but I’m not going to throw anybody under the bus.” Pressed for specifics, he allowed that ditching the team-provided scouting report was “a big part of it.” It was an oddly cryptic answer, but it was hardly indecipherable. Most took the response to be a shot at the person who prepares attack plans for Arizona’s starters — pitching strategist and former big-league pitcher Dan Haren.
Haren confronted Bumgarner about the comment soon after, according to sources within the organization. That ended whatever relationship the pair had, and sources say the two didn’t speak to each other for the rest of Bumgarner’s time with the team, a span of almost two years. From then on, even as Haren worked closely with the team’s other starters, all game-planning information for Bumgarner was run through the Diamondbacks’ catchers.
We knew what Fletch was all about,” Lovullo said. “He’s a hungry baseball player. He’s got a brother who has played in the big leagues for a long time (David Fletcher). He’s very mature about how he plays the game and he’s very sturdy about who he is. And that’s showing up every day.”
General manager Mike Hazen has the difficult job of deciding in the outfield and the back of the rotation which young players amid a flurry of options give the D-backs chances to best compete.
Christian Walker had three RBIs, hitting a two-run double in a three-run seventh inning that powered the Arizona Diamondbacks to a series win with a 8-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
Melvin has spoken out multiple times since then about how the team needs to perform up to their payroll. In his media session following Saturday night’s loss to Boston, Melvin was asked how this season’s squad compares to a previous Athletics one of his that started 0-6.
“The Oakland teams,” Melvin said Saturday afternoon, “didn’t have these expectations.”
‘‘I definitely realized I don’t know as much about baseball as I thought that I did, which is why Tim Hyers was such a great asset for me,’’ Frazier said. ‘‘The pillars of hitting, the important things in my swing to focus on . . . he got me in a good place, and that place led to me being here in Chicago.’’
Frazier joined the White Sox when his contract was selected Sunday from Triple-A Charlotte, with outfielder Jake Marisnick being designated for assignment in a corresponding move. Once a top prospect with Cleveland and the Yankees, Frazier was hitting .375 with seven home runs and a 1.317 OPS in 16 games with Charlotte.