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SnakeBytes 8/18: Opening game, opening win

Plus what it would take for this season to be considered a success, Tim Anderson’s Punch Out updates, and more!

Justin Martinez and Gabi Moreno clasp hands in front of the mound Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Dbacks News

(Sports Illustrated) Justin Martinez Notches First Save in Thrilling D-backs Win

Martinez then got ahead of Manny Machado and caught him looking with a great splitter for the second out. The young righty said he really believed he was in the big leagues when he was facing Machado, as the Padres third baseman was one of his idols growing up. It wasn’t over yet however as home plate umpire Nate Tomlinson squeezed Martinez leading to another walk to Xander Bogaerts. Martinez stayed calm and struck out Jake Cronenworth looking with another splitter for the final out.

( D-backs climb to 1 game back in Wild Card race

The D-backs got a stellar start from Zac Gallen and a pair of home runs to beat the Padres, 3-1, on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Petco Park.

Gallen allowed just one run on three hits to raise his record to 13-5 as he continues to make his case for the National League Cy Young Award.

(San Diego Union-Tribune) Padres fall again to Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks in series opener

The Padres got just two hits on the seven balls they put in play at 100 mph or harder. One of their outs sailed 386 feet at 105.7 mph. Another went 381 feet at 104.3 mph.

The Diamondbacks hit the shortest home run ever measured at Petco Park.

(LOL Padres)

(Sports Illustrated) How Many Wins Would Make D-backs 2023 Season a Success?

Back in February, Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen defined a successful season as being in position to be aggressive buyers at the trade deadline and playing meaningful games at the end of the season. When the deadline came the team was not aggressive buyers, so to salvage the season they need to be competitive for a Wild Card spot until the very end. The Philadelphia Phillies, who earned the final Wild Card last season, had 87 wins so the number we’re going to use is 85 wins.

MLB News

(NBC Sports) Tim Anderson has MLB suspension reduced after appeal

After further review, MLB determined that six games was too steep. Really though, if he has any shame, no suspension should be necessary as the sheer embarrassment of getting TKO’d in one punch after being the one to original square up.

(Sports Illustrated) According to Report, Tampa Bay Rays Star Wander Franco May Never Play in MLB Again

A person very close to the investigations into the case of Wander Franco: “It will be very unlikely that Wander Franco will play in MLB again, judging by the results of the investigations that are currently being carried out, which directly commit him to the accusations against him.

( Contenders with the easiest (and toughest) schedules remaining

Baseball will never be football: Strength of schedule can’t matter that much in the macro. But with just a month and a half left, it can tell you a bunch. And some paths to the postseason are a lot smoother than others. Here’s a look at the three teams in the pennant chase best positioned, because of their schedule, to make a run down the stretch … and the three with the toughest roads ahead of them.

(CBS Sports) Overlooked MLB players from each division having terrific under-the-radar seasons in 2023

To me, the biggest issue in this list isn’t that Christian Walker isn’t the selection for the NL West. Ha-Seong Kim is a fine player and, yeah, is overlooked especially given the shadow of the superstars with massive contracts he plays with. No, the issue is that he didn’t even get the honorable mention spot, losing out on that to Jason Heyward. No disrespect to Heyward, but the author’s main reasoning is that he has “has contributed to Betts spending so much time on the infield”? I mean, great I guess, but I’ll take Walker 100 times out of 10, even if that means Betts is back in the outfield.

(NBC Sports) MLB to launch new, voluntary facial recognition ticket entry system at Phillies games

What data does the program collect? Here’s the Phillies’ answer to that question:

“In accordance with MLB’s Privacy Policy, Go-Ahead Entry cameras will scan your face to create a unique numerical token associated with you. The facial scans will be deleted immediately thereafter. Only the unique numerical token will be retained and associated with your MLB account.”