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Snake Bytes 9/12: It’s Rainin’ It’s Pourin’, The D-Backs Weren’t Snorin’

On a night with a rain delay, mediocre starting performance with critiques of management/players flying all around, Arizona pulled out a late W

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Diamondbacks News

[MLB] Pham hits game-changing homer in return to NY by Matthew Ritchie

The result of his second-to-last at-bat was met with silence. Pham crushed a game-tying homer to center field in the eighth inning, sparking the D-backs’ 4-3 comeback victory over the Mets. It was Pham’s third hit of the rain-delayed contest, as he finished a triple shy of the cycle in a sparkling return to New York against his former club.

“There’s a group that didn’t allow us to lose this game,” said manager Torey Lovullo. “But after Tommy hit the home run, I felt like we were right where we needed to be. It was a huge hit by a player that has been getting big hits for us since he’s gotten here.”

Spencer’s Spicy Supplement: I was skeptical of the Pham pickup at the deadline. Consider me suitably humbled. To the surprise of no one, Mike Hazen is a smarter baseball mind than I.

[MLBTR] Diamondbacks Release Nick Ahmed by Anthony Franco

The 33-year-old infielder becomes a free agent for the first time in his career. He’d signed a $32.5MM extension with the D-Backs going into the 2020 campaign, which would’ve been his platform year. The defensive stalwart hit .230/.285/.351 in 954 plate appearances over the course of that deal. That includes a .212/.257/.303 slash this season.

Ahmed has been healthy this season after losing most of last year to shoulder surgery. He’s still a quality defensive shortstop. The D-Backs turned to 21-year-old top prospect Jordan Lawlar to try to add some spark to the lineup, though, pushing Ahmed off the roster a few weeks before his contract was set to expire.

The 10-year veteran will surely at least find minor league interest based on the strength of his glove — although that might not materialize until the winter. Now that the calendar has turned to September, he’d be ineligible for postseason play elsewhere. As a result, he could elect to sit out the final few weeks of this season and look for a new landing spot during the upcoming offseason.

[AZC] Diamondbacks savoring intensity of first playoff race since 2019 by Theo Mackie

All year, manager Torey Lovullo has referenced previous seasons to provide perspective on where the Diamondbacks are now. Just two years ago, of course, they went 52-110. After trading Josh Rojas at the deadline and designating Carson Kelly and Nick Ahmed for assignment in recent weeks, the Diamondbacks don’t have many remaining players who were key pieces of that team — Gallen and Merrill Kelly remain in the rotation; Ketel Marte and Christian Walker are still starting infielders; Joe Mantiply and Kevin Ginkel are bullpen holdovers.

But for the players who do remain, that memory “makes it sweeter,” Gallen said, to play in a playoff race, even if it’s not something players are regularly thinking about.

“These are grinding days, the end of the season,” Kelly said. “You know it’s kind of the end, everybody’s body’s tired, they’re maybe nicked up a little, nursing something. So I think the fact that we’re in it and we’re playing good baseball just gives you that extra push to try to get through the end of September.”

[Inside the Diamondbacks] Tommy Pham Stars in Return to New York by Jack Sommers

The Diamondbacks came from behind to beat the New York Mets 4-3 with former Met Tommy Pham being the catalyst. Pham was acquired by the Diamondback at the trade deadline and has been a fixture in the middle of the order, delivering numerous big hits already.

Pham spoke about looking to homer prior to the game and had already doubled and scored the D-backs first run in a two-run fourth against Mets starter Jose Quintana. Pham also singled in the fifth inning. With the D-backs trailing 3-2 in the 8th inning, Pham drilled his 16th homer of the year over the center field wall to tie the game. The pitch was an 88 MPH cutter from Trevor Gott that stayed over the middle of the plate. Describing the at bat Pham simply said “Home run pitches are usually thrown. He left me a pitch out over the plate, and I was just on time and I had a great result.”

Pham didn’t entertain any thoughts of revenge over the Mets for trading him. “Right now we’re just trying to win ballgames. This is my former team. It’s a great group over there, but at the end of the day we’re trying to make it to the postseason”.

Baseball News

[MLB] Julio becomes 2nd Mariner to record 30-30 season by Doug Miller

Rodríguez kept the Mariners alive in dramatic fashion in Seattle’s otherwise-disappointing 8-5 loss to the Angels with a game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Just like that, the man with the jersey No. 44 became the 44th player in Major League history to record a 30-30 season — 30 homers and 30 stolen bases.

Spencer’s Spicy Supplement: The article doesn’t explicitly give the first player as the title suggests. It was A-Roid.

[MLB] Woodruff throws 1st career complete-game shutout by Adam McCalvy

It just takes a little run support. After the Brewers’ inability to score a single run for Burnes cost them a no-hitter — and more importantly, a victory — Willy Adames and the rest of Milwaukee’s hitters took out their frustration on Jesús Luzardo and the Marlins while setting a season high for hits (17) as Woodruff threw the Brewers’ first complete game and shutout in more than two years.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Burnes and Woodruff became the first Brewers pitchers to deliver back-to-back scoreless outings of at least eight innings since CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets pitched consecutive shutouts on Aug. 8-9, 2008.

Spencer’s Spicy Supplement: We need to start paying attention to Milwaukee. They are our most likely opponent in the first round of the playoffs. In an ideal world, we get the second Wild Card spot and face the first Wild Card (Philly) then win and move on to Atlanta. If we get the last spot as we have currently, we face the NL Central champ which is likely Milwaukee and have the Dodgers after... I know which path I prefer.

[MLBTR] Chat with Steve Adams 9/12/2023

This is supposed to begin at 1pm Cental (2pm Eastern, 11am Arizona) if you have any burning questions to posit.

[Fangraphs] The Seiyassance Is in Full Swing by Ben Clemens

Instead, he’s peppering those pitches back up the middle or to right field. Pretty much everything about those balls – production, expected production, exit velocity, hard-hit rate, you name it – has improved. In other words, his swing is more on time against fastballs; he’s meeting them and driving them into the right-center gap with authority far more than he did earlier in the year.

Meanwhile, he’s pulling the ball more frequently when he manages to lift a slower pitch, a full 33% of the time. He’s absolutely walloping those balls; he’s put nine of them into play, and he’s batting 1.000 with a 2.778 slugging percentage on those nine balls. His average – average! – exit velocity on them is 101.4 mph. He’s absolutely scalding these things, in other words.

[MLBTR] Orioles Keep Open Possibility Of Felix Bautista Returning In 2023 by Anthony Franco

Orioles closer Félix Bautista has been out since August 26 after suffering an injury to the UCL in his throwing elbow. The O’s haven’t provided many specifics on the situation, but Bautista has continued to throw while on the injured list.

Baltimore general manager Mike Elias met with the beat this afternoon and provided a little more clarity. Elias noted the team isn’t closing the door on Bautista returning this year, saying that medical personnel believe the big right-hander won’t do further damage by throwing (via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post).

Asked whether it was fair to describe the injury as a UCL tear, Elias initially agreed before clarifying “it’s probably best characterized as an acute or chronic injury to his ligament” (relayed by Jake Rill of That’s an alarming description of the issue. Elias acknowledged that surgery was a possibility but said the specific treatment program won’t be decided upon until after the season (via Rich Dubroff of Baltimore Baseball).

[Fangraphs] A Looks at 2023’s Potential Iron Men by Chris Gilligan

What also stands out about this year’s group is that it includes some of the best-performing position players in the league. The four NL players — Acuña Jr., Olson, Freeman, and Soto — are four of the top five hitters in the NL by wRC+ (a rate stat, mind you). In the AL, Semien has paired one of his finest offensive seasons with his best defensive one and will garner MVP consideration. Suárez isn’t quite the caliber of the rest, but he’s a key piece on a playoff contender. It makes sense that the best-playing players play a lot, but the ability to sustain this level of performance and play every day is all the more remarkable.