[D’backs.com] Lovullo: ‘We got to believe and get it done’ – Hope is great. Conviction is better. That’s the message manager Torey Lovullo wants to get through to his team. On Saturday afternoon, the D-backs were oh so close to snapping their losing streak, only to watch a furious ninth-inning rally by the Angels send them to a ninth straight loss, this one by an 8-7 margin at Chase Field. Arizona has lost 23 of 25 games and 32 of its last 37. It matches the worst 37-game stretch in franchise history, which was put together by the 2004 team that finished 51-111.
[Arizona Sports] Soria implodes in the ninth inning; D-backs losing streak reaches 9 – Arizona Diamondbacks’ closer Joakim Soria blew the team’s first save attempt since May 10, giving up four hits and three runs in the top of the ninth inning in an 8-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday afternoon. This was Soria’s first blown save of the year and his third loss. The D-backs have now lost nine in a row and 23 out of their last 25 games. “Some situations where the balls coming out of his hand good, but there was just mistakes in the middle of the zone,” Manager Torey Lovullo said via Zoom on Soria’s outing. “We know how effective he is with landing pitches in the right spot at the right time. Today there were some mistakes in the middle of the zone. “I know he’s not trying to throw the baseball there. If there’s another situation where he’s landing those pitches in the right spot and maybe has some weak contact, we’d get some quick easy outs. But that wasn’t the case.”
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks blow 5-run lead in loss to Angels – The Los Angeles Angels smiled, shook hands and exchanged high-fives on Saturday afternoon. It is what teams do these days after playing the Diamondbacks.
Around the League
[ESPN] MLB finalizing memo on rule against use of foreign substances by pitchers – Major League Baseball is putting the final touches on a memo that will detail the sport’s rule against foreign substances with the expectation, sources say, that the document will be forwarded to teams sometime in the next few days and presented to coaching staffs and players. The actual order for umpires to enforce the rule might occur a week later, in the range of June 21, according to sources. But the elongated rollout and source-driven discussion of the foreign substance crackdown has been by design, to some degree. MLB’s hope is that pitchers who use foreign substances like Spider Tack and homemade super glues will be scared straight by the public conversation and stop using them, sources said. The sport’s powers, said one source, “do not want to find any violators of the foreign substance.”
[The Spun] Groundbreaking Former MLB Star Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant Has Passed Away – The baseball world lost a legend on Saturday with the passing of former MLB star pitcher Jim “Mudcat” Grant. He was 85 years old. Grant began his career in Cleveland. He was traded to the Twins in 1964, a move which immediately paid dividends for Minnesota. Grant was the first Black pitcher to ever win 20 games in the American League. He did so for the Minnesota Twins in the 1965 season. In 1965, he went 21-7 with a 3.30 ERA and six shutouts in 39 starts. Grant was instrumental in taking the Twins to the 1965 World Series against the Dodgers. The right-hander pitched three of the seven games for the Twins, winning two of them.
[MLB Trade Rumors] Dodgers Place Max Muncy On 10-Day Injured List – The Dodgers have placed infielder Max Muncy on the 10-day injured list due to a right oblique strain, the team announced. Outfielder Luke Raley has been called up from Triple-A to fill Muncy’s spot on the active roster. Muncy hit a two-run homer in the first inning of the Dodgers’ 12-1 win over the Rangers on Friday, but he was replaced at first base by Albert Pujols for the start of the second inning.