D'Backs looking to make Chase Field less hitter-friendly

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The Diamondbacks’ Chase Field is known as one of the most hitting-friendly ballparks in Major League Baseball with its short fences, massive center field batter’s eye and relatively high elevation. 

According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the D’Backs are looking at ways to change that.

From messing with the dimensions to raising fences and even installing a Coors Field-like humidor, the club is considering all options.

“We do know that it’s an issue,” Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall said Thursday. “The offense is unreal at
Chase Field. We have a launching pad now. We have a team that’s
hopefully going to be built around young pitching. We should look at
ways to reduce offense, especially from an opponents’ standpoint.”

The Reds play in a ballpark that lends itself to a lot of offense and have countered that by developing a well-rounded pitching staff.  Now they’re leading the National League Central and cursing toward their first playoff appearance since 1995. 

The Diamondbacks have not drafted well and have not made the right decisions in free agency, so instead they’re looking at other options.  Or excuses.  Whatever you want to call ’em.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.