The Diamondbacks are taking control in the NL West

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Arizona won its seventh straight game yesterday, beating the Rockies 5-1 behind a strong outing from Daniel Hudson. Hudson added an RBI to — altogether now — help his own cause. Meanwhile the Giants were pounded 7-0 by the Cubs, their already weak bats silenced even more by Randy Wells, who tossed a two-hitter.  Bruce Bochy referred to the loss as the low point of the Giants’ season. It’s hard to disagree.

The upshot: Arizona now has a five game lead in the NL West. As Nick Piecoro points out in the Arizona Republic, it’s the Dbacks’ biggest division lead since June 15th 2008.

The two teams play a three-game series this weekend in San Francisco.  If their relative trajectories don’t change, the Dbacks could secure the division by Sunday evening.

Which we all saw coming back in March, right?

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.