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Dbacks position players outpitched Dbacks pitchers by a whole lot last night

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The Rockies beat the living tar out of the Arizona Diamondbacks last night. They were up 19-1 by the end of the fifth inning, in fact, and everyone should’ve probably just agreed to go home early and catch up on the shows they have on their DVRs and stuff. But they played on, because that’s what ballplayers do.

As is so often the case in blowouts, eventually a position player was deployed to pitch. In this case, though, it wasn’t just one position player and it wasn’t just for a final inning. The Dbacks used two position players — Daniel Descalso and Alex Avila — and they pitched for more than half the dang game.

Really: the Snakes’ real pitchers gave up 16 runs in four and a third innings while Descalso and Avila gave up 3 runs in four and two-thirds innings. All of those runs were charged to Descalso, by the way, who allowed two homers. He still did better than real pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, however, who gave up four more runs in one inning less of work.

Avila, though, was pretty spiffy. He faced seven batters over two innings and retired six of them, allowing only one hit, in the form of a leadoff single to Ian Desmond just after coming into the game. He stranded Desmond, though, getting the next three batters to fly out and line out. He came back for the eighth inning and retired the side in order once again.

I suspect that, at that point in the game, the Rockies hitters were not exactly going up with an intention to do serious damage, but I don’t think big leaguers quit either, so we should give some credit to Avila for his surprisingly outstanding performance. Even if it came at the end of a shockingly terrible night for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Bryce Harper defeats Kyle Schwarber 19-18 to win the 2018 Home Run Derby

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Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.

Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.

Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.

As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.