Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta, batting in the No. 2 hole for the first time this season, homered and doubled twice, driving in seven runs in a win over the Padres, June 8, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin ran into more first-inning issues, but he pitched more effectively overall on Thursday than he had in recent starts, June 8, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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D-Backs’ Chris Owings talks about the club’s success at hitting with two outs and his decision to change his at-bat music on Thursday, June 8, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Video highlights of the Diamondbacks’ 15-3 win over the Padres on Thursday at Chase Field.
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Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke speaks with the media after earning a win in a 7-4 victory over the Padres on Wednesday at Chase Field. Richard Morin/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb speaks with the media following a 7-4 win against the Padres on Wednesday at Chase Field. Richard Morin/azcentral sports
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Zack Greinke only lasted five innings, but Jake Lamb carried the Diamondbacks to their eighth straight home win on Wednesday at Chase Field.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley dish on the Diamondbacks and NBA finals in our Shot Clock video.
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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred backs the Diamondbacks in the team’s arguments with Maricopa County. David Kadlubowski/azcentral.com
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Edinson Volquez’s no-hitter and his team’s struggles on the road.
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The Diamondbacks’ Chris Herrmann talks about Edinson Volquez’s outing and his team’s struggles on the road.
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Diamondbacks outfielder Rey Fuentes talks about his team’s struggles against Edinson Volquez.
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin said he thought he pitched better than the results showed on Friday night in Miami.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Patrick Corbin’s outing and his team’s ability to fight back from an early deficit.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s come-from-behind win over the Marlins on Thursday night in Miami.
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Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta said he was glad Chris Owings came through with an RBI hit because Peralta didn’t want to play another inning. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Chris Owings, who drove in the winning run, talks about the importance of Wednesday’s victory in Pittsburgh.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s ability to overcome obstacles on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray was mobbed by his teammates in the clubhouse after throwing the first shutout of his career on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Robbie Ray’s outing on Tuesday night against the Pirates. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks catcher Chris Herrmann said Robbie Ray missed his glove only a couple of times on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ JJ Hensley and Mark Faller discuss the Diamondbacks losing over the weekend and the Penguins’ win over the Predators.
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Chris Iannetta talks about his two-run, game-tying homer on Monday evening at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, May 29, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo talks about the emotional swings in the Diamondbacks 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, May 29, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley talks about the home run Andrew McCutchen hit off him to give the Pirates a walkoff on Monday, May 29, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses Patrick Corbin’s struggles and his team’s loss to the Brewers on Sunday at Miller Park. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin was roughed up by the Brewers on Sunday in Milwaukee, giving up seven runs, including four on a grand slam by Domingo Santana. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke talks about the pitch that Jett Bandy hit for a bases-clearing double in Saturday’s loss to the Brewers. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down Zack Greinke’s outing vs. the Brewers and Chase Anderson’s near no-hitter on Saturday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt talks about the performance of ex-teammate Chase Anderson, who flirted with a no-hitter against his former team on Saturday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s late rally to beat the Brewers 4-2 in Milwaukee on Friday night.
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Chris Iannetta talks about the ninth-inning home run he hit on Friday night in Milwaukee.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the key for the Diamondbacks’ long-term success this season and weigh in on the LeBron vs. Jordan debate.
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Lefty Robbie Ray lowered his road ERA to 0.81 with seven scoreless innings vs. the Brewers on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about left-hander Robbie Ray’s outing in his team’s 4-0 win over the Brewers on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses his club’s 8-6 win over the White Sox to complete a home sweep on Wednesday. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb discusses homering off left-hander Jose Quintana despite his lefty struggles and the Diamondbacks’ strong start to the season after Wednesday’s win. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks catcher Chris Herrmann on recent hitting surge and his home run in Arizona’s 5-4 win on Tuesday at Chase Field. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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Pitcher Archie Bradley was one of three Arizona Diamondbacks who participated in a cow-milking competition on May 23, 2017 at Chase Field.
The contest was to promote Shamrock Farms Grand Slam Milk Drive program.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller discusses his Tommy John surgery and his impending rehab before Tuesday’s game at Chase Field. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Mark Faller and Dan Bickley weigh in on the Diamondbacks, LeBron James and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
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Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke on his near-complete game and use of an Eephus pitch during Monday’s dominant outing against the White Sox. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Zack Greinke’s strong performance and the club’s offense. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and E.J. Montini discuss the Diamondbacks and their special summer ticket deal.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Padres lefty Clayton Richard’s performance and the home run by Chris Iannetta on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks’ Chris Iannetta returned from the disabled list on Sunday and slammed a home run on the first pitch he saw. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley threw seven innings and allowed three runs, all of them scoring in the fifth in a loss to the Padres on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on his team’s easy win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s eight-run first inning and right-hander Taijuan Walker’s sharp outing vs. the Padres. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker gave up just two hits in six scoreless innings, but he wasn’t satisfied with the way he threw on Friday night in a win over the Padres. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks’ Brandon Drury talks about his team’s offensive outburst vs. the Padres on Friday night at Petco Park. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the NBA MVP, the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers and the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive backs.
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D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo, catcher Chris Herrmann and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to the 5-4 win against the Mets, sweeping the series, May 17, 2017.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Greinke and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to Tuesday’s 5-4 Diamondbacks win. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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D-Backs’ Zack Godley talks pitching and gameplay after his team’s 7-3 win over the Mets, May 15, 2017.
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D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo discusses the pace his team kept during a 7-3 win over the Mets, May 15, 2017.
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Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock talks about the injury that forced him to leave Sunday’s loss to the Pirates. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta doesn’t think his glute injury is significant, he said. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down his team’s 6-4 loss to the Pirates on Sunday and provides updates on his injured outfielders. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta says he ‘got lucky on all accounts’ after being hit in the face by a 93 mph fastball on Friday night vs. the Pirates. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Taijuan Walker and shortstop Nick Ahmed react to the 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, May 13, 2017.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo provides an update on catcher Chris Iannetta, who was hit in the face by a pitch during Friday’s game, before Saturday’s game. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, second baseman Brandon Drury and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to 11-4 win against the Pirates, May 12, 2017.
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Shot Clock: Colin Kaepernick is better than Blaine Gabbert, right? So why did the Cardinals not sign him? Also, Zack Greinke has his Randy Johnson moment … what does it mean for Diamondbacks?
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Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke describes his night, in which he nearly threw a no-hitter against the Pirates.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reacts to Zack Greinke’s near-no-hit performance in Thursday’s win over the Pirates.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Godley and shortstop Nick Ahmed react to the 7-1 win.
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Manager Torey Lovullo and left-hander Robbie Ray react to the 7-3 loss.
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azcentral sports’ Sarah McLellan and Dan Bickley discuss the D-Backs’ difficulties on the road and the NBA’s big issue in the playoffs.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo says defensive miscues cost them in a 5-2 loss to the Rockies on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker talks about his outing vs. the Rockies at Coors Field on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin was charged with eight runs in four-plus innings against the Rockies on Saturday night.
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Manager Torey Lovullo didn’t think his team played fundamentally sound in Saturday night’s 9-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke gave up two runs in seven innings in a win over the Rockies on Friday.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down his team’s win over the Rockies on Friday night.
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Chris Iannetta on his career-high 7 RBIs vs. Padres
Patrick Corbin on his effectiveness vs. Padres
Chris Owings on Diamondbacks’ offensive production with two outs
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres — June 8, 2017
Greinke on his ‘all right’ outing in D-Backs’ win
Lamb on big performance in D-Backs’ win
D-Backs beat Padres for another home win
Shot Clock: D-Backs train rolling; Durant new No. 1?
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on rift between D-Backs, Maricopa County
D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo on no-hitter, road struggles
Chris Herrmann on Edinson Volquez’s performance in no-hitter
D-Backs’ Rey Fuentes on Edinson Volquez’s pitch mix in no-hitter
Patrick Corbin after loss to Marlins
Torey Lovullo on Patrick Corbin’s outing vs. Marlins
Torey Lovullo on Nick Ahmed, comeback win over Marlins
David Peralta talks about Chris Owings’ ‘clutch’ hit vs. Pirates
Chris Owings on D-Backs’ extra-inning win in Pittsburgh
Torey Lovullo on ‘character win’ in Pittsburgh
Robbie Ray on postgame celebration after shutout vs. Pirates
Torey Lovullo on Robbie Ray’s shutout of Pirates
Chris Herrmann on Robbie Ray’s ‘outstanding’ outing vs. Pirates
Shot Clock: Winless weekend with D-Backs
Diamondbacks’ Chris Iannetta on his latest clutch homer
Torey Lovullo on Diamondbacks’ loss to the Pirates
Archie Bradley after walkoff loss to Pirates
Torey Lovullo on Patrick Corbin’s outing, loss to Brewers
Patrick Corbin on his outing vs. Brewers
Zack Greinke on his outing in loss to Brewers
Torey Lovullo on loss to Brewers, Chase Anderson
Paul Goldschmidt talks about Chase Anderson’s outing
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ comeback win in MIlwaukee
Chris Iannetta on his game-tying homer vs. Brewers
Can D-Backs keep this up? Why, why not
Robbie Ray after dominant outing in Milwaukee
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo on impressive win over Brewers
Torey Lovullo on ‘nice team win’ for D-Backs
Jake Lamb on strong game against lefty Jose Quintana
Chris Herrmann on hitting surge, HR in win
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley competes in cow milking competition
Shelby Miller: Tommy John surgery ‘was a pretty smooth process’
Shot Clock: Time to take D-Backs seriously
Zack Greinke on near-complete game, Eephus pitch
Torey Lovullo on Zack Greinke’s ‘great night’
Montini volunteers free tickets – with Bickley’s help
D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo on loss vs. Padres
Chris Iannetta on homering in first game off DL
Zack Godley on his outing vs. Padres
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs pound Padres 9-1
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ blowout win vs. Padres
Taijuan Walker tosses six scoreless vs. Padres
Brandon Drury homers in win vs. Padres
Watch out for Dodgers; Cards CBs apply for job
Diamondbacks outlast Mets in extra innings
Diamondbacks discuss close win over Mets
Diamondbacks’ Zack Godley talks after win over Mets
Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo talks upbeat pace in win over Mets
A.J. Pollock discusses his injury after loss to Pirates
David Peralta downplays his injury vs. Pirates
Torey Lovullo on injuries, loss vs. Pirates
Chris Iannetta talks about scary HBP vs. Pirates
Diamondbacks rally falls short against Pirates
Lovullo: Iannetta “said he could play tonight if he had to” after HBP
Diamondbacks overwhelm Pirates 11-4
Kaepernick blackballed? Greinke now trade bait?
Zack Greinke on his near no-hitter against Pirates
Lovullo reacts to Greinke’s near no-hitter in win
Diamondbacks snap losing streak with win over Tigers
Diamondbacks drop third straight with loss to Tigers
Shot Clock: D-Backs face pivotal homestand
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ latest loss to Rockies
Taijuan Walker after loss to Rockies
Patrick Corbin after being roughed up by Rockies
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo on ‘tough night’ at Coors Field
Zack Greinke on impressive outing vs. Rockies
Manager Torey Lovullo after win over Rockies
Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta sits in front of his locker with his legs wide and his back arched as he speaks intently about the intricacies of his position.
In a few hours, he’ll take the field and play the role of offensive catalyst with a career-high seven RBIs in the Diamondbacks’ 15-3 win over the Padres Thursday.
But for now, he’s all but crouched into a defensive posture as he discusses the art of pitch framing, a skill that’s giving Arizona hurlers an advantage as they fight to keep pace with the Rockies and Dodgers in the NL West. As manager Torey Lovullo said this week, pitch framing is “a huge part of where we are.”
Catchers control the game, and Iannetta’s body language, speech and stare give the impression of a man in charge. Advanced defensive statistics, meanwhile, show he’s earned that bearing.
Iannetta, who got the start Thursday afternoon in the series finale against San Diego, and fellow catcher Jeff Mathis are among the major-league leaders in framing, the art of creating strikes, according to data tracking websites.
It’s not a new concept. Players have been working to influence umpires since Abner Doubleday hit into a double play. (Yes, that’s hyperbole, please don’t write a letter to the editor.) But in the analytics era, stats can reflect a player’s effectiveness.
It starts with the assumption that if a pitcher hits his catcher’s target, the result will be a strike.
But catching a ball that’s low and outside and jerking it up and into the strike zone isn’t going to fool anyone, much less a major-league ump.
Iannetta, who has improved greatly in this area, explains that it’s more about helping the man behind him accurately see where a pitch came in. He breaks it down to body positioning, receiving the ball and staying composed.
He says that if a catcher sets up too far behind the hitter, a pitch will drop and look low, even if it came over the plate in the zone.
Another aspect, he says, is catching the ball and holding it in place, rather than following its momentum to the left or right. He reaches out a thick, left forearm to demonstrate, saying a catcher should be strong and keep the ball in place after it hits his glove.
Finally, he says, keeping the body “quiet” shows that a ball came in as expected. Big jumps and exaggerated movements make pitches seem off target.
Iannetta ranked near the bottom of framing stats in 2014. This season, he’s in the top 15, according to Baseball Prospectus. Mathis, meanwhile, is in the top 10.
Last season, according to StatCorner, Iannetta landed at No. 11, and Mathis came in ninth.
BICKLEY: Baseball needs more personalities
“It’s a huge thing that has been addressed in baseball, and it can be recognized now,” Lovullo said. “Whereas it might have taken a coach a year to say, ‘Hey, look, he does a really good job handling pitches on the outer half of the plate.’ We can see that at the end of the game. We identified these two guys, their areas of strength, and I give them a lot of credit.”
Thanks in part to Iannetta and Mathis, Diamondbacks pitchers rank third in team ERA and strikeouts and fourth in opponents’ batting average.
Framing played a factor in getting Arizona starter Patrick Corbin out of potential trouble early Thursday. After allowing two runs in the first, the left-hander gave up a two-out double to Jose Pirela in the second inning. Then he struck out Yangervis Solarte looking at a fastball inside.
Lovullo said Corbin deserves credit for locating the pitch, but Iannetta “did his job” with proper positioning.
For his part, Corbin said he hit the target, and “when you hit those spots, more so than not, you’ll get the call.”
Iannetta’s offense, however, stole the attention.
Playing a hunch, Lovullo moved him to the second spot in the lineup, and when Iannetta came up in the bottom of the fifth, the Diamondbacks were down 3-2. Iannetta had grounded out to third base on each of his first two at-bats, but this time he pulled a two-run homer to left to take the lead.
The Diamondbacks wouldn’t trail again, extending the advantage with six runs in the sixth inning, aided by Iannetta’s bases-loaded double.
By the time he stepped to the plate in the eighth, the score was 11-3, but he smacked another double for two more runs, capping his career day.
Brewers at Diamondbacks
When: 6:40 p.m.
Where: Chase Field (Roof hotline: 602-462-6262).
Pitchers: Diamondbacks RHP Randall Delgado (1-1, 3.24) vs. Brewers RHP Zach Davies (6-3, 4.69).
TV/Radio: FSAZ, FSAZ+/KMVP-FM (98.7), KHOV-FM (105.1).
Delgado gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings against the Marlins on Saturday in Miami, taking the loss on the other side of RHP Edinson Volquez’s no-hitter. … It was the third consecutive start in which Delgado threw well; he’s given up three earned runs in 15 innings, with two walks and 15 strikes, and has cemented himself in the rotation for the time being. … Delgado is using his change-up 25 percent of the time, his highest percentage since 2013. … Davies gave up home runs to CF Gregor Blanco and SS Chris Owings when he faced the Diamondbacks on May 25, allowing three runs in six innings. … He threw well his last time out, tossing six scoreless innings, and has a 3.09 in eight starts since April 25.
Saturday: At Chase Field, 7:10 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Godley (1-1, 2.39) vs. Brewers RHP Junior Guerra (1-0, 1.83).
Sunday: At Chase Field, 1:10 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (6-3, 2.85) vs. Brewers RHP Chase Anderson (5-1, 2.94).
Tuesday: At Detroit, 4:10 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.20) vs. Tigers RHP Buck Farmer (2-0, 0.00).
Up next: Milwaukee Brewers
Brewers update: The Brewers rallied to tie their series finale with the Giants in the bottom of the ninth on Thursday but wound up losing in 10 innings, leaving them with a four-game split. For the past few weeks, they’ve been bouncing between first and second in the NL Central, never falling back by more than a half-game, never leading by more than two. They still rank fourth in the National League in runs per game, but the offense has fallen off in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the pitching has improved; in the past 14 games entering Thurday, the Brewers had a 2.95 ERA as a team. While 1B Eric Thames’ bat has cooled after a hot start, 3B Travis Shaw has had a productive few weeks, hitting .333/.398/.533 over his past 19 games. RF Domingo Santana has also been swinging the bat well, owning an OPS of .988 in his past 22 games.