Jesse Friedman

Born and raised in Phoenix metro, Jesse’s sports broadcasting career began at the age of 12 when he impersonated D-backs radio voice Greg Schulte on FOX Sports Arizona as the Arizona Diamondbacks Kidkaster. He started writing and podcasting about the Diamondbacks shortly thereafter, and has been doing it ever since. Now, Jesse is a podcast host and writer for PHNX Diamondbacks. Jesse has a math degree and a journalism minor from Azusa Pacific University in Southern California.
Diamondbacks second half storyline Corbin Carroll throws during minor-league mini-camp at Salt River Fields.

The All-Star break has come and gone, and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ second half gets underway on Friday against the Washington Nationals. Manager Torey Lovullo knows his team has a lot of work to do. “Our record is what it is,” Lovullo said. “We know that we’ve won 40 baseball games, and for me, that’s not very satisfying.” The Diamondbacks stumbled to the halfway point, dropping four of their five series in July and losing 26 of their last 41 games since June 1. “I feel like we can improve on a lot of areas,” Lovullo said. “There [have] been some chips that we’ve left on the table, whether it’s been picking up the baseball defensively, making pitches, landing pitches at…

Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Joe Mantiply (35) throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

You’ve probably heard it said by now: The Diamondbacks had to have someone in the All-Star game. Disrespectful? Sure. Wrong? Well, not really. The D-backs did need a representative, and that someone is left-handed reliever Joe Mantiply. ​​ While many baseball fans view his All-Star selection as nothing more than an obligatory formality, Mantiply’s first half has been remarkable — particularly for a franchise that has been riddled with bullpen problems since its inception. The timing of this piece is unfortunate, given that Mantiply’s ERA has more than doubled in the past 10 days. Still, entering Tuesday’s game in San Francisco, Mantiply had a 2.08 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 25.0 percent walk rate and 1.5 percent walk rate over 34 ⅔…

The Diamondbacks finished the first half of the season on a high note Tuesday with a 6-2 win over the Giants. After 81 games, they are 37-44 and on pace for 74 wins (just one shy of the 75-win prediction I made back in April.) After finishing with 52 wins last year, a 22-game improvement would be a big lift for the franchise. Unsurprisingly, manager Torey Lovullo stressed the need for his players to stay focused on what’s in front of them and continue to improve. “I don’t want these guys to get complacent and say we’ve had a first half that we’re satisfied with,” Lovullo said before Tuesday’s game. “I like excellence. I like greatness. That’s what I want…

Diamondbacks starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel pitches at Chase Field.

Sunday’s game was significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the Diamondbacks debut of former Cy Young winner and two-time All-Star Dallas Keuchel. Starting with his performance, here are five takeaways from the series loss against Detroit.

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