SAN DIEGO -- Lost in the frustration fans likely felt after the D-backs' 6-5 loss to the Padres on Friday night was a good, old-fashioned, feel-good story: the Major League debut of D-backs outfielder Tyler Graham.
Graham, 28, was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the 14th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft but opted not to sign in order to play his senior season at Oregon State -- a wise decision, considering that 2006 Beavers went on to win the NCAA championship.
Graham, a native of Great Falls, Mont., was drafted again in 2006, this time in the 19th round by the Giants, and he began his professional career in short-season Salem-Keizer that summer.
From there, he toiled at various levels of the Giants' system until 2011, when he led the Pacific Coast League by recording 60 stolen bases with San Francisco's Triple-A affiliate in Fresno. He followed that season, his best as a pro, by heading to Mexico to play winter ball in order to prepare himself for what was going to be his seventh season in the Giants' system.
But after just a month of 2012 action with Fresno, the Giants designated Graham for assignment, a blow that kept the ever-determined Graham out of action for no more than a week before he found himself another chance with the D-backs.
He played in 28 games with Triple-A Reno and struggled, hitting just .115 with one stolen base in that span. But injuries to the big league outfield and the expansion of rosters in September left Arizona looking for a versatile outfielder to provide them with some depth. They called Graham.
After seven days of waiting -- a span that likely flew by for a man who had waited seven years -- Graham finally got into his first Major League game when he pinch-ran in the ninth.
"It felt great. It's just a blessing to be up here and to get a chance to get in a game is obviously exciting," Graham said. "Anything I get up here I'm going to be grateful for."
"As a kid growing up, everybody wants to make it to the big leagues eventually. Going through six, six-and-a-half years in the Minors, it's definitely been a grind, probably more mentally than physically."
How many opportunities Graham will get is unclear, but there's no doubt that the first one, however short lived, was well deserved.
"I think if you just keep at it and always believe and always work hard, good things happen to those type of people," Graham said, sweating after getting some extra work in before Saturday's game. "That's all I try to do each and every day: Believe in myself and work as hard as I can."
Stomach bug hits D-backs clubhouse
SAN DIEGO -- Maybe it's a product of seven straight losses to the Padres, but something about San Diego has the D-backs sick to their stomachs.
The D-backs have been snakebitten by a nasty stomach bug since their arrival in San Diego, an illness that first emerged in Friday night's starter Tyler Skaggs, who was sick Thursday night.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt was the next to feel its effects, forcing Arizona manager Kirk Gibson to make him a late scratch from the starting lineup Friday night, though Goldschmidt did pinch-hit in the seventh inning.
"I was up [in the clubhouse] and I was resting, and I knew the pitcher was coming up in the fifth, so I was moving around," Goldschmidt said. "I took some swings and felt fine."
Goldschmidt said he was feeling much better Saturday, and was back in the starting lineup, but the same could not be said for his Friday replacement, Ryan Wheeler, nor pitchers Brad Bergesen or David Hernandez, who had gotten the bug by pregame Saturday.
Gibson said he was considering starting Wheeler, who had two doubles and three RBIs filling in for Goldschmidt on Friday, but couldn't after he saw Wheeler walk into his office.
"I was thinking about it, but I called him in here and looked at him and he was not very colorful," Gibson said. "Same with [Goldschmidt yesterday]. They say 'I'll be OK, I can do it,' and then just watching them move around, they're really sick."
The origin of that sickness is a mystery, as initially Goldschmidt and Skaggs thought they might have had food poisoning. But the rapid spread to other members of the club seems to suggest it's just a hard-hitting stomach bug.
"We've got a bad bug going through here," Gibson said. "It strikes hard fast. It's pretty intense."
Nagy sees much of Miley in Corbin, Skaggs
SAN DIEGO -- D-backs pitching coach Charles Nagy knows a thing or two about good young starters. After all, he's tutored arguably one of the best in the Majors this season in Saturday night's starter, 25-year-old Wade Miley.
So it's probably good news that Nagy sees some key intangibles -- and a lot of Miley -- in young arms Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs, who have taken over spots in the D-backs rotation this season.
"Wade Miley, he's another young guy, last year he had the same look in his eyes [as Skaggs and Corbin]," Nagy said. "He pitched some good games for us ... made the team out of the bullpen this year and just took off. In looking back, it was just the sense of belonging and understanding that hey, you belong here and can get these guys out."
Corbin, 23, and Skaggs, 21, -- both southpaws like Miley -- have proven they can, indeed, get guys out in the big leagues. Corbin owns a 5-6 record and 4.13 ERA in 17 outings (12 starts) since making his big league debut in April, and Skaggs is 1-1 in four starts since a late August callup.
"They're both incredibly poised," Nagy said. "They've shown a lot of maturity out there on the mound, they both have very good stuff. ... We had them both in Spring Training, they know the guys really well, and they've succeeded at every level we've thrown at them and thrown well since they've been here."
According to Nagy, even the heat of a late-season playoff push hasn't seemed to faze his young arms, even when things haven't gone perfectly for them. That comes in part, Nagy believes, from the simple approach the D-backs have tried to instill in their developing young hurlers.
"You want to keep things simple. We're just making sure they can go out there and be prepared and ready to know: [Opponents] don't know you. So pitch your game," Nagy said. "Just play to your strengths. They can go out and compete at this level."
"They've taken their lumps a little bit this year, but they've shown great poise and battled through it."
Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.