The Arizona Diamondbacks are post season bound for the first time since 2007. The Arizona Diamondbacks finished with 97 losses last season and last place in the NL West. This season they finished with 94 wins.
Friday night, Arizona beat the defending World Series Champions to clinch the division. What other division winner was able to clinch their division and eliminate the defending World Series Champions in the same game. Clearly the San Francisco Giants didn’t have the same season but neither did Arizona.
Manager Kirk Gibson was able to turn this team around with the help of GM Kevin Towers. All the right pieces were put in place and Arizona was able to execute all season long. Arizona has a Cy Young favorite Ian Kennedy, finalist for MVP Justin Upton, and shoe in for Manager of the Year Kirk Gibson. Clearly this was not all about personal accomplishments. This was an all around effort. The starting rotation pitched in, the bullpen, the bats, and even the defense in the field. Parra with his outstanding arm in the outfield, Aaron Hill’s glove, Ryan Robert’s clutch hitting, Ian Kennedy’s ability to go the distance. Can they go the distance in the postseason though?
Arizona has the least amount of postseason experience. This is where Arizona lacks but they also have the attitude to overcome this. Arizona leads the MLB in most comeback wins this season. On top of that, they have the best record in regards to one run games. Arizona is ready for the postseason as they were able to finish September 16-9.
The Postseason though is a whole new ballgame. Winning a game in September on a half filled Stadium on a Tuesday night is different than Game 1 of the Postseason in a packed stadium. Arizona will face off against the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS. Arizona leads the series 4-3 with 3 of those wins coming at Milwaukee. Arizona has a stellar rotation with the most underrated 1-2 punch in the playoffs. Best? No, that goes to the Phillies but definitely most underrated. The Brewers counter the Diamondbacks stellar rotation with another great rotation. Arizona has some great bats in Upton and Montero. Milwaukee counters with MVP favorite Ryan Braun and power hitter Prince Fielder. Arizona has a great closer J.J. Putz and Milwaukee can counter with John Axford.
The postseason is all about momentum. If Arizona can carry their momentum into Game 1 and steal game 1 from Milwaukee they will be the favorite for the series. However, if Milwaukee sets the pace Arizona will have their backs against the wall. Once again Arizona boasts the most comeback wins and best one run game record. Arizona cannot be counted out regardless of who wins Game 1. However, it will be huge in escaping this series.
Arizona may not have postseason experience but their managing staff has plenty of it. They have done a good job of mentoring their players this season and they will do more of the same this postseason.
Arizona will throw out Ian Kennedy on the mound against Brewer’s Ace Yovani Gallardo. Sunday Daniel Hudson will face off against Zack Grienke. Grienke will be pitching off of short rest. This could either be a genius idea for the Brewer’s or their undoing.
Bold Prediction: Arizona will split in Milwaukee and close out the series in Arizona. Arizona in 4.
About the Author
Written by Matthew Hesse
Matthew Hesse is currently located in Tucson, Arizona and he graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelors in Business Management in 2009. Graduated from Tiffin University with a Masters in Business Administration with a focus in Sports Management in 2011. Recent intern with the Pro Exposure Basketball Showcase and Greene Sports Management. Fan of Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, and the University of Arizona Athletics.