Shout out to 'Skins for the title. I don't usually choose very good titles, so if you don't like it, blame him. :P
Well, they did it!! The Diamondbacks are returning to the Promised Land! Playoffs! Post-Season! No more restrictions on using those words, we're going! (Other words, however, remain secured in the vault.) Our magic number stands at one - a Diamondbacks win or a Padres loss - for the division title, but we will be going in with at least the wildcard spot.
Too much exciting news to make this a weekend edition! A few wrap-ups from earlier: there's a Pitch and Catch with Chad Tracy and a slideshow of rookie hazing photographs. And MLB.com had their notes published before last night's game.
There is no way to accurately capture all the fantastic quotes from the game or the coverage or from these articles. So I'm just going to link to the article and post some excerpts from them.
- The Diamondbacks likely would use a four-man rotation in the first round of the playoffs. Starting a day later would not keep Webb from starting a Game 1 on Wednesday. Doug Davis, Livan Hernandez and Owings would appear to be the most likely order after Webb.
- Reliever Brandon Medders has been cleared by the team to return to Phoenix after tonight's game to be with his wife, Sims, who is expecting the couple's first child. "There's a couple of things going on I don't want to miss right now," he said, referring to the playoff race. "But I don't want to miss a thing with my baby being born. I want to do everything, even drive my wife to the hospital."
- As champagne bottles erupted inside the visitors clubhouse, the starting right fielder had to abstain from all forms of guzzling. Justin Upton, 20, is not old enough to drink. And you can find no better metaphor for the precocious, playoff-bound Diamondbacks. [ed: at least somebody will be sober tomorrow]
(Note: Do not let Hernandez balance your checkbook. The first round is still best of five, meaning the Diamondbacks only need 11).
Think that's funny? Just wait until they find out that it was Byung-Hyun Kim who beat the Mets on Friday, meaning he actually did something positive for all that money the Diamondbacks paid him.
- Jack Magruder points out: A 12th victory for the D-Backs (90-70) would secure the NL West title and home field-advantage throughout the playoffs, since they already own the tiebreaker on San Diego.
AZCentral photo gallery
- AZCentral video clip
"Are you sure?" Melvin asked McNally.
"Are you really sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure! We're in!"
It was only then that Melvin yelled to his players, who were heading out of the dugout as if win No. 90 were just an average win.
- "I think this club has been as resilient as any I've ever seen," said owner Jeff Moorad, who took over running the club in 2004, when its finances were copious and it lost 111 games. "We've come back when it was least expected. Now we've delivered when the furthest thing on anyone's mind going into the season outside the organization was us winning."
- "What a gallant group of guys," said Ken Kendrick, who replaced the deposed Colangelo as managing general partner in late 2004. "When you look at what this team did, it's unbelievable. I'm sitting there going around the field and your third baseman started the season in Double-A. Your second baseman [who replaced the injured Orlando Hudson] is a Triple-A guy. You've got a couple of veterans at first base, your catcher is a third-year guy. There's a 20-year-old right fielder and a rookie in center. This is pretty special."
Game time tomorrow is 5:05pm, Gonzalez vs Redman. San Diego will have (most likely) finished their game against Milwaukee by then. Interesting to note, the Diamondbacks have made it to the playoffs 4 times now, and only in 2001 did they get into the NLCS. All 3 previous times were as NL West Champs. Here's to continuing that trend!