The Diamondbacks are not in a new spot, facing a “win or go home” contest at Chase Field. Indeed, they were there on Wednesday, when they faced the Colorado Rockies. They were also there twice during the last time the team made the post-season, in 2011 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Overall, they have never lost an elimination game at home in franchise history, being 6-0 all time - including Games 6 and 7 in the 2001 World Series, of course. We can only hope that proud record is continued tonight, as Zack Greinke takes the mound for the D-backs.
It will be the fifth time he has faced the Dodgers this year. The first, on April 14 in Los Angeles, didn’t go well, as he was tagged for ten hits and five earned runs over five innings. But the two after that, both in August and at Chase Field were significantly better. On Aug 9 he gave the team a quality start, allowing three runs over 6.2 innings. And he saved the best for last: on Aug 31, he held the Dodgers to one run on four hits over six innings, then five days later pitched seven innings of one-run ball. Dodgers’ starter Yu Darvish has seen the D-backs just once in 2017: he got the W, allowing two runs over five innings, and his ERA of 3.60 against us is basically identical to Greinke’s 3.65 vs. Los Angeles this season.
The Dodgers have not yet announced their line-up, so we’ll get a separate post up with both those nearer the time. However, the D-backs line-up was already announced, and is the same as in the wild-card game. That means Daniel Descalso at second base, and Jeff Mathis catching Greinke. We went over what the Diamondbacks need to do yesterday. I’m just hoping the team can play the way we know they can, in front of their home-town crowd. If Arizona can extend the series to Game 4, who knows what might happen. But even if they don’t: play well. For after this year, they deserve to go out with their heads high, and the applause of us fans ringing in their ears.
At the park
You probably want to get downtown early, since parking will be neither easy nor cheap. The D-backs will host a street festival beginning at 4:00 p.m. along 4th Street and Jackson and will feature a live DJ, beer garden, postseason merchandise truck and the D-backs Street Team. Game Seven Grill will open at 1:00 p.m. and remain open for an hour after the game.
Gates to Chase Field will be open at 5pm, and the first 40,000 fans in the ballpark - so pretty much everyone - will receive a D-backs Rally Towel. The roof is expected to be open for tonight's contest. Not sure what Zack Greinke thinks about that... Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:30 p.m. to enjoy the pregame festivities, which include:
- Ceremonial first pitch by 23-time Olympic Gold Medalist/28-time Olympic Medalist in swimming and current Arizona resident Michael Phelps
- National anthem performed by Arizona rock and roll artist and creator of “D-backs Swing” Roger Clyne
- 90’ x 180’ American flag in the shape of the United States, held by APS Veteran employees and members of the Phoenix Police & Fire Departments and Department of Public Safety
How to watch and listen
- Start time: 6 pm
- TV: TBS (or perhaps on TNT to start with). One of the best reasons to go to the game tonight, is you won’t have to listen to the obnoxious TBS announcers. They’ve been quite awful throughout this. I’ll almost be glad when the post-season is over, and TBS can go back to being the channel I skip over on my way to those I actually watch. If you can sync up your radio to the TV coverage, that is probably going to be the best solution.
- Radio: ESPN Radio (620 AM in Phoenix)
98.7 FM Arizona Sports