The Arizona Diamondbacks entered this afternoon’s game at Chase Field against the Miami Marlins with a magic number of just one, meaning a win would guarantee them a spot in the wild-card game. Turns out, they didn’t even need to wait that long. First, the St. Louis Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and just not the Chicago Cubs finished off the Milwaukee Brewers, meaning neither Cardinals nor Brewers can catch the D-backs in the wild-card race. Home-field advantage will also be clinched, with a win at Chase this afternoon, or a loss by the Colorado Rockies against the Padres in San Diego.
It’s the first time the Diamondbacks have made the post-season as a wild-card, having won the NL West on all their previous playoff adventures. This is a major turnaround for a team which won only 69 games last year, and needed a last-day win to avoid the second pick in this year’s draft. Many, many kudos are due to rookie General Manager Mike Hazen and rookie manager Torey Lovullo, for their parts in helping engineer such a spectacular change in fortunes. Even if the post-season were to last only one game, this will still have been one of, if not the best Diamondbacks campaign in SnakePit history.
Pop the champagne, folks. We’re going to the playoffs!