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World Series of Arizona Diamondbacks: 2014 @ 2013

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With Miguel Montero catching both teams! [Insert “Spidey pointing” meme here]

National League Wild Card Game - Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Montero isn’t the only one with a busy day in prospect. There’s a fair amount of overlap here, as we pit consecutive Diamondbacks’ seasons against each other. Also pulling double duty, and appearing for both sides, will be Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt, Martin Prado and Gerardo Parra. It’s kinda interesting to see how two teams, with a fairly significant overlap of players, can manage results which differ by 17 games. Admittedly, that’s only 10% or so over the course of a 162-game season. But it’s the difference between a .500 team and a likely division winner. Just like one extra hit a week can be an extra 50 points on your batting average, and the difference between a journeyman and an All-Star.

The 2014 team as selected by WhatIfSports.com included A.J. Pollock in CF. However, he - and stop me if you’ve heard this one before - only played 75 games for the D-backs that year. So I’ve moved Ender Inciarte in from left to center, and Mark Trumbo (88 games) will start in left instead. Something similar for the 2013 team, where the auto-select had Pollock in left. He did play enough that year to make the team, but I moved him to center. That left a choice in left, between Jason Kubel and Cody Ross: the latter played slightly more overall that season (94 games vs. 89), but Kubel had more starts in left (51 vs. 38). I went with Kubel in the end, and Patrick Corbin just edged Wade Miley as the starter. Your line-ups are thus:


2014 Arizona Diamondbacks 0, 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks 6

Patrick Corbin tossed a complete-game shutout, and Didi Gregorius broke the game open with a grand-slam in the sixth inning, as the 2013 D-backs cruised to victory over their rivals from the following year. Corbin gave up only five hits and walked none, striking out five in his 102-pitch effort. Josh Collmenter kept his team in it until the Didi-slam, but was tagged with six earned runs in a six-inning losing effort.

It was also Corbin who scored the opening run of the game. He became the first runner in scoring position with a ground-rule double that bounced into the pool area at Chase, and came home when Martin Prado did the same on the other side of the batter’s eye, one out later. After a groundout by Paul Goldschmidt and a wild pickoff attempt down to second by Montero (v.2014) which allowed Prado move to third, Aaron Hill grounded through the infield to right for an RBI single. That gave 2013 a 2-0 lead after three innings.

2014’s best chance to get on the board came immediately after. Singles by Goldschmidt and Prado, around a Gregorius error which allowed Mark Trumbo to reach, loaded the bases for them with one out. But Corbin was able to coax Montero into the ground-ball needed, hitting into a 6-4-3 double play that snuffed out the threat.

Collmenter ran out of gas in the sixth. Walks to Hill and Kubel around a single to Montero (v.2013) loaded the bases with no outs. Josh did get A.J. Pollock to hit a fly-ball, too shallow for Hill to score, for the first out. But Gregorius, the next man up, chipped one that barely avoid a last-ditch leap at the wall by Ender Inciarte, and bounced into the Chase Field pool for a grand-slam that made the score 6-0 to the 2013 crew.

While Vidal Nuno retired all six batters he faced in relief of Collmenter, unsurprisingly, that grand-slam seemed to take the heart out of the 2014 roster, and only one of the last ten men they sent up reached base. The exception was a one-out double off the bat of Hill, with one out in the ninth. But Corbin got Goldschmidt to ground out, and then Trumbo hit a flyball which Parra reeled in at the warning track, to complete the five-hitter.

Full box-score

The reward for 2013 is to face the #5 seed, and team most favored to win it all in our pre-tournament poll, the World Series champion 2001 Diamondbacks. Wonder who’ll be starting that game for them? :) Next up, the 2016 team (69-93), seeded 18th, will be facing the 2005 version (77-85), the 15th seeds. It’s one of the closer preliminary round contests, so might it provide our first shock?

Poll

2016 vs. 2005: who will win?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    2016
    (13 votes)
  • 62%
    2005
    (22 votes)
35 votes total Vote Now