In a matchup that featured two teams whose seasons were going in opposite directions, the D-Backs looked like the playoff-bound team with a two game mini-sweep in which they outscored the Giants a combined 15-5. The result all but mathematically eliminated the Giants from the playoff race as they fell back to .500 on the season for the first time in two weeks and end the day 3 games back of the Chicago Cubs. After peaking at 13 games above .500 on July 18, the Giants have slowly but inexorably faded over the course of the season. They have posted a .480, .444, and .333 winning percentages across July, August, and September even as the D-Backs own a .333, .444, and .631 winning percentages in the same period. Those antithetical results have positioned the D-Backs excellently for a wild card spot as they find themselves 0.5 games above the Cubs and just 2.5 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies for the number one wild card.
The D-Backs offense continued its excellent homestand as every starter got at least one base hit except for Geraldo Perdomo who continues to watch his offensive stock slide after a .119/.275/.143 (.417 OPS) slash line in September entering play today. Regardless, the D-Backs bats showed off their offensive potential with timely hitting (4-for-11 with runners in scoring position), three stolen bases, and back-to-back homers. That potential resulted in a six-run cushion for the game as the D-Backs bookended their runs in both the first and final thirds of the game. The scoring started immediately as Lamonte Wade Jr crushed Merrill Kelly’s fifth pitch of the game just over the right field fences for the Giants’ only run of the game for a 1-0 lead. However, the D-Backs wasted no time responding in their half of the first as they used a Corbin Carroll-style double (single and stolen base), sacrifice groundout from Tommy Pham, and an infield single for Christian Walker for their own run and a 1-1 tie.
That tie was not long for this game as the D-Backs tacked on two more runs in their half of the third inning. Once again, the offense fed off a Carroll-style double with an extra 90 feet from a throwing error on Patrick Bailey to start, but followed that up with a Ketel Marte walk, another RBI-groundout from Pham, and consecutive hits from Christian Walker and Alek Thomas for a 3-1 lead. The two teams and their respective starters traded zeroes in the middle innings before the D-Backs sprung on Ryan Walker for four additional runs in the seventh inning that closed the door. Once again, Carroll lay at the heart of the rally as he smashed his 25th home run of the season before Marte matched him with his 24th mash of the year and a 5-1 lead. Even better, the D-Backs offense wasn’t finished as they scored their final two runs courtesy of a Walker double and then consecutive run-scoring singles from Gabriel Moreno and Emmanuel Rivera for the 7-1 final score.
The D-Backs’ most recent win streak could not have been timed better as it has put them squarely into the driver’s seat of the NL wild card race. After one of the most dispiriting series against the Mets this past weekend, it is incredibly encouraging to see the energy the team has brought in this homestand. Interestingly, it has been the offense that has lead the way in this win streak as they’ve scored a combined 34 runs during the streak while the pitching has been more inconsistent. They’ll enjoy their penultimate off day of the season tomorrow before starting their final road trip of the season against an also-ran Yankees team and a putrid White Sox club that are both playing out the string. Their last time in New York did not go well so here’s hoping their luck changes this weekend.