The Diamondbacks are there. It wasn’t without its share of drama along the way, but Arizona pulled off an unexpectedly decent season, will be appearing in the playoffs for the first time since 2017. It’s probably true to say that you would have needed to have been on the optimistic side of fandom to predict this would happen before the season. I think most of us probably hoped we could compete for a wild-card, but in a division with the perennial champion Dodgers and massively-spending Padres, it felt like an uphill climb. Except, only one of those teams performed to expectations, while the D-backs surged well past the Vegas projected line for wins.
Indeed, for a long time, the team had division title aspirations, reaching the All-Star break tied for the lead in the West, having enjoyed a lead of as much as four games in June. They slumped mightily early in the second half, including a nine-game losing streak, which caused some to pronounce the season over as the D-backs fell back below .500. But they battled back, with crucial series wins over the Cubs and Giants to climb back into a wild-card spot. Arizona then more or less held their heads when, it seemed, all about them were melting down - particularly in Chicago. The Reds’ loss in St. Louis guaranteed the Diamondbacks a spot, regardless of their own result tonight or tomorrow.
They’ll begin the three-game wild-card series on Tuesday, either in Philadelphia or Milwaukee. Details to be established. I’d like to claim credit, because we’re off to South Carolina next weekend, so I will miss the first of any post-season games at Chase Field, if the team makes the Division Series. This is just like 2017, when I booked a pre-season trip to Las Vegas in the expectation we had no hope, and so missed the first game there too - which was the wild-card one versus the Rockies. Will be back in time for the NLCS though, so they’d better make it that far. Hey, I had to get Mrs. SnakePit to move the vacation from the World Series week. You take your victories where you can.
Anyway, consider this a general appreciation post towards the team, coaches and fans for having stuck through it. We’re going to the post-season, baby!