August 16th, 2012. Remember that date and not just because it was my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. That is the day in which the Arizona Diamondbacks were on the verge of getting swept in St. Louis by the Cardinals. In the previous 26 innings, their offense had scored a grand total of four runs. Now Jason Motte was on the mound getting ready to continue the momentum of the streaking Cards, being asked to save a 1-0 lead. And then with one out in the 9th inning….
Game over. D-Backs win 2-1.
If Arizona does go on to make the playoffs, their win last Thursday will have been the jump off point. This is a team that looked dead. Ian Kennedy and Joe Saunders both pitched OK in games one and two but could not get the big out. The bats looked as though they were left in Phoenix. Time and again this team could not deliver anything clutch the few times they actually had any base runners. But then came that fateful inning when another listless defeat was turned into the rebirth of a contender. How pumped was that dugout when Young’s ball landed in the seats? You could see two emotions emanating from there: excitement and relief. The D-Backs followed up their dramatics in Houston by doing what good teams do. They pounded the Astros in a three game sweep by a combined score of 23-6.
Tonight is the start of a critical 10 game home stretch. While the Marlins and Padres are both under .500, this is no time for Arizona to become complacent. While the world focuses on Dodgers–Giants this week, the D-Backs need to take care of business and put themselves in a position for a first place showdown starting August 30th in San Francisco.
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