The Arizona Diamondbacks clinched the sixth postseason berth in franchise history on Sunday.
It took a walkoff hit off the wall in left field by J.D. Martinez, but the Diamondbacks clinched home field advantage in the 2017 N.L. Wild Card Game.
Next Wednesday, Oct. 4, will mark the first time the Diamondbacks appear in the playoffs since 2011, when Kirk Gibson, in his first full season as manager, led the team to a division title.
This year, former Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, also in his first year at the helm, led the Diamondbacks to their first wild card berth. That is right, the team’s first five trips to the postseason came after winning the division.
That is right the Diamondbacks have never appeared in the wild card game, but for the fifth time, two teams will appear under the new one-game format. The winner will advance to take on the top team in the senior circuit, likely the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As a side note, Gibson was also named the BBWAA NL Manager of the Year in 2011 and Lovullo is likely to garner that same honor.
Before this year’s squad becomes the first Diamondbacks’ team to make an appearance in the wild card round, lets take a look at the first time Arizona clinched a postseason berth.
Still so young
After finishing the 1998 expansion season with a record of 65-97, the Diamondbacks concluded the 1999 season with two milestones the franchise and the fans will never forget.
It was the night of Sept. 24, 1999. Randy Johnson took the hill against the San Francisco Giants and authored up a complete-game win. The left hander’s performance at 3Com Park in San Francisco clinched not only a division title – but a 100 win season.
The game ended when catcher Doug Mirabelli, who came into the game as a defensive replacement for starter Scott Servais, hit a ground ball to third baseman Matt Williams. Williams threw onto first baseman Greg Colbrunn and the party started.
The D-backs supported Johnson with 11 runs in a game that lasted two hours; 54 minutes in front of 48,149 fans. Not only did the Diamondbacks score 11 runs they also notched 17 hits and took advantage of four Giants errors. Right fielder Bernard Gilkey drove in the most runs (2) and five other players contributed one RBI.
Matt Williams, Tony Womack and Greg Colbrunn committed errors, but Johnson’s pitching was the story for manager Buck Showalter’s team.
Johnson collected the NL CY Young and became the first pitcher to win the award in both leagues. Williams blasted 35 home runs and drove in 142.
Rewatch the historic moment below:
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