Since the night of August 11th, when the Diamondbacks took control of the NL West lead for the final time, there was one question that was left to be answered.
When would Arizonans start to believe in the D-backs?
Through the month of August and into September, more and more fans were showing up at Chase Field for games. However, the atmosphere was still not that of a division leading team.
So when would Arizonans start to believe in the D-backs?
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday night, the question was answered. With Ryan Roberts on third base and Justin Upton on first, Paul Goldschmidt lined a Sergio Romo pitch into the right field corner, scoring both runners and giving the Diamondbacks a 3-1 lead.
All 42,606 people at Chase Field erupted, and with that one swing of the bat the D-backs fans, many of whom for the length of the season would say they were waiting for the collapse, started to believe.
An inning later, when J.J. Putz got Aubrey Huff to fly out to center to clinch the victory and the NL West for the D-backs, the fans’ belief was sealed. The next night, 49,076 people packed into Chase Field, and when the D-backs put up six runs in the first inning, it was as loud as it could be inside of the stadium.
By the time Sunday’s game had come and gone, the Diamondbacks had not only won the NL West and swept the Giants out of the playoff picture, they made their fans believe. The attendance for the three game series was 132,925 people, the largest for a D-backs three game home series this year.
The Diamondbacks finally have the fan support of a team that is heading to the playoffs, and the players are taking notice. “We’ve got some very faithful fans here,” closer J.J. Putz said, “hopefully we have a lot more baseball for them.”
This weekend, as the D-backs emphatically swept the Giants out the NL West race and right out of the playoffs; they became the NL West champions and gave the state of Arizona reason to believe.
How far the Diamondbacks will go in October remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure. Postseason baseball is back in Arizona, and as Justin Upton said, “now we have our opportunity to make a run.”