It has been a season ripped right out of the pages of a
Hollywood script for the Diamondbacks.
Coming off two consecutive seasons in which they lost more
than 90 games, with a starting rotation that featured
relatively unknown starters and a lineup that lacked a big
bat, most experts picked the D-backs to finish last in the
But the team won 94 games, starters Ian Kennedy and Daniel
Hudson set themselves has a potent one-two combination and
Justin Upton solved that whole big bat problem.
The team finished first in the NL West, knocking out the
World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, and manager
Kirk Gibson knows this season was special for the team.
“When I look at it you can’t script it,” Gibson said. “We
had the Navy Seals come in during spring training and they
gave us a presentation showing us a lot of the things they
do and we were like ‘wow how to you do it’ they said you
just deal with it so whatever comes your way you just have
to understand it.”
The Diamondbacks finished with the third best record in
the NL behind Philadelphia and Milwaukee, meaning the team
will play the Brewers in the NLDS.
The series starts Saturday in Milwaukee and Gibson has
decided the first two starters will be Kennedy and Hudson,
but has yet to set the rest of the rotation.
Gibson knows the environment will be electric at Miller
Park and could play a factor in the game.
“It’s going to be rabid and noisy,” Gibson said. “All the
things we worked on with communication and understanding
each other’s body language; this is where it all comes
into play but we’ve had two days off and we’re excited and
ready to go.”
However, the environment is probably the least of the
Diamondbacks worries. The Brewers feature a starting
rotation with Yovani Gallardo, Zach Greinke and Shawn
Marcum, a bullpen that has Francisco Rodriguez and John
Axford, and a lineup boasting two potential MVP candidates
in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.
Gibson said Braun and Fielder posed the biggest threat to
“They’ve had great years,” Gibson said. “I’ve known
Fielder since he was a very young kid when I played for
the Tigers with his father. He used to come in and hit
balls in the upper deck. I have a ton of respect for this
team, their manager and what they’ve done.”
So with the challenges the Brew Crew present it could be a
real possibility that the D-backs fall behind early in
some of the games, something that doesn’t worry Gibson.
“We’ll just compete,” Gibson said. “We’ve been very good
this year at coming back and we know that as dire as
things may seem at some time within a game we know we have
the ability to comeback. We are probably as good as
anybody in the game at coming back.”