If it is at all possible for a team to make a statement
just three games into a 162-game season, the Arizona
Diamondbacks did just that over the weekend.
It’s not just that the D-backs swept the San Francisco
Giants, a team many think will challenge Arizona for the
NL West crown.
And it’s not just that the Diamondbacks swept the San
Francisco Giants while facing the likes of Tim Lincecum,
Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain – the last of whom pitched
against Josh Collmenter.
No, the fact that the Diamondbacks swept the Giants in a
way that reminds you of how this team won so often last
season shows that the resiliency – which was this team’s
best and most important trait – has not gone anywhere.
“That one will make you smile, it really does,” manager
Kirk Gibson said after Sunday’s 7-6 win, one in which his
team committed 5 errors while falling behind 6-0. “Guys
battled. It was an interesting game, and they got the job
done, competed very well today.”
While interesting isn’t the word I would use to describe
what transpired Sunday (sloppy would be more accurate),
the one thing it should not have been – even if it was,
just a little – is surprising.
OK, it was admittedly surprising to me, as I turned to my
grandfather in the third inning Sunday and said something
to the effect of “well, this one’s over.”
You’d think I would have learned not to doubt the D-backs
after last season, because if Gibson’s squad has proven
anything over the last year or so, it’s that they won’t
give up on any game, and because of it, neither should the
But as you likely already know, old habits die hard.
As fans, we must get used to the fact that this is a good
team with a chance to be special. That comes with some
pressure, because “just being competitive” is no longer
good enough. Sure, last year was fun and all, but we want
more this season. We expect more this season.
And, I believe we’ll get more this season, even if, like
Sunday, it’s not always pretty.
“I think it brings back good memories for us, similar to
last year,” Gibson said after the win. “I’ve said several
times that I love playing ugly games and winning them.
“Today’s game was really beautiful.”
While three games is hardly enough of a sample size to
determine what this D-backs team will accomplish this
season (remember, they finished last April with a 11-15
mark), we can all feel comfortable with the knowledge that
everything that made this team special last season