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D-backs score one for ‘Muddyball’

Game three of the Diamondbacks’ opening series turned into the paragon example of why Kevin Towers and the D-backs believe they will be contenders in 2013. Many baseball pundits and sabermetricians scoffed at the Justin Upton trade and believed the Diamondbacks were foolish for making it.

Well, grinders unite! Moneyball may prove Kevin Towers wrong by the end of the season, but “Muddyball” was on display for all to see Wednesday night as the D-backs won the rubber game of the series, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 10-9 in 16 innings.

They never quit. When Martin Prado told Doug and I that he respected the guys in the clubhouse — Willie Bloomquist, Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero — and that he was excited to play with these guys because they would fight you for 27 outs and that it felt like home, I gained even more respect for Prado.

That belief, that statement came to life for me Wednesday night while watching these grinders battle. The D-backs came back to either tie up the score or win the game no less than four times. They refused to quit.

And everybody seemed to make a contribution; this was also one of the things Gibby and Towers have been speaking about all spring: depth 1 thru 8.

As if on cue, Cliff Pennington, the D-backs number eight hitter in the lineup, went 3-for-6 with two walks and hit a walk-off single to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the 16th inning. And this after going hitless in his first 11 at-bats of the series and not getting his first hit until extra innings of game three!

Pennington and the D-backs kept their head down and…grinded…all night. And that’s what grinders do: grind.

It was one game of one series but if we’re keeping score: Muddyball – 1, Moneyball – 0.

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