Derrick Hall: D-backs hitting stride as the postseason nears
Sep 28, 2023, 10:53 AM | Updated: 11:14 am
(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)
The Arizona Diamondbacks can clinch a wild card berth as early as Thursday.
The scenario to do so is simple: If the Diamondbacks beat the Chicago White Sox and the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs, Arizona’s return to October for the first time since 2017 awaits.
With an 84-74 record and 8-2 in their last 10 games, the Diamondbacks stand alone in the second wild card spot, two games ahead of the Cubs and Miami Marlins, who share the third spot at 82-76.
“I am very proud of this team and the way they bounced back and to be 10 games over .500 after that collapse for six weeks, it’s nice to see,” D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Thursday. “If we’re lucky enough to be in the postseason, you hope to be winning in the fashion we are.”
Given a clinch, it’s been a hard-fought journey for a club that’s seen adversity throughout the season. The team has cut ties with veterans Madison Bumgarner, Nick Ahmed and Zach Davies while also encountering a six-week stretch over the summer where they went 8-25.
Nonetheless, recent success for the D-backs has the team facing two possible scenarios assuming a postseason berth, a road trip to Philadelphia to face the Phillies, or Milwaukee to face the Brewers in the wild card series.
The Phillies (89-69) clinched the first wild card spot and will host the second wild card team, while the NL Central champion Brewers (89-69) will host the third wild card team.
Both teams have their strengths. However, Hall believes it’s nothing the D-backs can’t overcome with the right management.
“They’re two totally different teams. Philly is a scary team, a scary lineup to face … but you don’t want to go to Milwaukee either because of that starting pitching,” Hall said. “It goes back to if you’re lucky to make it back to the postseason, you want to go in with momentum. … Thank goodness it’s not just one game, it’s three games. With our pitching, if we can set it up right, it can be an advantage for us.”
The bats have been hot and the pitching has been improving. Like D-backs manager Torey Lovullo has been saying all season: “Just get in and good things can happen.”
The Diamondbacks wrap up their three-game series against the White Sox on Thursday before heading home to take on the Houston Astros for a three-game set to conclude the regular season.