Diamondbacks clinching scenarios: Two ways Arizona can go to the postseason Saturday
Sep 30, 2023, 8:13 AM | Updated: 11:05 am
(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)
The Arizona Diamondbacks are on the brink of the postseason for the first time since 2017, and it’s so close, you can almost taste the champagne.
After losing 2-1 to the Houston Astros at Chase Field on Friday, the D-backs’ time for celebration may have only been delayed at this point. They are currently a half game up on the Miami Marlins for the second wild card spot and two games up on both the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds.
Because of the Cubs loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, they cannot catch Arizona due to the D-backs holding the tiebreaker. That just leaves leaves Cincinnati, who plays at the St. Louis Cardinals at 4:15 p.m. Arizona time.
The magic number remains at one. If Arizona wins or the Reds lose, Arizona will be postseason-bound.
Here’s what the NL Wild Card standings currently look like:
Arizona Diamondbacks aim to clinch playoffs: The NL Wild Card standings
|Place||Team||Record||Games Back||Last 10||Up Next|
|1||x-Philadelphia Phillies||89-70||+6.0||8-2||at NYM|
|2||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||84-76||+0.5||6-4||vs. HOU|
|3||Miami Marlins||83-76||—||6-4||at PIT|
|T4||Chicago Cubs||82-78||1.5||4-6||at MIL|
|T4||Cincinnati Reds||82-78||1.5||4-6||at STL|
Merrill Kelly is up
Friday night’s loss forces the Diamondbacks’ No. 2 starter, Merrill Kelly, to pitch on Saturday instead of being saved for the postseason. He would’ve slotted in for Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series if Arizona had clinched Friday.
The righthander is 12-7 with a 3.38 ERA this season and has saved his best stuff for the stretch run: He’s spun a 2.31 ERA in his last two starts.
He’ll be matched up against future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander, who the Astros went out and traded for at the MLB Trade Deadline. The former MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner is 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA this season.
Saturday’s first pitch
The D-backs and Astros start at 5:10 p.m. on Saturday.
Tune to 98.7, ArizonaSports.com and the Arizona Sports app to catch the action.