State of the Home Stand – August 7-12

It’s interesting how our expectations change as life goes on. Early in the season if someone would have suggested that the Diamondbacks go 4-2 during a home stand in August I would have been ecstatic. But here we are a day after the final game of the latest home stand and I am actually a little depressed and frustrated that the team lost 2 games. Given the recent level of play by the Diamondbacks we’ve started to expect that the team will win not just each series but that they will sweep their opponent. The Diamondbacks should have won the game yesterday and had an opportunity to do that on several occasions but were unsuccessful in doing so. Even with two losses the Diamondbacks should be feeling pretty good as they leave town with a 3 game lead over the San Diego Padres in their quest for a National League West division championship. Let’s not get a head of ourselves though. Let’s focus on the last six games as it is time for my regular segment, the State of the Home Stand where I talk about how I thought a home stand went.

This latest home stand consisted of two three-game series against weaker teams. The first half of the home stand saw Arizona play host to the Pittsburgh Pirates. This series marked the Chase Field debut of Justin Upton and in his first regular season game at home he did not disappoint. Upton went 3-4 at the plate with a triple, home run, and double leaving him just a single short of hitting for the cycle. The home run was Justin’s first in the major leagues and from the looks of things not his last. And while Upton looked super human the rest of the team looked as though they had Kryptonite tied around their necks. The team committed 4 costly errors that resulted in a loss. The second game of the series saw the return of Byung-Hyun Kim to a Diamondbacks uniform. The fans seemed to have long memories and Kim was met with resounding boos that seemed to be left over from Games 3-5 in New York during the 2001 World Series. The three game series with the Pirates saw lackluster crowds considering that the Diamondbacks are in first place and looking more and more like a play-off team. The second half of the home stand saw the Washington Nationals come to town. Attendance was up for these three games with the largest crowd on Saturday to see Brandon Webb pitch an amazing game furthering his scoreless inning stretch to 33 innings. The Diamondbacks won that game 1-0 in a classic pitching duel (something rarely seen in today’s game). Arizona should have swept the Nationals but the bullpen struggled in the final game of the series and the Diamondbacks were handed a 6-7 loss.

There were some things of note around the stadium during this home stand as well. Futures Field which has been a favorite of the kids this season is now closed. The wiffleball field was just temporary and the Diamondbacks are now planning a more permanent venue for it. The area is cordoned off with signs that say a new Futures Field will be coming soon. Based on artist renditions it will have a backdrop similar to the batter’s eye at the real Chase Field. Besides Futures Field the team is also planning a substantial playground toy for the kids. No timeframe is given for completion of this area but from the looks of things it will be a while.

The Arizona Diamondbacks held another post-game concert this one featuring the Latin band Banda El Recodo. It was well received and the fans really seemed to enjoy themselves. This concert series has proven very popular with many fans and seems to bring a lot of people who might otherwise not go to a game. This looks to be a good tie-in to introduce people to baseball and the Chase Field experience.

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