The State of the Home Stand Address – May 13 – May 18

Welcome to the latest entry of the continuing State of the Home Stand Address series. This entry covers the home stand beginning May 13 against the Colorado Rockies concluding May 18 with the game against the Detroit Tigers. After a brief three game road trip that saw the Diamondbacks get swept by the Chicago Cubs at a cold and blustery Wrigley Field, the Diamondbacks had a much needed day off before beginning a three game series at home. This entry will chronicle the six game set that made up this home stand with a discussion of on-field performance and the happenings around Chase Field from a fan’s perspective.

The Diamondbacks began a three game series against the Colorado Rockies. The series began with Randy Johnson taking the mound. Johnson had been scratched from his start on Sunday due to inclement weather concerns at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The extra two days of rest may not have been the best thing for Randy as he was not quite as sharp as he would have liked. He allowed 4 runs on 9 hits in 5 innings of work while striking out 4. Fortunately for Randy, the Diamondbacks again took advantage of Jeff Francis and the Colorado Rockies scoring 8 runs in the first 5 innings of the game giving the Big Unit all the run support he would need. Randy secured the victory, his 287th of his career. The hero of the game was Stephen Drew who went 2-5 with a 3-run home run. With the exception of left-fielder Eric Byrnes every Diamondbacks player got a hit including Randy Johnson. Byrnes continued to struggle during this series with the Rockies going hitless over the 2 games he played. The Diamondbacks continued to get good starting pitching and timely hitting sweeping the Rockies. Brandon Webb nailed down the final game of the series winning his ninth consecutive game this season. The Diamondbacks outscored Colorado 20-12 with many of the Rockies runs being scored late in the games when they were already out of hand.

Interleague play began with the Detroit Tigers paying a visit to Chase Field for a three-game week-end series. While the Diamondbacks entered the series riding a 3-game winning streak, the Tigers arrived with a 3-game losing streak having been swept by the Kansas City Royals. Arizona did not take Detroit lightly. The potent line-up is filled with good hitters just looking for an excuse to get hot. Fortunately the Diamondbacks pitching staff kept the Tigers hitters in check and the home team took two of three from the American League. It should have been a sweep except for the fact that a costly error allowed Detroit to score 2 unearned runs to win on Saturday. Randy Johnson appears to be finding his groove which can’t be good news to Diamondbacks opponents.

The baseball played at Chase Field was great and the games alone would have been enough to satisfy most baseball fans. The Diamondbacks though offered a little bit extra to entice the fans to coming to the ballpark. Friday night’s opener against Detroit featured post-game fireworks presented by Gila River Casino. This has become a very popular event. Each Friday after a home game the fans are able to watch a 7-10 minute fireworks display that is shot from the parking garage beyond the centerfield fence. The best seats for viewing the fireworks are in the upper deck on the first base side but nearly all seats have a good view. The only exception to this is the outfield bleachers which are obstructed. Fans are allowed to move to empty seats so it usually works out well for everyone.

Saturday featured the largest crowd of the home stand with 48,804 in attendance. This was a sell-out and it was great to see such a large crowd. I think the reason for the big crowd was three-fold. First the Diamondbacks are in first place and were playing at an earlier start time against a Midwestern opponent with a lot of history. That always seems to bring out fans especially those rooting for the opposing team. Second it was bobble head day featuring the second in a series of 5 bobble head dolls being given away this season. This was Chris Young’s bobble head and connects to the Micah Owings one given away last month. Finally there was a free concert given after the conclusion of the game featuring country western singer Trace Adkins. In all the fans seem to enjoy all three events with the exception that this was the only game the Diamondbacks lost in the home stand.

From a concessions perspective this home stand started off very well. When we arrived I immediately noticed that individual packets of spicy mustard were available at the condiment stations around the concourse. I was very excited to see that since spicy mustard makes a Hungry Hill sausage taste that much better. I briefly considered grabbing a couple of extra packets in case this was a onetime phenomena. I didn’t and now I regret it since I did not see spicy mustard offered at any other game this home stand. I even asked for it at one of the Double Header concession stands but was told they did not have it. Hopefully the Diamondbacks are working to correct the inconsistent availability. I have previously suggested that the chicken tender dinner with fries were the best value in the stadium. I had not had that yet this year so was basing part of my recommendation on last season. I happened to try it this home stand. I have to say, the value proposition is not as high as it was in the past. Where you used to get 5 chicken fillets, the one I received had 3 small nuggets. The taste was great but the portions continue to shrink. I usually like the fries that come with the chicken tenders but these tasted stale and were pretty cold. It might just be the Red Hot stand where I bought them (this one was located by section 104-105) but I would be careful getting the chicken tender dinner. I think you might want to skip this and look at some of the other food offerings for a better value. Garcias continues to impress me with their food and I find myself eating there more and more. I promised my daughter Whitney that I would continue to express her displeasure in Blimpie no longer being a choice. It was some of the more healthy food available so she does have a point that those looking for a low calorie or less fat content have had their choices severely limited. I just can’t force myself to try a veggie burger to say whether that is a good alternative.

This home stand was successful in many respects. Now the Diamondbacks are out of town for eight days returning on May 27 when the San Francisco Giants return to Chase Field.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *