When we left the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team was huddled around the mound as the team’s training staff worked on closer Chad Qualls who dislocated his left knee on the last play of the game. Sweeping the Houston Astros during a three game series seemed like a distant memory after seeing Qualls unable to put any weight on his left leg.

While the Diamondbacks boarded a bus for Sky Harbor airport for a plane trip to Los Angeles; Chad Qualls will stay behind for an MRI and tests on his leg to assess the damage. Meanwhile the team will begin a four-game series with the division leading Los Angeles Dodgers followed by a three-game series with the Wild Card leading Colorado Rockies. As the Diamondbacks leave town it is time once again for an episode of State of the Home Stand Address where I discuss the recently concluded home stand at Chase Field.


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It’s funny how different a fan’s outlook can be after just a few short games.  Earlier this month the Diamondbacks were on a 4-city, 10-game road trip that saw them get swept in Atlanta and Philadelphia and lost four of six in Houston and San Francisco.  It felt like a reincarnation of the 2004 Diamondbacks team that lost 111 games; the most in franchise history.

The road trip ended with the Diamondbacks salvaging one win in the bay area beating the Giants 11-0.  The home stand was brief; a three game rematch with the Houston Astros followed by another lengthy road trip.  I think it would be safe to say that the expectations for this series were relatively low.


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Every so often I am approached by someone, usually a non-baseball fan, who asks the question, “How in the world can you possible go to every Diamondbacks home game?”  They cannot seem to fathom spending 81 nights a season at Chase Field.  My response is typically to tell them I have petitioned Major League Baseball to length the season but so far the commissioner has not acted upon my request.

The thing these people fail to recognize is that it isn’t just baseball that occurs but rather each night we are given the opportunity to see history unfold.  Sometimes that history happens between the foul lines on the field and at other times history occurs outside the playing field.  Tonight was a prime example.


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As the Arizona Diamondbacks arrived home for a brief three-game home stand before going back out on the road for a week; the team announced they had traded reliever Jon Rauch to the Minnesota Twins for the ever popular “player to be named later”.

This trade comes just two days after Rauch entered the game against the San Francisco Giants and gave up a three-run home run to lose that game.  This has been a trying year for Rauch.  He began the season as the primary set-up man for closer Chad Qualls but after a series of miscues found himself demoted to mop-up duties.


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The Arizona Diamondbacks came into San Francisco mired in a 1-8 slide having been swept by the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies, and losing two of three to the Houston Astros.  Nothing was going well for the snakes other than the fact that they had won the only game of the road trip just before arriving in town.

After a much needed day off, the team received more bad news when slugger Mark Reynolds came down with the flu and would miss the first two games of the Giants series.  Already without the services of right fielder and all-star Justin Upton, it didn’t look good.


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The roster for the Arizona Diamondbacks has been a revolving door during the 2009 season.  The team has been decimated by injury and has seen no fewer than six players make their major league debut since Opening Day.  The team made another moved today activating outfielder Justin Upton off the disabled list and sending left-handed pitcher Daniel Schlereth down to Triple-A Reno.


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Regardless of how the rest of the Arizona Diamondbacks season goes, I can at least be content with the knowledge that there will be October baseball in Arizona.  Oh sure I would love to be able to say that October baseball meant the Diamondbacks had made the playoffs but that is just not going to happen this season.  That doesn’t mean that baseball will end with the final pitch on October 4 in Chicago.


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