State of the Home Stand Address – September 7-13

When Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman (that still seems so strange to not type San Diego there) got Stephen Drew to fly out to left field to end the game; the Diamondbacks completed their six-game home stand. The Diamondbacks left the not so friendly confines of Chase Field and embarked on a short three-game road trip to San Diego. This is the last trip to San Diego this season for the Diamondbacks and gives the team an opportunity to try and pull themselves out of the National League West cellar.

With this trip it once again is time for another episode of ”State of the Home Stand Address” where I discuss the just completed home stand. As is always the case, these views are my own and in no way represent the thoughts of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bud Selig, Major League Baseball, or any other sane fan for that matter. Your mileage may vary, objects in the rearview mirror may be closer than they appear, and this offer is not valid in the states of Texas or Arkansas. I think that covers all of the necessary disclaimers.

This home stand began with a three-game series with the division leading Los Angeles Dodgers. This was the final series with the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks were eager to show that they could compete with the best team in the National League. Like much of the 2009 season that plan didn’t work out to well for the Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers took the first two games of the series. It was an interesting series with regards to pitching. Game one saw the Dodgers start former Diamondbacks pitcher Vicente Padilla who outpitched Max Scherzer for a 7-2 Dodgers victory.

Game two was a heart breaker and was a microcosm for the whole season. The Diamondbacks built a four run lead over the first seven innings only to see the bullpen enter the game and give up four runs in the eighth inning to lose 5-4. Throughout this season the Diamondbacks have struggled mightily in the eighth inning and this game just punctuated that.

The final game of the series saw another former Diamondbacks pitcher take the mound for the opposing team. This time it was Jon Garland who was facing his former teammates for the second time in just over a week. Garland pitched well but did not figure into the decision as the Dodgers walked in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

This was a rather rare occasion where the Diamondbacks were the recipient of a break for a change. This was a slight change in momentum that would hopefully propel the Diamondbacks in their series with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Unfortunately that was not the case as the Diamondbacks were swept by the Brewers in three games to fall to a season low 20 games under .500. In the Brewers series the Diamondbacks were clearly out played for the first two games. The final game the Diamondbacks received a strong pitching performance by Max Scherzer who left with his team leading. The bullpen once again imploded giving up four runs in the seventh inning to give the Brewers the win.

It wasn’t just on the field where things got ugly during these two series. In the stands there were several incidents especially with the Dodgers in town. This culminated in the brawl in Section 112 which ended in several arrests and charges of assaulted battery.

The Arizona Diamondbacks must have anticipated the problems with the fans. When this home stand started they announced on dbTV a new program where fans could send a text message during the game to contact security about any issues they saw in the stands. The way it works is that you text “41513” with the word “DBACKS” followed by your location and your issue. Security will be notified and come to hopefully resolve the problem.

I applaud the Diamondbacks for implementing this. I wish they would continually keep these instructions visible on a portion of the ribbon board below the Diamond level. When things start to go awry in the stands it would be nice to have this information immediately visible rather than having to remember what the instructions were when the information was displayed before the game.

It should be noted that the Diamondbacks had increased security for the Dodgers series and that security guards were visible in most of the sections at each game. Fans should try and contact those guards directly if there is an issue rather than rely strictly on the text message. There are delays in texting so it may not go through as quickly as needed.

Overall the Diamondbacks continue to enhance the fan’s experience throughout the season and this home stand was no exception. Season ticket holders had the ability to pick up a free gift from the Arizona Diamondbacks as a thank-you for their support. The gift this season is a lithograph of all-stars Dan Haren and Justin Upton.

According to the Season Ticket representatives each account holder should have received a card in the mail announcing the gift. They will need to bring the card to a game in order to receive the lithograph. For the second straight year I did not receive a card. In those instances I recommend contacting your Season Ticket representative to see if they can resend the card. I have not received mine yet but will keep you informed on how the process works.

Overall the home stand was good despite the 1-5 record there was still a lot of fun to be had at the ballpark including fireworks and the Augie Ojeda bobble head night. The Diamondbacks return to Chase Field to begin their final home stand of the 2009 season. This upcoming home stand will feature fireworks, a concert by Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, a Mark Reynolds bobble head, and the ever popular Fandemonium.

With only nine home games left I suggest calling the Diamondbacks today and securing tickets to see this team before the long off-season begins and signifies six months of darkness at Chase Field. If you happen to be near Section 112, stop by and say hello.


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