The Arizona Diamondbacks began a four game series with the San Diego Padres. It was a rather meaningless game with respect to the standings. The Diamondbacks had eliminated the Padres playoff hopes the day before. Although Arizona has not yet clinched a playoff birth they held a seven game lead over the idle San Francisco Giants who themselves have not been playing well the past month.
The Arizona coaching staff and front office personnel were saying all the right things. The season is not yet over and the Diamondbacks still have a lot to prove in the final 20 games of the season. As a fan I get that but it is still hard to not look past the Padres and begin imagining what it’s going to be like being back in the post season.
This first game of the series had other implications that somehow got lost on most of the announced crowd of 21,402 fans at Chase Field. Going into the game the Diamondbacks had won 12 straight home games and were going for a franchise best 13th win.
With the regular season winding down it is important for a team to get into a groove and hopefully take some momentum into the playoffs. Manager Kirk Gibson is determined to keep his team focused on the task at hand.
Having a substantial winning record at home could help tremendously if the Diamondbacks are able to catch the Milwaukee Brewers and take over the second seed in the playoffs. It is a foregone conclusion that the Philadelphia Phillies will win the National League Eastern Division. They have the best record in baseball and have a strangle hold over the Atlanta Braves.
The Braves like the Phillies are a lock for a post season spot as the National League Wild Card team. With both the Phillies and Braves in the playoffs they cannot play each other in the divisional series meaning that either the Diamondbacks or the Brewers will face the Phillies in the first round without having home field advantage. This is what makes these last three weeks of the season most important.
During tonight’s game Diamondbacks fans kept one eye on the field as they watched Arizona take the lead and ultimately win their 13th consecutive home game. The other eye was on the out of town scoreboard which showed the Phillies beating the Brewers giving Diamondbacks fans hope that they can catch Milwaukee and play host to the Atlanta Braves in the first round.
Given the dominance of the NL East teams this year we need every bit of advantage we can get. So congratulations to the Diamondbacks for their 13th consecutive home win and here’s hoping they can extend that streak for a while longer putting them in position to host game one and two if the NLDS.