With the Arizona Diamondbacks down 0-3 in this series it would take quite an effort for them to come back especially against a team who has lost only once in the past month. It was even more of a reach considering that the Arizona Diamondbacks would send a rookie to the mound who has not pitched in a game situation for nearly 2 weeks. There was just no telling what would happen. At the end of the evening the story would go one of two ways. Either the headlines would read that the Diamondbacks still had life and had forced a game 5 or we would be reading how the Rockies were a team of destiny heading to their first World Series in franchise history. Diamondbacks fans everywhere were hoping for the former rather than the latter.


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You just have to love Eric Byrnes. Whether it is his all-out play running into walls chasing down fly balls or his head first slides into the bases where he comes up with his uniform a complete mess. The guy is just a fun dude to watch. He is one of those players who wears his heart on his sleeve. You always know exactly how Eric is doing based upon his mannerisms and actions. Some people resent that like the lovable Milton Bradley (the crummy outfielder for the San Diego Padres not the maker of fun board games) who thinks Byrnes practices “fake hussle” which is a Milton-ism for being a “show boat”. Of course no one puts much credence into anything that Milton Bradley says except maybe umpire Mike Winters.


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Game 1 of the National League Championship was still very fresh on everyone’s mind when the gates to Chase Field opened for Game 2. The Diamondbacks fans were still steaming over the questionable call by Larry “the lizard” Vanover on the slide by Justin Upton. No one is arguing that Upton was out, he clearly was. The frustrating part remains that Vanover made a judgment call that Upton’s intent was to take out the player. I challenge Larry “the lizard” to find me one base runner going from first base to second base who is not intent on breaking up the double play. Normally the umpire whips out Major League Baseball Rules 7.09 (e) and 7.09 (f) when a base runner goes out of his way not going near the base to take out the runner. The problem with this call was that Upton was on the bag when the call was made. It makes you wonder what Larry “the lizard” was daydreaming about when he made that call. That play was just a minor part of the conversation though. The majority of news outlets chose instead to dwell on the few fans that tested their pitching prowess by throwing debris onto the field.


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Yesterday I wrote about the dream of being in the National League Championship Series; what I should have said was that it was more of a nightmare. The most troubling part was that the nightmare was not so much about the Diamondbacks losing 5-1 but rather the events that took place in the seventh inning of the game. The bottom half of the seventh inning of this game may just turn out to be the defining moment of this series and could become the “Big Bang” origin of true baseball fans in Arizona. In the ten years of being an Arizona Diamondbacks fan I have never seen events like I saw during that half inning. It all started innocently enough.


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It’s 4 AM; I have been tossing and turning for two hours and have finally realized that I am just not going to be able to sleep. You would have thought that I would have crashed right out after not getting to bed until nearly 1 AM but that just has not been the case. My head is filled with thoughts and excitement over the events that will take place in approximately 13 hours. I have been waiting since 2001 for the Arizona Diamondbacks to return to the National League Championship Series and that day has finally arrived. I still remember how excited I was when the 2001 team made it this far. It was like a dream watching Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling dominate the Atlanta Braves taking that series in 5 games and setting up one of the greatest World Series in history. This is definitely not the 2001 team though I am still dreaming.


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Before each round of the play-offs teams are allowed to adjust their active roster. I wrote about this on October 2 and gave my predictions of what I thought Bob Melvin and Josh Byrnes would do. In a short 5 game series I thought it would be best for the Diamondbacks to carry an extra position player rather than a pitcher. I also expressed that in a 7 game series that might not make sense and therefore could be changed to eliminate one roster spot for a position player to bolster the bullpen. With the Diamondbacks making it out of the first round and into the NLCS, they have the opportunity to re-assess their roster and make changes to it. The finalized roster is due to Major League Baseball by 10 AM tomorrow. My predictions of who I would put on the roster for the first round were fairly close to what the Diamondbacks actually did. I had a disagreement on two players. I had chosen Brandon Medders over Dustin Nippert in the bullpen and I had selected Carlos Quentin over Robby Hammock for position players. What changes would I make (if any) for this round of the play-offs?


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Sunday September 16 seemed like an ordinary day by all accounts. The Arizona Diamondbacks were in Los Angeles playing the Dodgers. The Diamondbacks had been struggling as always against the Dodgers and had dropped the first two games of the series. The Dodgers were breathing down the Diamondbacks neck in the standings and it looked plausible that Los Angeles or San Diego could overtake Arizona. Northeast of Los Angeles the Colorado Rockies were playing host to the Florida Marlins. Like the Diamondbacks the Rockies too were struggling in their series having lost the first two games to the scrappy Marlins. I don’t think anyone could have imagined that on this fall Sunday afternoon two franchises would take a step forward that would lead them to meet in the play-offs for the right to represent the National League in the World Series.


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