Diamondbacks clinch sixth postseason berth in franchise history, first since 2011
The Dodgers have already clinched the NL West title, so the D-Backs will be a wild card team
For the first time since 2011, the Arizona Diamondbacks have qualified for the MLB postseason. Arizona's ticket to the postseason was punched Sunday afternoon when both the Brewers (CHC 5, MIL 0) and Cardinals (PIT 4, STL 1) lost.
Because the Dodgers have , the D-Backs are locked in to the top wild card spot. As far as their postseason position is concerned, Arizona has nothing to gain or lose during the final week of the season.
The D-Backs have not been to the postseason since 2011, when they went 94-68 and won the NL West title. The team then lost to the Brewers in five games in the NLDS. This is the sixth ever trip to the postseason for the NL's most recent expansion franchise:
- 1999: Lost NLDS to Mets (3-1)
- 2001: Beat Yankees in the World Series (4-3)
- 2002: Lost NLDS to Cardinals (3-0)
- 2007: Lost NLCS to Rockies (4-0)
- 2011: Lost NLDS to Brewers (3-2)
This will be the second postseason trip for franchise player Paul Goldschmidt, who was a rookie during that 2011 season. He made his MLB debut that August and was the team's regular first baseman in the postseason, going 7 for 16 (.438) with two home runs in the NLDS loss to Milwaukee.
The postseason trips marks a tremendous turnaround for the D-Backs, who went 69-93 and had the third worst record in the game last season. General manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale were let go after the season and replaced by former Red Sox personnel Mike Hazen and Torey Lovullo, respectively. Lovullo figures to get a ton of NL Manager of the Year support.
Among Hazen's most notable moves in his year as general manager are swapping Jean Segura for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte, signing bullpen lefties Jorge de la Rosa and T.J. McFarland, and of course acquiring J.D. Martinez for three prospects at the deadline. Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Robbie Ray, Zack Greinke, and Jake Lamb are all holdovers from the Stewart regime.
Clinching home field advantage in that NL Wild Card Game is a pretty big deal given Arizona's home/road splits in 2017:
- Home: 49-28 (plus-109 run differential)
- Road: 40-38 (plus-32 run differential)
Also, if the D-Backs win the Wild Card Game, they would face the division rival Dodgers in the NLDS. Arizona went 11-8 with against Los Angeles this season -- they won their last six games against the Dodgers -- and outscored them 99-71. That doesn't guarantee an NLDS win, of course, but if nothing else, the D-Backs figure to feel pretty confident.
Now that the Diamondbacks have clinched home field advantage in the Wild Card Game, they can go into rest mode for the remainder of the regular season. Lovullo can give his regulars a little breather and let any bumps and bruises heal before the postseason begins next week.
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