A triumphant energy filled Chase Field this past weekend as the Arizona Diamondbacks swept the San Francisco Giants and won the National League West championship in the process.
The D-Backs were in a mood to party all weekend as they crushed the playoff dreams of the defending World Series champions while grabbing ahold of the NL West crown, their latest triumphs in this unlikely dream season.
The team that few expected to amount to anything this season are now kings of their division and have a shot at becoming the champions of baseball.
It gave the Arizona plenty of reason to celebrate on Friday night when they staged a late-game comeback to beat San Francisco 3-1 and clinch the NL West title. And celebrate they did.
Not only did the D-Backs rush onto the field after the final out, they also popped bottles in their clubhouse, gave high-fives to fans in the stands, and also took a victorious dip in Chase Field's pool (providing one of the coolest images this season).
Arizona kept the party going the rest of the weekend as they pounded the Giants with a 15-2 drubbing on Saturday as Ian Kennedy notched his 21st victory. Gerardo Parra had two hits and four RBIs for the D-Backs, who accumulated six runs in the first inning and added another five in the sixth to equal their highest scoring game of the season. Ryan Roberts, who's bobblehead was handed out prior to the game, drove in three runs himself.
Between Kennedy's pitching prowess and the storm of scoring, it was lights out for S.F. both figuratively and literally, as a power outage struck during the seventh inning.
They didn't fare any better during Sunday's series finale as the D-Backs roughed up San Francisco's Tim Lincecum for two runs in the first inning en route to a 5-2 victory to complete the sweep. Things got scary, however, when the Giants pitched beaned Justin Upton on the head with a 93-m.p.h. fastball during the inning.
J-Up collapsed in a heap in the batter's box while a stunned silence swept through Chase Field. He finished the inning, but later left the game to get checked out after complaining of nausea. CT scans later revealed he's okay, but is listed as "day to day." Lincecum later told the press it was an accidental beaning.
Here's hoping that our resident all-star will be back into the lineup for this week's series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The D-Backs now have their sights set on nabbing home-field advantage in the upcoming NLDS. It largely depends on how the Milwaukee Brewers fare in the final three games of the season this week, however, as Arizona (93-66) is one game behind the Brew Crew (94-65) in the standings.
If the D-Backs can finish the year tied with Milwaukee or with a better record, they'll face either the Atlanta Braves or Saint Louis Cardinals. If not, then the Philadelphia Phillies will be their first-round opponents.
It makes this week's three-game series against the Dodgers, which starts tonight at Chase Field, that much more important. Daniel Hudson (16-11, 3.43 ERA) will attempt to bounce back from losing his last two starts when he takes the mound against lefty Dana Eveland (2-2, 3.75 ERA). First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. For tickets and more information, check out www.dbacks.com.