Arizona Diamondbacks' Wacky Ride to the Playoffs #1: Opening Day in Colorado, April 16

It was the kind of game that the D-Backs lost just about every time last year -- a game in which they lost a lead late and had to go into extra innings.

Arizona opened its season in Denver against the Rockies, a team that many pundits expected to give the world champion San Francisco Giants a run for the National League West division crown.

Colorado started its then-ace Ubaldo Jimenez, who was all but un-hittable for the first half of the  2010 season.

The D-Backs started Ian Kennedy -- who would have ever guessed that the gritty right-hander would end up winning 21 games and be in the hunt for the NL Cy Young award (certainly not us)!

But Gerardo Parra -- one of our favorite D-Backs -- led off the 11th inning with a single, and Willie Bloomquist, whose acquisition before the season proved critical, got what turned out to be the game-winning single.

J.J. Putz earned the save in what was a harbinger of things to come -- 45 saves in all before the regular season ended a few days ago.

It was only one of 162 games, but in hindsight, it set the tone for the glorious things that were to come.

Check out the video in which Arizona general manager Kevin Towers previews the upcoming season. Not exactly prescient.

Towers, who obviously is a great baseball man, spends time talking about Melvin Mora, Juan Miranda, Aaron Heilman and Stephen Drew, none of whom were on the roster at the end of the season (Drew, of course, due to his terrible ankle injury).

Such are the vagaries of big-league baseball.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin