It's official: The Arizona Diamondbacks are going to the playoffs.
Kirk Gibson's squad grabbed ahold of the National League West crown tonight after a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. And, in what has become the norm for Arizona this season, it was a come-from-behind win.
Arizona earned their first trip to the postseason in four years by overcoming a 0-1 deficit (caused by Orlando Cabrera's leadoff homer in the fifth inning) when Chris Young tied the game with an RBI double in the seventh and Paul Goldschmidt's triple scored two more runs in the eighth.
It was a tightly matched and emotion-filled contest that saw D-Backs players eager to celebrate and Giants players acting like major tools. (For instance, S.F. pitcher Matt Cain repeatedly brushed Arizona batters back from the plate with fastballs while a few teammates flopped in the dirt after getting called out).
The emotion reached its zenith when Arizona recorded its final out and caused more than 42,000 fans in attendance to go absolutely batshit and fill the warm evening air with their screams of triumph. D-Backs players mobbed onto the field as fireworks exploded in the air above Chase Field.
Here's some video we shot during the game's climax:
The usual champagne-soaked celebration followed in the Diamondbacks' clubhouse as players sprayed each other (and general manager Kevin Towers) with the celebratory beverage of choice for sports champions everywhere. In a nice touch, Ryan Roberts and a few other victorious D-Backs returned to the field and began giving high-fives to fans and dousing them with bubbly as well.
The Twitterverse also began exploding with the celebratory tweets of the D-Backs faithful mere seconds after the game, including one dispatch from a fan named Derek L. Foster that summed up the team's unlikely season.
"No one gave 'em a chance, but now October awaits," Foster tweeted.
Before they head for the postseason, the Diamondbacks still have five games left to play as they attempt to secure home-field advantage (and possibly an easier opponent) in the impending National League Division Series. The Giants will be in town for two more games and might be looking to play the spoilers now that their dreams of repeating as World Series champs have been dashed.
The second game of the series takes place tomorrow night when Ian Kennedy (20-4, 2.88 ERA) goes up against the Giants' Eric Surkamp (2-0, 2.95 ERA). First pitch is at 5:10 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. For tickets and more info, visit www.dbacks.com.