Down two games to nothing, the Diamondbacks find their season hanging in the balance as they return to Chase Field for Tuesday’s NLDS Game 3 showdown against the Brewers.
With that being said, would manager Kirk Gibson’s team really want it any other way?
The Dbacks are a team who defied the odds, silenced their critics, and pulled away in the National League West behind solid pitching, timely hitting, and the “GibbyBall” mentality that made them so fun watch during the regular season.
The post-season to this point has been a completely different story. To this point, Milwaukee has beaten the Dbacks at their own game and are now a win away from ending Sedona Red’s storybook season.
“The Brewers have played well,” Gibson discussed after Game 2 Sunday. “You’ve got to give them credit. We have been resilient all year and we expect to come back and play well in our (stadium), as well.”
Gibson’s failure to push the right buttons to this point against the Brew Crew has caught the attention of the national media.
“In October when you’re one of the eight teams still playing any little hiccup is going to be magnified,” ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez told Brad Cesmat on “Big Guy on Sports” Monday. “It doesn’t matter who you are. You’re going to be criticized if you try something and it doesn’t work. It’s inevitable. That’s October baseball.”
Going against conventional wisdom is something Gibson firmly believes has gotten him this far and that won’t change in Game 3. Rookie Josh Collmenter will take the mound in the win-or-go-home game instead of veteran lefty Joe Saunders who has playoff experience.
“Those are decisions that are made from within,” Gomez said. “There very well could be more to this. There were times Collmenter was un-hittable. He’s got that funky delivery. Maybe they’re just looking for a different look.”
The right-hander has used that different look to throw 14 scoreless innings in two starts against the Brewers this year.
At this point, there is no time for second-guessing and don’t bother telling the Snakes they can’t pull this off. Arizona led the majors in come-from-behind wins during the regular season.
Shaun Marcum (13-7, 3.54 ERA during the regular season) will start Game 3 Tuesday.
First pitch is set for 6:30.