D-back Wild Card Win Takeaways

It didn’t come easy, but the Arizona Diamondbacks advanced past the National League Wild Card and beat the Colorado Rockies 11-8.

The Snakes jumped on Jon Gray, scoring three runs thanks to a home run by Paul Goldschmidt. After going 1/17 over his previous five games, the Diamondbacks first baseman went 2/5 on the night. The lead was extended to six after Daniel Descalso clubbed a two-run home run himself, his third postseason home run of his career.

While the Diamondbacks jumped on the Rockies early, Colorado was able to chip away at Zack Greinke, and the cracks were there in the fourth inning when the Gerrado Parra brought in Nolan Arenado, Mark Reynolds drove in Trevor Story and Jonathan Lucroy hit a double to make the game 6-4.

The teams traded punches in the seventh and eighth, with Arizona scoring five and the Rockies scoring three. The moment of the game, though may have come when relief pitcher Archie Bradley came up in the seventh inning and tripled, scoring Lamb and Descalso.

The Diamondbacks scored three insurance runs to give Fernando Rodney some cushion before getting the the save and the Diamondbacks the win.

M-V-Paul

Each MVP candidate needs an MVP moment (or a few), and Paul Goldschmidt has had his fair share. The first that comes to mind is his three-home run game to win the series against the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley. His effort, in the only game of the day, let all viewers remember what he can do.

R-O-B-B-I-E Spells Relief

When Greinke went out early, Robbie Ray was called to make a relief appearance. He threw 2.1 innings, giving up two hits, a run and striking out three. This conceivably takes him out of the running for the Game 1 start against the Los Angele Dodgers on Friday, but that game doesn’t matter if they don’t win in the Wild Card, and Ray helped get the job done.

Could Taijuan be next?

Speaking of that Game 1, Lovullo said Taijuan Walker, Patrick Corbin and Zack Godley are candidates to go against Clayton Kershaw in the series opener.

Lovullo left Walker off of tonight’s Wild Card roster, and supplied this thought process in today’s pregame:

“With Taijuan, we felt like he was the one candidate, and we felt like we needed to hold somebody back just in case, and we felt like he was the right candidate potentially to start the next game one in the next series. It’s all common sense stuff we walked through. It was a tough decision. We felt like we had five quality starters. We felt like they could have all thrown out of the bullpen and done a good job.”

Lovullo said Greinke and Ray could be candidates for Game 2.

Some Wild Card Mojo?

Baseball is a superstitious sport. It’s hard not to see some good moments of juju for the Diamondbacks from tonight’s efforts. In Jake Lamb’s opening at-bat, he nearly took out a bird with his line drive single.

Take a look:

Remember the last time there was something bird related with this Diamondbacks? That’s when Randy Johnson helped a bird meet its bird-maker in spring training. That was the 2001 spring training…..

Speaking of the Big Unit, his legend was further cemented when he came in for a relief appearance in a must-win game against the Yankees that year….Remember, Game 7? Having a hard-throwing left-handed starter make a relief appearance can only help the superstitions.

It’s Archie’s World

I said a few weeks ago Archie Bradley could be this year’s Andrew Miller: a guy who is called upon in every scenario out of the bullpen and is effective. Miller was flat-out dominant in last year’s postseason, throwing 27.2 innings, giving up three runs (.98 ERA) and striking out 40.

Now, Bradley has already given up two runs in his postseason so far, giving up solo shots to Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, but with the triple he provided and his ability to be stretched to cover multiple innings, the converted starter could be incredibly effective for the Snakes, no matter how long they run in the playoffs.

The Diamondbacks have eliminated one National League West team and set their sights on another division foe in the Los Angeles Dodgers.

They kick things off on Friday in Los Angeles.