After returning to the desert staring down an 0-2 hole in the National League Division Series, the Diamondbacks won both of their home games to force a deciding Game 5, including an 8-1 rout Tuesday evening before their 10-6 win Wednesday night over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Thanks in part to Randy Wolf being completely out of control early on, the D'Backs enjoyed a five-run first inning highlighted by a Ryan Roberts grand slam -- the team's fourth in as many home games. In fact, they're just the second team to hit grand salamis in consecutive playoff games since the 1977 Dodgers.
Chris Young went yard twice, and Aaron Hill added a solo shot to Arizona's 13 hits to shift the series back to Milwaukee.
Rallying for a win is nothing new to the D'Backs, and frankly I'm sure they're offended that everyone outside of Arizona pretty much wrote them off after dropping the first two games of the series. In case it's your first day, they had a big league-best 48 comeback wins during the regular season.
They might not have a rally squirrel, but they do have a Kirk Gibson, whose unorthodox managing techniques had fans and analysts questioning his sanity Wednesday night. The second-year skipper pulled starter Joe Saunders for a pinch-hitter in the third inning of his team's must-win postseason game after the lefty surrendered three runs on five hits with two walks. Not a good outing at all, but definitely not something you can't come back from. It was so Tony La Russa... but it worked.
With Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Young both happily in scoring position with two out, Gibson sent rookie Collin Cowgill to the plate with his .239 batting average in 92 career at bats, including roughly zero postseason appearances. Of course, the 25-year-old outfielder sneaked one through a hole in left and extended Arizona's lead to 7-3. Virtually no managers would have made this move, but in hindsight it was pretty brilliant. Plus, I'm sure Cowgill was so fired up he couldn't even fall asleep last night.
Game 5 is set for Friday night at 5:07pm ET on TBS in a Game 1 rematch between Ian Kennedy and fellow right-hander Yovani Gallardo. We love close series.
[ESPN Sweet Spot]