D-backs Sweep Away Giants With 5-2 Victory

The Arizona Diamondbacks roughed up Tim Lincecum on their way to a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field.

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Justin Upton Hit In Head By Lincecum, Diamondbacks Doctor Reports On Status

Justin Upton has been hit by 19 pitches this season, the most in his career and tied for the most in the National League. Maybe pitchers are trying to rattle him. Maybe he's angered too many pitchers by admiring his home run balls. Maybe he's just unlucky.

In the first inning of Sunday's game against the San Francisco Giants, Upton took one from Tim Lincecum off the bill of his helmet in a glancing blow. Justin got up, dusted himself off and took his base. He would later score from second on a base hit.

After running from second base to home, he reported nausea and was removed from the game.

Team doctor Michael Lee said Upton passed all his neurological exams including a head CT scan and that they think he will be fine. Obviously, they will continue to monitor Justin and will administer an impact test on Monday and compare it to his baseline results.

Doctor Lee said nausea is a symptom of concussion or even more serious brain injury but the tests ruled that out and he recovered quickly and didn't even report having a head ache.

"Our concerns are on the lower side but we're going to watch him to make sure he's fine," Lee said.

Consider that bullet dodged. The D-backs could ill-afford to lose Upton heading into the playoffs. Upton is considered day-to-day.

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Diamondbacks Celebration Hangover, Resting But Still Fighting For Home Field

Kirk Gibson reported that the left the ball park at around 11:00 p.m. last night and went home with his family to, "this little place where I live." He was back in the office by 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning thinking through his plans and options for the rest of the season. Who gets rest? How to order the pitching rotation? How to compete for the vital home field advantage in the first round and still get guys some days off?

"How can we best try and win as many games and how can we best prepare for the playoffs...There's a lot going on, it's good stuff," said with a smile.

Justin Upton and Miguel Montero are first and third on the team in plate appearances and so it's those two All-Stars that will get Saturday off. It would be shocking if you don't see Chris Young, second on that list, get a rest day soon as well.

Gibby wouldn't tip his hand when it comes to changes to the pitching rotation but said that it is possible that young Jarrod Parker could get a start and he hinting at limiting the innings of his key guys.

The lineup for Saturday will be Bloomquist (SS), Hill (2B), Young (CF), Goldschmidt (1B), Roberts (3B), Parra (RF), Cowgill (LF), Blanco (C), Kennedy (P)

The Giants lineup is: Christian (CF), Fontenot (2B), Beltran (RF), Sandoval (3B), Pill (1B), Belt (LF), Sanchez (C), Crawford (SS), Surkamp (P)

Other Gibby thoughts:

  • Guys had the goggles on. "They don't realize, I really wanted to feel my eyes to sting, that's kind of how I relate to those times."
  • Whole lot of love out there. Great night, they earned it.
  • Fans great. We did it against great team. Well scripted and well played out.
  • Talked before the game to make sure "we take care of ourselves" and not get hurt during the celebrations. No reported injuries.
  • On J.J. Putz picking up Montero and possibly hurting his back: "You can't predict what you're going to do in those situations. When I hit the home run in '88, I never thought about pumping my fist. It just happened."
  • Will be tough to stay focused today. We'll get back on target. 
  • We want to start the playoffs here at home. Huge advantage for us. (D-backs one game behind the Brewers who also clinched their division last night.)
  • Hard to explain how the crowd works for you and against the other team. Want to entertain those people and do well for them. When Goldy got on and Chris Young got the hit, it was electric. Can remember that sound.
  • On Goldschmidt's big hit: "For a young kid, he's certainly got something in his belly. I don't think the Giants like him very well."
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Diamondbacks Reax: Players, Execs Sound Off On Winning NL West

With the final out of Friday night's 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, the party began.

The Arizona Diamondbacks, that pesky little team no one believed in, turned Chase Field upside down with a champagne-and-beer fest in the clubhouse and a celebration with fans and team officials on the diamond.  

Players poured alcohol on each other. They hugged and posed for photos. They wiped away a few tears, a little sweat and whatever was splashed on their heads and faces in a scene no one there will soon forget. 

It happened. In Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won a division title and 42,606 were there, finally getting their chance to go crazy in the seventh inning when Arizona tied the game at 1.  Then came the heroics of the bottom of the eighth, featuring Paul Goldschmidt's huge triple, and then, J.J. Putz closing it out. And then the players and executives talked about all of it. 

OF Chris Young, who doubled in the tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning:

"It was a team effort. The fans showed up amazing tonight. They gave us the adrenaline we needed to come out with this one."

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"We did (take care of business). A lot of people didn't think we could... we felt like we could get it done and I'm happy we were able to overcome some things. A couple of guys got hurt and we were able to overcome some obstacle. It's been amazing."

Owner Ken Kendrick, on thoughts of who the Diamondbacks play first in the playoffs:

"It doesn't matter to me just as long as we're there, and we are. And I'm thrilled about it. Very happy." 

1B Paul Goldschmidt, who had the go-ahead RBI triple in the eighth inning:

"They'd been pitching around J-Up and Miggy, and it was just good timing for a hit and luckily it wasn't right at someone."

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"It just feels good to win. It's been a blast. I don't think I can appreciate it like guys that have been in the league for a while. Getting here and getting that win, just glad we can do it for guys."

GM Kevin Towers

"We never let them (the Giants) catch us. Went in there, won those two out of three, that was probably the critical game, the last series we had with the Giants. We had that come-from-behind win and (took) the series from them... guys started really believing."

"We're dangerous late (in games). We kind of lull them to sleep early and late in the game the bats come out, and it's just exciting. Goldschmidt spent half the season in (AA) Mobile. To come up with a big hit like that, against arguably one of the greatest right-handed sliders (from reliever Sergio Romo) that there is in the game, pretty incredible."

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"Our eyes are on the Brewers. We want to be able to hopefully play those first two playoff games at home. 

(On manager Kirk Gibson): "I think it's pretty clear the respect that the players have for him. He's one of the most focused managers I've ever had, from the minute he steps foot in the clubhouse to the minute he leaves. It's all baseball and preparing for the night's game and that particular series. During some tough times he kept guys loose, that's the sign of a great leader. He put his thumb on their neck when we were winning to kind of keep them humble. He was a winner as a player and now he's proven he's a winner as a manager as well."

Pitcher Joe Saunders

"Everything this organization has been through the last couple of years, not winning a lot. I told C.Y. (Young) when I came over to Philly last year, 'This is for the birds, this losing stuff. I told him next year we're going to turn this thing around, we're going to win some ball games and sure enough, the team believes in itself and we believe in each other and that's the biggest thing."

"In spring training we lost a bunch of games, but we knew we were good."

"It was just a great honor to be out there in the first place...I didn't have my best stuff tonight but I got a lot of ground balls. Honestly, the defense was awesome behind me. We got a lot of clutch outs and big double plays."

"In order to be the best you've got to beat the best. We did that tonight. Hats off to them, they're an amazing club. It just goes to show how good we are and how good we can be so we're excited."

"You want to clinch on the first night, you don't want to wait around. For us to be able to do that is awesome."

OF Justin Upton

"We gave ourselves a chance. In spring training, everybody said we'd finish fourth or third or whatever, but we didn't believe that. For us to get to this point and to finish it off really proved the character of our team."

"It's a good mix in the clubhouse and our team goes about its business in a different way this year. I think that was the biggest thing. We came to the yard expecting to win every day and we pushed towards that every day."

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"We want to open up in front of a big crowd like we did tonight and we're playing for home-field advantage. So we're looking forward to these next five games and pushing toward that home field advantage." 

"Everybody counted us out from Day 1 so the pressure was off of us. In spring training we gave ourselves a chance, we believed in ourselves and that's all that matters."

Manager Kirk Gibson

"Last year, I remember I wrote it down on my card, 15,505 people. A lot of people that thought that was a slap in our face but I think it was just significant, it showed us how far we had fallen. Those people are all still here. There's some more people day by day and you guys know that I understand that the fans are the most important part of the game of baseball."

"This whole organization from when we started our organizational meetings, it's incredible how everybody knows that they are a part of it. It's not Kirk Gibson. It's not just Derrick Hall. It's not just Ken Kendrick or Kevin Towers, it's truly all of us. There's hundreds of thousands of people that are involved."

"We talked about the Diamondback Way. I think it's becoming more clear as the days go on...This (celebration) is part of it."


Much, much more celebration video available on the SB Nation Arizona YouTube Channel.


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Arizona Diamondbacks Clinch NL West With Comeback Win Over S.F. Giants

The Arizona Diamondbacks fittingly came from behind to beat the San Francisco Giants and win the 2011 National League West Division. It was a tight, playoff type game from beginning to end with clutch hits coming from Ryan Roberts and Paul Goldsmidt in the eighth inning. 

Roberts wasn't supposed to make the team and Goldschmidt was a little known prospect in the spring and there they were winning the biggest game of the year.

The much maligned Joe Saunders wasn't brilliant by top standards but he was good enough to give his team a chance to win the game. Saunders gave up just one run, a fifth inning solo home run to Orlando Cabrera, and nine hits in seven innings of work. He gave up lead-off hits in five of his seven innings but he didn't give up any walks which helped him wiggle out of several jams and strand eight runners. 

Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain was brilliant all the way until he wasn't.

In the seventh inning up 1-0 he walked Paul Goldschmidt -- the first walk of the game for either side -- and then Chris Young came up to the plate and calmly delivered a double to the base of the left-center wall. Goldschmidt hustled around from first as fast as his thick legs could carry him and beat the throw to tie the game. 

In eighth, with the game tied 1-1, Ryan Roberts did what Ryan Roberts does and lead off with a single that he stretched into a double with the kind of aggressive base running that's led to numerous "dumb" outs this year. This time, he slide into second under the throw. 

Aaron Hill laid down a beauty of a sac bunt to move Roberts over and the Giants walked Justin Upton and pulled Matt Cain from the game.

Javier Lopez came on in relief and got Miguel Montero to fly out to shallow center. His night ended and the ball went to Giants reliever Sergio Romo with two outs and runners on the corners. 

That brought young Paul Goldschmidt to the plate with two outs and runners on the corners against a very tough pitcher. He fell behind two strikes and then etched his name further into D-backs' fans hearts with a line drive triple to right field to give Arizona a 3-1 lead. 

For a young player just called up after the All-Star Break, Paul Goldschmidt has quite a few memorable hits in his short career.

J.J. Putz closed out the clinch in the ninth for his 44th save of the season with David Hernandez getting the win. Chris Young recorded the final out on a shallow fly ball to center.

More to follow...

For more on the D-backs big win, visit AZ Snake Pit

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