Season-defining moments are few and far between, but the Arizona Diamondbacks had one in the ninth inning of Tuesday's pivotal matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies.
With Phillies ace Roy Halladay on the mound, on his way to yet another complete game victory, it would have been easy for the D-backs to throw in the towel. For Kirk Gibson and this gritty Arizona team, that just wasn't going to happen.
Both Justin Upton and Miguel Montero made their way on base, bringing up Chris Young, who struck out on a dreadful foul bunt. Newly acquired Lyle Overbay then stepped into the box, and the rest is history: Overbay ripped a two-run double into right center field, driving in both Upton and Collin Cowgill, who pinch ran for Montero.
In the bottom of the ninth, J.J. Putz earned his 30th save of the season by striking out Ross Gload and Jimmy Rollins to strand Carlos Ruiz at second base.
After a week of playing the Houston Astros and the New York Mets, the D-backs rose to the occasion and defeated the Phillies in front of a sold-out crowd of 45,742 at Citizens Bank Park.
No one gave Arizona the credit it deserved going into this game. As you watched the Twitter outbursts from media personalities on the east coast, they could hardly believe what they were watching, even as it unfolded right in front of them.
The Diamondbacks are showing the world what they are capable of, with Josh Collmenter pitching 6.2 strong innings in one of the finest starts of his young career and Lyle Overbay surprising everyone with three RBI off Halladay.
The going won't get any easier for Arizona as the week progresses: they face off against Cliff Lee tomorrow night in what should be another epic battle. For now, however, it appears as though the east coast is taking notice of Arizona's incredible 2011 season and their insatiable desire to win.
- Halladay earned his seventh complete game of the season and he struck out 14 Diamondbacks -- yet he still earned the loss.
- Bryan Shaw (1-0) earned the first MLB victory of his career.
- Arizona only had eight hits all night, but three of them came in the ninth inning.
- Overbay had three hits, while Montero added two.
- Arizona is now 69-53, three games up on the San Francisco Giants (who are still in action, tied 1-1 in the 11th inning against Atlanta)