As the 2012 MLB Postseason continues, a look at the games played so far shows not just some exciting baseball, but some former Diamondbacks having some success.
Buck Showalter, who managed the Diamondbacks from 1998 to 2000, took the Baltimore Orioles to the playoffs for the first time since 1995. They started with a win over the Texas Rangers, advancing to the ALDS. Former Diamondback Joe Saunders was the winning pitcher for Baltimore, going 5⅔ innings while allowing only one run and striking out nine. The Orioles offense took three runs on five hits off Texas ace Yu Darvish on their way to a 5-1 victory.
Showalter's squad next faced the New York Yankees, and the two teams split the first two games. After New York took game three in a walkoff after 12 innings, Saunders was again the hero as he helped stave off elimination. Saunders started what would eventually be a 13-inning marathon, throwing 5⅓ innings while allowing only one run and getting five strikeouts. Baltimore forced a Game 5, but CC Sabathia shut them down and the Yankees advanced to the ALCS. Mark Reynolds, former Diamondback now with Baltimore, went 2-for-33 in the series.
In the National League, former Arizona manager Bob Melvin was steering the Oakland Athletics to their first playoff appearance since 2006. The NL West division champions, Oakland went to five games with the Detroit Tigers but eventually came up short. Stephen Drew was the former Diamondback pitching in here, going 4-for-19 in the series.
Elsewhere in the division series, the San Francisco Giants lost their first two games at home, then went on to beat take three straight from the Reds in Cincinnati to advance to the NLCS. The St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals traded wins, leading to the Cards making an improbable comeback in Game 5. Down 6-1 in the fourth, a four-run ninth inning capped a stunning St. Louis victory.
That set up a Tigers vs. Yankees ALCS, and a Cardinals vs. Giants NLCS. The Tigers made short work of the Yankees, sweeping them in four games as the entire Yankees lineup seemed to go silent at once. Combined, Detroit outscored New York 19-6.
In the NLCS, San Francisco again opened with a home loss. St. Louis was unable to make it two in a row, though, and the series headed to Busch Stadium tied 1-1. The Cardinals took the next two games, but Barry Zito pitched the game of his life on Friday night as San Francisco sent the series back to the bay with a 5-0 win. Zito stuck out six while allowing six hits and no runs over 7-2/3 innings. The series currently stands 3-2, with Ryan Vogelsong facing Chris Carpenter in San Francisco's next bid to stay alive.