DENVER -- As the calendar officially turns to the September stretch run, D-backs catcher Chris Iannetta brings a pennant-race pedigree to the field every day.He was on the Rockies' 2007 team that swept the division-winning D-backs in the National League Championship Series, capping a stretch of 21 wins in 22
DENVER -- As the calendar officially turns to the September stretch run, D-backs catcher Chris Iannetta brings a pennant-race pedigree to the field every day.
He was on the Rockies' 2007 team that swept the division-winning D-backs in the National League Championship Series, capping a stretch of 21 wins in 22 games to make the World Series. And he went back to the postseason in '09 with the Rockies and '14 with the Angels.
"I've been fortunate the majority of my career to be in races down the stretch," Iannetta said before Friday's NL Wild Card contender showdown with the Rockies. "There were only a couple seasons that we were out of it really. This is a good one."
With Arizona and Colorado battling each other and a handful of other teams to protect their grasp on the Wild Card berths, it's hard not to recall the heated race for the NL West from 10 years ago.
"Nothing's going to top '07 with that run," Iannetta said. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a better run in history."
The only other player still on either roster was a rookie in '07 with the D-backs, Mark Reynolds, now the Rockies' starting first baseman and cleanup hitter.
"Just a great power hitter," Iannetta said, recalling Reynolds' first year in the big leagues. "Same guy he is now. Obviously he's putting up some serious numbers [28 homers, 87 RBIs] for the Rockies right now."
But rather than linger on any of the highlights from his past pennant races, Iannetta is taking the lessons he's learned and applying them to Arizona's push for the postseason.
"They're great memories, lifelong memories that I'll never forget," Iannetta said. "But for me, I'm just focusing on the task at hand right now. Those memories are for down time when you can reflect on seasons. Right now the baseball pace is so quick, day-to-day, series-to-series. I just focus on the task at hand."
If anything, the Rockies' ability to come from 7 1/2 games back in late August and pass four teams to secure a playoff berth taught Iannetta that even the best teams need to avoid getting too comfortable with their place in the standings.
"Comfort isn't something we preach around here," Iannetta said. "Any time you feel comfort, you get complacent. We're not a team that's complacent. We run the bases hard. We take our at-bats seriously. We take our preparation seriously. We're going to do that down to the wire, whether we're in it or not."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver.