Gallen: 'We control our own destiny' for postseason berth

September 30th, 2023

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Friday night felt like it was going to be a good night for the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was going to be the night they clinched their first postseason berth since 2017. They simply needed a win or losses by the Cubs and Reds in order to do it. 

More than 36,000 people came to see it happen, and it looked like things were breaking the D-backs' way when the Astros had to scratch their starting pitcher J.P. France hours before the game. 

The Astros were going to go with a bullpen game but turned to José Urquidy instead.

A few innings into the game, it became clear the D-backs weren’t going to get any help from the Cardinals, who were getting demolished by the Reds.  

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said before the game that he checks the out-of-town scoreboard “50 to 60” times during a game. So he was aware early on that the only way his team would clinch would be with a win. 

But Urquidy kept mowing down Arizona hitters, allowing just two hits over six scoreless innings.  

Lovullo wanted to give Urquidy credit, but the skipper couldn’t help but notice that his young hitters were perhaps a little jumpy at the plate -- swinging early in counts. 

“I think there were some at-bats that could have been a little bit more mature,” Lovullo said.

The night ended with the corks still in the champagne bottles following a 2-1 loss, but the D-backs are still in a good spot with two games to play. 

Yes, they have to face Justin Verlander on Saturday night and that’s always a tall order, but they’ve got Merrill Kelly on the mound. And the fact remains that they only need one more win or one Reds loss over the next two days to clinch. 

“We control our own destiny,” right-hander Zac Gallen said. “So I don't think that's the wrong way to look at it -- for our backs to be against the wall. And we also can get some help from some other team, so I think we're just gonna come out and play our game like we did tonight. We just couldn't really get anything going. I don't think anyone's really panicked, to be honest with you.”