The Dbacks had nothing to play for. They had been eliminated from the postseason the night before. They got their tribute to Paul Goldschmidt done on the same night. After a season of flirting with the postseason, they had settled comfortably into being a slightly above .500 team, exceeding all expectations.
Yet Tuesday night (and Wednesday morning), in the midst of a marathon 19 inning, nearly 7 hour game the Diamondbacks revealed what is so exciting about this franchise.
No, it wasn't the style of play. I was in bed long before this game was over as was roughly 95% of the Dbacks fan base.
It was something else on display for everyone, including the Cardinals as they fought for the NL Central crown, to see.
This Dbacks team plays hard. And its going to lead to some really, really good things down the road.
One of the most sought after traits for any team in any sport is to have a team that gets along and plays with maximum effort consistently. When a team plays hard, it satisfies ownership, management, the players and the fan base.
You can have talent, brains in the front office, marketing, national exposure, unlimited resources to spend on your payroll but if you don't have effort, you aren't going to win many games or hearts and minds.
The Dbacks show effort and its only a matter of time before it leads to something more significant than a near playoff miss.
Torey Lovullo and Mike Hazen have demonstrated their leadership time and time again this season and the team has followed.
This team cares and they play hard.
Next year, two years from now, three years from now, etc. its very likely we'll be watching a Dbacks team contend for division crowns, league championships and possibly even a World Series.
It will feel like it happened overnight. Like that season's success just came out of no where.
But you and I will know the truth: the foundation for the future success of this franchise was there for all of us to see on a random September night with the Dbacks playing for nothing really, if only we could have actually stayed up to see it.