David Peralta talks about the Diamondbacks’ offense and his record-setting four doubles Saturday.
1 of 54
Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray talks after his team’s 11-5 victory over the Dodgers.
2 of 54
Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Taijuan Walker, shortstop Chris Owings and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to the 13-5 win.
3 of 54
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt says the Diamondbacks couldn’t string together enough hits against the Padres on Thursday night.
4 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s 4-1 loss to the Padres and their 4-6 road trip through San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
5 of 54
Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin gave up three runs in six innings, striking out eight, and took the loss vs. the Padres.
6 of 54
Zack Greinke talks about the breaking ball the Padres’ Erick Aybar hit for a home run, his only blemish in a 1-0 loss in San Diego.
7 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses the pitchers’ duel that ended in a 1-0 loss against the San Diego Padres.
8 of 54
Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis talks about the pitch Erick Aybar hit for a homer off Zack Greinke, and about the effectiveness of Padres right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.
9 of 54
Shelby Miller won for the second time this season, beating the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night at Petco Park.
10 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talked about Shelby Miller’s strong outing in an 11-2 win over the Padres.
11 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo after his team rallied to beat the Dodgers 3-2 on Monday night. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
12 of 54
Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray walked four batters early but settled in and struck out 10 in six innings against the Dodgers on Monday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
13 of 54
azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss Zack Greinke’s slump and the Cardinals and Sun Devils continuing their preparations for the season.
14 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Fernando Rodney’s save, Taijuan Walker’s performance and his team’s win against the Dodgers on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
15 of 54
Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker gave up just one run in five innings against the Dodgers on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
16 of 54
Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta talks about his home run against Dodgers lefty Rich Hill and the performance of teammate Taijuan Walker in Sunday’s win. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
17 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo explains why he used closer Fernando Rodney with his team trailing in the eighth inning on Saturday night. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
18 of 54
Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin gave up five runs (three earned) in six innings vs. the Dodgers in Arizona’s 8-4 loss to Los Angeles on Saturday night. Nick PIecoro/azcentral sports
19 of 54
Manager Torey Lovullo talks about Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw’s dominance vs. the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
20 of 54
Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke gave up five runs in five innings against the Dodgers on Friday night, coming up short in his matchup against Clayton Kershaw.
21 of 54
Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Mark Faller and Dan Bickley discuss the Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers series and the NBA playoffs.
22 of 54
Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke and Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw will combine to make more than $69 million this season.
23 of 54
Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller took the blame for Wednesday night’s loss to the Giants.
24 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talked about Shelby Miller’s outing and his hitters’ struggles with guys in scoring position.
25 of 54
Now that the Cubs have their rings, a look back the Diamondbacks’ World Series ring from 2001.
26 of 54
Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock talks about his play on Aaron Hill’s third-inning drive and Jake Lamb’s go-ahead, three-run triple.
27 of 54
Lefty Robbie Ray worked around five walks and was helped by his defense in the Diamondbacks’ win over the Giants on Tuesday night.
28 of 54
Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker said he made a mistake by trying to throw home on a strange play against the Giants in Monday’s loss in San Francisco. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
29 of 54
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin talks about his personal performance so far this season after the team swept the series against the Indians, April 9, 2017. (Bob McManaman/azcentral sports)
30 of 54
Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley disagree on the NBA MVP and share their thoughts on the D-Backs’ hot start.
31 of 54
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo discusses the team’s win against the Indians, sweeping the series, April 9, 2017. (Bob McManaman/azcentral sports)
32 of 54
Breaking down the Diamondbacks’ fantastic start to the 2017 season.
33 of 54
Right-hander Zack Greinke gave up just one run in 6 2/3 innings against the Indians as the Diamondbacks rolled to another victory.
34 of 54
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo talks about the team’s ups and downs in a win against the Indians, April 7, 2017. (Bob McManaman/azcentral sports)
35 of 54
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller talks about his 2017 season start in a win against the Cleveland Indians, April 7, 2017. (Bob McManaman/azcentral sports)
36 of 54
azcentral sports’ Mark Faller and Dan Bickley discuss the D-Backs’ start to the season as well as the retirement of Shane Doan.
37 of 54
Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta discusses Thursday’s win over the Giants.
38 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses his team’s 3-1 start to the season.
39 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on using humidor for baseballs at Chase Field.
40 of 54
Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker discusses his first start in a Diamondbacks uniform on Wednesday against the Giants. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
41 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his club’s 8-6 win over the Giants on Wednesday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
42 of 54
The Diamondbacks need a shortstop. Scott Bordow and Jay Dieffenbach discuss that and the Hamilton hazing scandal in the Shot Clock.
43 of 54
Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings talks about his error in the Giants’ five-run fifth inning.
44 of 54
Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin talks about his outing vs. the Giants and his struggles to retire Hunter Pence.
45 of 54
The Arizona Diamondbacks dedicated Paul Goldschmidt Field in Goodyear on April 4, 2017. It’s the 39th “Diamonds Back” Field in Arizona. Video: Arizona Diamondbacks
46 of 54
Former Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals slugger had an emergency brain procedure to address a brain hemorrhage.
USA TODAY Sports
47 of 54
You can stream baseball online using MLB.TV, but the service does have restrictions.
Reviewed.com – Jeremy Stamas
48 of 54
Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings delivered the game-winning hit on Sunday vs. the Giants.
49 of 54
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about the hug he gave walk-off hero Chris Owings and about his first win in his new job.
50 of 54
Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke gave up two runs in five innings against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday at Chase Field.
51 of 54
Diamondbacks insider Nick Piecoro and Jay Dieffenbach talk about the upcoming baseball season. The lineup appears to be solid. What about the pitching staff? Video: Cheryl Evans/azcentral sports
52 of 54
USA TODAY Sports released its annual list of players to watch for in the upcoming season.
USA TODAY Sports
53 of 54
The Diamondbacks had their photos taken on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 at Salt River Fields.
54 of 54
David Peralta on his record-setting night
Robbie Ray reacts to Saturday’s win over the Dodgers
Diamondbacks use 9-run eighth to overwhelm Dodgers
Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs’ offense vs. Padres
Manager Torey Lovullo breaks down D-Backs’ loss, road trip
D-Backs’ Patrick Corbin on loss vs. Padres
D-Backs’ Zack Greinke on his performance vs. Padres
Torey Lovullo on his team’s ‘frustrating’ loss vs. Padres
Jeff Mathis on D-Backs’ 1-0 loss to Padres
Shelby Miller on his win vs. Padres
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ win over Padres
Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs split series vs. Dodgers
Robbie Ray on his 10-strikeout game vs. Dodgers
Shot Clock: Time to worry about Zack Greinke?
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ win 3-1 win over Dodgers
Taijuan Walker tosses five strong innings vs. Dodgers
D-Backs’ Chris Iannetta on facing Rich Hill, catching Taijuan Walker
Torey Lovullo on usage of Fernando Rodney vs. Dodgers on Saturday
D-Backs lefty Patrick Corbin talks about his outing vs. Dodgers
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ 7-1 loss to the Dodgers
D-Backs’ Zack Greinke on his loss vs. Dodgers
Why series vs. Dodgers is big for D-Backs
Greinke-Kershaw matchup is incredibly expensive
Shelby Miller says loss vs. Giants is ‘definitely on me’
Manager Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ rubber-match loss to Giants
Remembering the Diamondbacks’ championship rings
A.J. Pollock talks about his big catch in D-Backs’ win over Giants
Robbie Ray after tossing 6 2/3 shutout innings vs. Giants
Taijuan Walker discusses his errant throw vs. Giants
Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin describes personal performance
Shot Clock: NBA MVP and surprising D-Backs
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ sweep against the Indians
Diamondbacks’ hot start by the numbers
Zack Greinke after strong start vs. Indians
Torey Lovullo talks about the D-Backs’ win against the Indians
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller describes starting his 2017 season
Shot Clock: What D-Backs’ good start means
David Peralta on hot start: ‘We’re ready for anybody’
D-Backs manager Lovullo on starting year 3-1
D-Backs manager Lovullo on using humidor for baseballs
Taijuan Walker on his first D-Backs start
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ win over Giants
Shot Clock: Answer to D-Backs’ shortstop question?
Chris Owings talks about his fifth-inning error
Patrick Corbin after loss to Giants
Diamondbacks dedicate ‘Paul Goldschmidt Field’
Former Dodgers star Pedro Guerrero in critical condition
How to watch every baseball game in 2017
Chris Owings discusses his walk-off hit vs. Giants
Torey Lovullo on his emotional first win as D-Backs’ manager
Zack Greinke after his start vs. Giants on Opening Day
What is in store for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017?
MLB’s 100 Names to Know for 2017
Behind the scenes at Diamondbacks Photo Day
SECTION 332, CHASE FIELD – It feels strange up here. And far too high, quite frankly, for someone who has a big problem with heights.
This isn’t a press box, it’s like the crow’s nest on the Titanic. And I know how that movie ended.
What the devil is a sportswriter doing this far away from his comfort zone at a Diamondbacks game? The free coffee and hot dogs are a couple decks below in the media lounge. What could possess someone to cover a ballgame from this forsaken purgatory of a place?
Glad you asked.
You see, if it weren’t for all of their comeback wins this young season – and the Diamondbacks just happen to be leading the major leagues with nine of them already – this team would be right where most of us thought it would be. Buried at the bottom of the National League West.
But these Rally-Backs keep finding ways to win, like Friday night when they erupted for nine runs in a wild eighth inning to club the Dodgers 13-5. So the challenge was to find the magical source of all these crazy comebacks.
The question has been put to the pitchers and the catchers. It’s been asked of the hitters and of the new manager, too. Nobody’s bothered asking D. Baxter the mascot, but that’s because the cat got his tongue and he doesn’t talk.
I think I finally found the answer, however. It’s Bobby Freeman.
Bobby who? Hear me out.
Just like all the other comeback victories in this building so far in 2017, the latest rally started with the playing of the same three simple musical notes, courtesy of Freeman, the Diamondbacks’ longtime organist who sits up here high on his perch far above the Diamondbacks’ bullpen in left field.
What better way to get to the bottom of this than from the top and covering a Diamondbacks game while sitting next to Freeman and his keyboards and waiting for the magic to happen yet again? Freeman, after all, is the guy responsible for playing all the rally chants at these games.
Surely, up here in the sky is where it all starts. At Bobby Freeman’s fingertips. It has to be him.
“Well, I try to help,” Freeman said modestly as Saturday night’s game against the Dodgers got underway. “It’s really just about engaging the fans to continue with the winning flow.”
Undeterred by that humble and yet obvious company-line response, the quest would not be quashed. Freeman’s been doing this gig for 20 years now, and even he thinks there’s something special about this year’s club. They respond to rally cries. So maybe it is Freeman and his collection of little ditties that are the starting mechanism for all of these amazing come-from-behind celebrations.
“Hey, I like it. I like it,” said Tom Wilhelmsen, world traveler, free thinker and the ex-bartender otherwise known as a Diamondbacks relief pitcher. “Energy is a strong thing, man. Maybe that’s it.”
See, spending Saturday night high up here next to Freeman wasn’t such a bad idea. Uh, except Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez opened the game with a leadoff home run that looked like it was headed straight for Freeman. But hey, that just sets the stage for another comeback, right Bobby?
“Exactly,” Freeman said. “This team has got it. They have got it. Trust me.”
Just as Arizona’s David Peralta gets ready to swing on a 3-1 count in the bottom of the first, Freeman says, “Watch this pitch!” Naturally, Peralta almost homers to straightaway center field, but settles for a double high off the wall.
Two batters later, Freeman whips up the crowd by playing “Charge!” and wouldn’t you know it, Jake Lamb rips a two-run home run to right. The Diamondbacks lead 2-1 and the comeback is on.
“See, right after ‘Charge!’ ” the keyboardist gushed proudly.
Yasmany Tomas follows with a homer of his own, and Freeman is so giddy, he’s practically pounding on the keys like a madman. Later, in the fourth inning with the Diamondbacks clinging to a one-run lead, I dare Freeman to play “Free Bird” or something from the Stones. Just then, catcher Chris Herrmann belts a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks and Freeman wants to fist-bump me.
“Hey, tell him not to pump the brakes,” Wilhelmsen said. “When we get going on one of those long-inning rallies, tell him to keep it going. We can feel it. (The fans) can feel it.”
Freeman loves the message and on cue, he refuses to pump the brakes after Tomas blasts another home run for the Diamondbacks. Later, Wilhelmsen relieves starter Robbie Ray and Freeman welcomes the right-hander out of the bullpen by playing “Hey, Bartender.”
Another fist bump and it’s time to go. He’s been signing autographs all night between songs, and he’s about to be mobbed after playing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” The Diamondbacks are clinging to a one-run lead and before I leave, I tell Freeman that if they blow this comeback, it’s on his head and he better donate his organ to science.
“Never,” he says. “You’ve got to have faith.”
No, you’ve just got to have Bobby Freeman because as if on cue, the Diamondbacks scored three more runs in the bottom of the seventh, another two in the eighth, and walloped the Dodgers again, 11-5. Classic.
Reach McManaman at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac and listen to him live every Wednesday night between 7-9 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.