Ryan Roberts capped the Diamondbacks' most dramatic comeback in their season of comebacks with his walk-off grand slam Tuesday, setting into motion a move he had been plotting all season.
After Roberts' two-out home run capped a six-run rally for a 7-6, 10-inning victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Roberts did his best Kirk Gibson impersonation -- doing two fist pumps, one between first base and second and the other between second base and third. It was a carbon copy of the way Gibson, now the D-backs' manager, celebrated his walk-off homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series that propelled the Dodgers to a Series victory in five games.
"You see guys have walk-off home runs and they do a celebration. Everybody has their own little thing. I always told 'C.Y.' (Chris Young) and 'J-Up' (Justin Upton) that if I ever hit a walk-off home run, I'm going to do the 'Gibby' pump,” said Roberts, who has 19 home runs and 18 stolen bases this season.
"If you watch him, he does it twice, too. Some people don't remember him doing that. We do. I'm just glad I remembered to do it. I finally got it out of the way. I'll have to come up with something new now.”
Gibson said he did not see the tribute because he was being mobbed in the dugout.
"He'll see it,” Roberts said. "I hope he gets a kick out of it.”
Roberts hit the first pitch he saw from Javy Guerra to cap a comeback that began when Dodger pitcher Blake Hawksworth was late covering first on a groundball to first baseman James Loney. Two walks, a single and an infield error made it 6-3 before Roberts came to the plate. It was the D-backs' major league-high and franchise-record 48th comeback victory.
"Everything on this team blows my mind. All year we've had comeback wins and crazy things, and that just goes down as another one,” concluded Roberts.
--3B Ryan Roberts' walk-off grand slam came with choreography -- after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers to cap a six-run rally with two outs in the 10th inning, Roberts did the Kirk Gibson fist pump as he rounded the bases, doing one pump between first base and second and another between second and third. "I always told 'C.Y.' (Chris Young) and 'J-Up' (Justin Upton) that if I ever hit a walk-off home run, I'm going to do the 'Gibby' pump,” said Roberts, who has 19 home runs and 18 stolen bases this season. "I'm just glad I remembered to do it. D-backs manager Gibson said he did not see the tribute because he was being mobbed in the dugout. "He'll see it,” Roberts said. "I hope he gets a kick out of it.”
--RF Justin Upton was 1-for-4 with a single and two strikeouts when he returned to the lineup Tuesday, although he was replaced in the top of the 10th when A.J. Ellis' triple struck the right-fence field and caromed into the right side of Upton's face. "It hurt like heck. 'Gibby' (manager Kirk Gibson) wanted to take me out, saying it was the smart thing to do.” Upton did not play Monday and missed the final eight innings Sunday after being struck in the bill of the helmet by a Tim Lincecum fastball.
--RHP Jarrod Parker pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings in his major league debut Tuesday, although he did not get the decision. Parker gave up four hits, one a bad-hop single and another a bunt single, walked one and struck out one while throwing only 73 pitches. He also got his first major league hit, an opposite-field double down the right-field line.
--LHP Zach Duke, LHP Mark Zagurski, and RHP Sam Demel pitched in a simulated game Tuesday afternoon to get some work as the D-backs attempt to put together the playoff roster. 3B Geoff Blum, 3B Sean Burroughs, OF Collin Cowgill, OF Cole Gillespie and SS John McDonald batted, with Blum, a switch-hitter, batting exclusively from the right side. "We're going to try to pick the right guys,” manager Kirk Gibson said. Blum is assured of one spot, Gibson reiterated. Zagurski is ineligible because he was not in the organization by August 31.
--RHP Daniel Hudson, acquired at the 2010 trading deadline and a key rotation component in the D-backs' run to the NL West title, finished his first full season in the major leagues 16-12 with a 3.49 ERA. Hudson's 16 victories are tied for sixth in the NL, and he and teammate RHP Ian Kennedy (21-4) led the NL with a combined 37 victories, one more than Philadelphia RHP Roy Halladay (19-6) and LHP Cliff Lee (17-8). None of the four is expected to pitch again in the regular season.
Diamond Stat: 0 -- Earned runs allowed by RHP Jarrod Parker in 5 2/3 innings of his first major league start.
Quotable: "I always told 'C.Y.' (Chris Young) and 'J-Up' (Justin Upton) that if I ever hit a walk-off home run, I'm going to do the 'Gibby' pump. I'm just glad I remembered to do it.” -- 3B Ryan Roberts, who did two fist pumps after hitting a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning Tuesday.