Battling from behind nothing new for D-backs

Battling from behind nothing new for D-backs

Battling from behind nothing new for D-backs
MILWAUKEE -- With their ascension from worst to first in the National League West and their Major League-best 48 comeback wins, the D-backs have shown plenty of fight this year.

That's why it comes as no surprise that Arizona isn't willing to concede the NL Division Series to the Brewers despite falling into an 0-2 hole with a 9-4 loss on Sunday.

It won't be any easy task -- no team has ever come back from an 0-2 deficit in the NLDS since the Wild Card era began in 1995 -- but the D-backs feel like they can be the first.

"Guys in here have confidence," shortstop Willie Bloomquist said. "We've been about as low as you can get and battled our way out of it. [Being down] 0-2 isn't an ideal situation, but if anyone can battle out of it, we can. So we're not going to fold up and go away easy."

The D-backs didn't go away easy in Game 2 either, as they fell behind early with former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke on the mound for the Brewers. But Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Young hit solo homers in the second and fourth innings, respectively, before Justin Upton crushed a two-run homer in the fifth to tie up the game at 4-4.

"Any time you get Zack Greinke a three- or four-run lead, the fans get behind him and they think they have it in the bag," Upton said. "But we came back and tied it and gave ourselves a chance to win. It just didn't work out for us."

It didn't work out because the Brewers used a sixth-inning rally to their advantage, as reliever Brad Ziegler couldn't retire any of the six batters he faced and it led to five runs that frame.

"We just didn't have that big inning like they did," said Aaron Hill, who went 3-for-3 with two walks. "We got a couple runs here and there, and Upton had that big home run, but they just kinda took the wind out of our sails. We kept grinding away but couldn't put anything together the last couple innings."

Arizona had two runners reach in each of the last three innings, but couldn't scratch any runs across against Brewers relievers LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford.

"I actually thought our guys battled in the seventh inning, the eighth inning, the ninth inning," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "They didn't lay down. We've made it tough on ourselves."

It was especially tough to come back considering Arizona went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, as all of their offense came from three homers.

"It's going to happen sometimes, but in order to win games you have to get guys in," Young said. "That's understood. So we'll just have to make an adjustment."

The D-backs will at least get a chance to make those adjustments at their home park, where they went 51-30 at Chase Field this year and will have rookie Josh Collmenter on the mound for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Collmenter, who posted a 3.38 ERA over 154 1/3 innings pitched, excelled against the Brewers this year, tossing 14 scoreless frames in two starts.

"We have hope," Gibson said. "We're going to go to our environment now. We've played better at home, just as well as the Brewers have."

Gibson said the momentum can swing with a Game 3 victory, as he told catcher Miguel Montero and Upton about how the 1988 Dodgers came back from a 3-1 deficit in the NL Championship Series against a heavily favored Mets club before ultimately winning the World Series over the A's.

"This type of game, if you can come back and win, the momentum shifts on it," Gibson said. "I was specifically thinking about where we were against the Mets in 1988. We were basically three outs away from going down three games to one to Doc Gooden on the mound. So if you have a will, you have to try and find a way. It's the attitude we'll take."

It's the attitude the D-backs have been taking all season, so that's why Upton said his team remains confident it'll win at home despite dropping both games at Miller Park.

"If we go out and play the way we should, we'll back in Milwaukee with a different attitude knowing that it's do or die," Upton said of a potential deciding Game 5. "So we need to go home and do our part, and make sure it comes back to Milwaukee."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.