Arizona (90-72) will take on the Chicago Cubs (85-77) at home tonight in the first game of the National League Divisional Series. The Cubs won the NL Central Division.
With Friday night’s win and the guaranteed playoff berth, Cirillo lost his perch atop a dubious list of longtime Major Leaguers. Cirillo had played 1,615 games without reaching the playoffs, tops among all active players.
“It’s gratifying,” Cirillo told mlb.com of finally getting to taste the champagne after beating Colorado on Friday. “The Rockies have been playing like they’re invincible. Up to the last out, they still had a chance. A home run wins the game. They sent up a guy [pinch-hitter Joe Koshansky] who obviously can hit a home run.”
Cirillo came close to making the playoffs in 2003, winning 93 games on a Seattle Mariners team that was coached by current Diamondbacks skipper Bob Melvin. However, the Mariners finished a couple games out of first and didn’t make the cut.
Cirillo started this season with the Twins and was claimed off waivers on Aug. 3, playing in 26 games since coming to Arizona.
“I was just happy that the Diamondbacks claimed me,” Cirillo told mlb.com. “Even though I piggybacked to get in here, it’s still something that I can say; I at least made the playoffs.”
The Diamondbacks have reached their fourth postseason in 10 years of existence. They earned home-field advantage through the NL Championship Series in their first playoff berth in five years.
Cirillo is batting .249 (48 for 193) this season with 27 runs batted in, 24 runs scored and 13 doubles.