PHOENIX -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson doesn't want to leave any playoff possibility underanalyzed, and that means his National League Division Series roster likely won't be finalized until late.
Granted, Gibson may have no choice but to wait until Friday to make up his mind on his final roster because the NL Wild Card race may not be decided until Thursday night.
Gibson has said that one of the biggest factors in terms of his decisions will be who the D-backs play, and three different possibilities remain.
"Whether I know now or whether I know in 24 hours or 48 hours, it's just getting prepared to make proper decisions, to try and understand the information," Gibson said. "That's part of it. It's better than going home like a lot of the other guys in there."
Earlier this week, Gibson said Geoff Blum will be on the playoff roster, meaning if Gibson also chooses Sean Burroughs, as expected, there will be room for 11 pitchers. But he wouldn't commit to that number.
Gibson wouldn't blink at all in terms of his playoff roster strategy. Especially, he said, because he doesn't know whom the D-backs will play.
"I'm not trying to be elusive," Gibson said. "I'm just being honest with you. I don't have it figured out. I don't think there's a consensus at this point."
The D-backs will play either the Brewers, Phillies or Braves on Saturday and the series has the chance to open in any of three different cities -- including Phoenix and excluding Atlanta.
"We're going to take the time and try and think things out, because I might change my mind at this point," Gibson said. "We'll make decisions when we have to."
Gibson refusing to embrace underdog label
PHOENIX -- No one questions Kirk Gibson's motivational skills. His accomplishments in his first season as manager of the D-backs this year speak for themselves.
So before Wednesday's game, Gibson was asked whether he might use the underdog card as a motivational tool when he speaks with his team before the playoffs begin this weekend.
"Who says we're the underdog?" Gibson replied, sharply. "I don't think we feel we are. That's the most important thing. I told you guys yesterday, nobody knows who's going to win."
In March, almost nobody but Gibson thought Arizona would be still alive at this point -- let alone playing Wednesday for home field in the first round. As a result of their surprising season, the D-backs haven't received much publicity from the mainstream media in terms of their playoff chances.
While Gibson doesn't see his squad as an underdog, he noted that Arizona is, indeed, being overlooked. He's fine with that.
"There's an advantage to being off the radar, too. I could argue that," he said. "We just go about our business. We don't need credit from people with their comments. We just need to validate ourselves through our performance. If we do, they won't have a choice but to give us the credit."
Throughout his pregame interview, Gibson noted how he has seen the playoffs generally play out over time: rarely according to plan. He summed up the possibilities with three words: "Crazy things happen."
Parker reflects on 'fun' Major League debut
PHOENIX -- Lost in the mayhem of Tuesday's miraculous come-from-behind win was a very solid debut from highly touted prospect Jarrod Parker.
The rookie righty flew under the radar with his 5 2/3 shutout innings during which he allowed just four hits to the Dodgers. He was sharp and seemed poised on the mound throughout the game, which the D-backs eventually won on a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning.
"I tried to stay as calm as I could and just compete. I had to focus in on each pitch," Parker said before breaking out into a smile. "It was fun, too."
Parker noted how much he enjoyed kicking off his big league career with a meaningful September game, as the D-backs are fighting for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The ending wasn't so bad either, he said, adding that from start to finish, with about 15 of his friends and family in town, the entire day was special.
His catcher, Miguel Montero, thinks Parker might have a few more of those days.
"I'm impressed with his body language," Montero said. "He's got good enough stuff to pitch in the big leagues a long time, and the body language -- for the debut -- he looks like he's been at this stage before."
Montero said he was impressed with Parker's ability to throw strikes -- he only walked one batter -- and his ability to use his offspeed stuff to keep hitters off balance after setting them up with a mid-90s fastball.
But Montero was far more impressed with Parker's approach than his physical gifts. He noticed some nerves before the game, but none when Parker was on the hill.
To Parker, who had to battle back from Tommy John surgery in 2009, Tuesday was the finish line in his recovery and the start of something new.
"It's kind of like a reward," he said. "It's the end of everything that I've gone through, so definitely, it was a good way to finish [the recovery] out."
AJ Cassavell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.