The baseball season in the desert has been a disappointment. Despite on the game's best sluggers in Paul Goldschmidt playing first base, and playing in a division where the first-place was no-hit twice in 10 days and that no one seems to want to pull away, the Arizona Diamondbacks are locked in a battle with the San Diego Padres -- for third place in the NL West.

Sitting 13.5 games out in the division race, and 14 in the wild-card chase, the Diamondbacks don't seem to be going anywhere this October other than the golf course.

But that didn't stop crafty baseball mind Tony La Russa pulling out a new stop on Monday.

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The current chief baseball officer of the D-backs, La Russa was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 2014 on a resume that includes three World Series titles, four Manager of the Year awards and credit as being one of the innovators of batting the pitcher eighth.

So on Labor Day, La Russa pulled another trick out of his magic bag … he handed the ball to Internet sensation Grumpy Cat.

OK, it was only the ceremonial first pitch, but look at the video above (or check it out here) and try to deny the cuteness.

What's more, the trick worked. Starting pitcher Patrick Corbin pitched six scoreless innings as the Diamondbacks ended a four-game losing streak with a 6-1 win over the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

And, speaking of cute, check out these photos below: