Carroll, Marte hit back-to-back HRs; Diamondbacks bullpen helps take Game 1 from Brewers

Oct 3, 2023, 5:23 PM | Updated: Oct 4, 2023, 8:43 am

Milwaukee Brewers starter Corbin Burnes appeared to have his stuff working early against the Arizona Diamondbacks. And as D-backs rookie Brandon Pfaadt trudged through hot-and-cold moments that helped Milwaukee take a 3-0 lead through two frames in Game 1 of their NL Wild Card series, it wasn’t the best collection of signs for Arizona.

Until Corbin Carroll’s body language after slugging an 88 mph changeup assured his team things wouldn’t spiral so easily.

With Geraldo Perdomo on base via a single, Carroll caught a hanging pitch and sent it 444 feet, a turning point as Arizona scored six unanswered to win 6-3 and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

It was a three-homer night for the D-backs and an offensive resurgence after they limped to the regular season finish-line with three total runs over their final four games. Game 1 was also a flex by the Arizona bullpen.

The Arizona relievers’ final combined tally was 6.1 innings, five hits, seven strikeouts, three walks and no earned runs. It was a franchise record for innings pitched in a postseason win, per MLB Stats.

But back to the turning point: Carroll’s reaction to his homer — with no urgency to run the bases — said enough about how he barreled the pitch.

The next pitch, a 95 mph cutter in the zone to Ketel Marte, was sent the other way to tie the game at 3-0. Burnes got out of the inning cleanly the rest of the way, but suddenly he was in the same boat as Pfaadt, who was making his first playoff appearance.

Pfaadt began the first inning by walking Christian Yelich and then allowing a single each to William Contreras and Carlos Santana, the latter of which scored Yelich. But the D-backs rookie locked in on the third, fourth and fifth batters, striking out Mark Canha, Sal Frelick and Willy Adames consecutively and on four pitches apiece.

The success was brief. Josh Donaldson singled to begin the second frame, and Tyrone Taylor homered with one out by catching one of Pfaadt’s fastballs to put Milwaukee up 3-0 before Arizona answered two innings later.

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo pulled Pfaadt for reliever Joe Mantiply after the third inning. The rookie threw 67 pitches (46 strikes) with seven hits, three earned runs and four strikeouts in his postseason debut.

Catcher Gabriel Moreno in the top of the fourth gave Arizona its first lead, 4-3, with a third homer off Burnes, this time via a slider.

Burnes’ day came to an end there after 4.0 innings (92 pitches) with four earned runs, five hits, three homers, two walks and five strikeouts.

The D-backs would hang by burning through their bullpen, getting out of a no-outs, bases-loaded situation in the fifth inning thanks to a double-play by third baseman Evan Longoria and a surprise two innings of relief from Kevin Ginkel, who pitched the seventh and eighth frames.

Ginkel accounted for four of the 11 strikeouts. He induced a double-play and in the eighth used 13 pitches, 10 of them strikes, to strike out the side.

Christian Walker’s patient at-bat leading to a hard-hit double to center in the top of the ninth with runners on second and third gave Arizona a 6-3 buffer.

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Carroll, Marte hit back-to-back HRs; Diamondbacks bullpen helps take Game 1 from Brewers