Diamondbacks’ Corbin Carroll off to historic postseason start: ‘This is where I want to be’
Oct 11, 2023, 3:34 PM | Updated: 4:46 pm
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PHOENIX — Corbin Carroll is having a good time.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a 4-0 start in the postseason, and Carroll said Saturday’s 11-2 National League Division Series Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers was one of the most fun games he’s played in.
A typical 23-year-old playing in front of a loud Dodger Stadium crowd against future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw may have butterflies. Carroll remained composed like any other night, and he had an RBI single and home run within the first two innings.
“I’d say adrenaline-wise, it’s probably felt about the same as the regular season, maybe a tiny bit more,” Carroll said on Tuesday. “For whatever reason I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten too amped up.”
Carroll’s level of postseason production to this point has been rare. Through four games, Carroll was 7-for-14 with five walks, one of which was intentional.
He had three multi-hit games to start his postseason career and went 1-for-2 with three walks in Monday’s 4-2 victory over the Dodgers to take a 2-0 NLDS lead.
Carroll and Texas Rangers outfielder Evan Carter this year became the first rookies to reach base safely 12 times in their first four playoff games. Only Hall of Famers Edgar Martinez (15) and Frank Thomas (14) reached base more in their first four postseason contests, according to Sarah Langs.
Corbin Carroll, you are not from this world. pic.twitter.com/XWYx8T9TUp
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) October 8, 2023
“He’s been doing it all year, getting on base all the time, stealing bases and doing whatever you can to help the team,” outfielder Alek Thomas said on Monday. “Him being on base is like automatic, almost.”
Carroll is also the first rookie since former Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew (2007) with at least six hits and multiple home runs over his first three postseason games.
He’s scored a run in all four games, and if you want to get really deep into the weeds:
Corbin Carroll in 4 postseason games for the @Dbacks:
7 hits, 6 runs, 5 walks, 4 RBI, 4 team wins, 3 XBH, 2 HR
Only one other player in MLB history has reached all of those numbers over any 4-game span in the postseason: Lou Gehrig (1928-32). pic.twitter.com/oTwcP0Vxjm
— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) October 10, 2023
“Maybe he’s spoiled me to the level where I come to expect it,” manager Torey Lovullo said on Tuesday. “But now that he’s on a huge stage — there’s four teams remaining in the National League and we’re one of them — I think he goes back to all that preparation.
“I think he’s so mentally strong that he doesn’t allow himself to get outside of what he wants to do. He was nicknamed ‘The Machine’ by our farm director, Josh Barfield. I think that should tell you where his mindset is every single day.”
Lovullo compared Carroll’s ability to maximize himself to that of Dodgers star Mookie Betts, whom Lovullo coached with the Boston Red Sox.
Carroll attributed preparation, keeping his routine consistent and taking care of his sleep and nutrition for him playing freely.
He smiled and said public speaking is more adrenaline pumping than playing in front of 50,000 screaming fans.
— MLB (@MLB) October 4, 2023
Carroll maintained that the D-backs are involved in the most exciting baseball of the year, so why would his mind wander from the task at hand?
“This is where I want to be. This is what I’ve worked for,” Carroll said. “This is what this team has worked for. And just trying to enjoy it for what it is and take it a day at a time. Winning in the postseason, what’s cooler than that?”
The Diamondbacks’ young corps has elevated this postseason.
Carroll, Thomas and catcher Gabriel Moreno are the three youngest Diamondbacks players to homer in the playoffs at 23 years old.
Left-handed reliever Andrew Saalfrank has been counted on to record outs in high pressure situations as a rookie.
But Carroll specifically has been involved every time the D-backs put up a crooked number this postseason. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed before Game 1 that the D-backs “go with him.”
Arizona starting 4-0 in the playoffs has involved a near full team effort from starting pitching to defense to bullpen to timely rallies.
But nobody in the postseason entering Tuesday had more than Carroll’s 14 total bases, as he and Houston’s Yordan Alvarez (four home runs in three games) have been perhaps the most impactful bats in October.
Carroll will get his first taste of a home playoff game on Wednesday at Chase Field in front of a sellout crowd.
First pitch against the Dodgers is set for 6:07 p.m. on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app.