Arizona Diamondbacks sweep Los Angeles Dodgers, advance to NLCS
Oct 11, 2023, 8:58 PM | Updated: Oct 12, 2023, 3:00 pm
(Felisa Cardenas/Arizona Sports)
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 in Game 3 of the NLDS on Wednesday at Chase Field and have swept them to advance to the National League Championship Series.
Statistically, it’s one of the biggest upsets in postseason history.
The D-Backs won 16 fewer games than the Dodgers, so this would be the sixth-biggest playoff upset ever.
— 1906 WS: CHW (-23) def CHC
— 2022 NLDS: SD (-22) def LAD
— 2001 ALCS: NYY (-22) def SEA
— 2021 NLCS: ATL (-18) def LAD
— 1973 NLCS: NYM (-17) def CIN
— 2023 NLDS: ARI (-16)…
— Kendall Baker (@kendallbaker) October 12, 2023
Arizona handily took care of the Dodgers in the series opener 11-2 before a 4-2 victory in Game 2.
Wednesday’s Game 3 began with mostly an uneventful pitcher’s duel through two-and-a-half innings. But then it got eventful, fast.
Arizona clobbered four solo home runs in the third inning, all off of Dodgers starter Lance Lynn. D-backs shortstop Geraldo Perdomo, second baseman Ketel Marte, first baseman Christian Walker and catcher Gabriel Moreno all sent one into the seats.
Moreno, in fact, did it twice in two straight swings. The first one was initially ruled a dinger before a review corrected it to a foul ball. Moreno smashed the next pitch he saw to left field. He later left the game in the fifth inning after taking a foul tip to his right hand. Moreno was replaced by Jose Herrera.
Arizona rookie starter Brandon Pfaadt was tremendous, going 4.1 innings of scoreless ball while giving up just two hits and zero walks. D-backs manager Torey Lovullo elected to pull Pfaadt in the fifth despite the right-hander throwing only 42 pitches. Arizona used a similar approach for Pfaadt’s start in the prior round against Milwaukee, although Pfaadt was far less sharp.
Lovullo’s gamble paid off, with Joe Mantiply and Ryan Thompson keeping the Dodgers without a run through six innings.
Thompson ran into trouble in the seventh inning, with four Dodgers singles resulting in a pair of L.A. runs. Lefty Andrew Saalfrank escaped the jam, facing his one batter before setup man Kevin Ginkel took over in the eighth.
Nerves got high for D-backs fans when Ginkel walked the leadoff hitter, the man in the nine hole behind superstars Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. But Betts and Freeman were both sent back to the dugout to continue their massive struggles.
Closer Paul Sewald wrapped up the ninth to close out the proceedings and begin the celebration.
Arizona will face the winner of the other NLDS series between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. A six-run third inning by the Phillies in Game 3 on Wednesday fueled them to a win at home and a 2-1 series edge. Game 4 will be on Thursday, and if Atlanta were to force a fifth and final game, that would take place on Saturday.
Both teams are a higher seed than the D-backs, so the winner will host Game 1 of the NLCS.
The D-backs move on to the NLCS for just the third time in franchise history. It’s the first appearance since 2007, when Arizona was swept 4-0 by the Colorado Rockies, who went on to get swept themselves by the Boston Red Sox.
The first NLCS the D-backs played in, of course, was rather successful. A 4-1 series win over the Braves that led to winning the World Series in seven games against the New York Yankees.