Rapid Reactions: Diamondbacks thoroughly defeat, sweep Dodgers
Oct 11, 2023, 11:35 PM | Updated: Oct 12, 2023, 7:51 am
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks have popped bottles and cannonballs after sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A series result that was an upset was also rather one sided. Arizona flat-out dominated the NL West champs.
Arizona Sports’ hosts and editors react.
Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo: Nothing is worse than having an itch you can’t scratch. Until you scratch it. Games become months. Months become seasons. And before you know it you feel like Dodger dominance is some kind of birth right. As if beating them is a literal impossibility.
And then one day they do.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been to the true mountaintop but that was a long time ago. And while there have been moments, that sense of satisfaction – of a job well done – has mostly eluded this franchise. But not tonight.
Try picking a favorite moment from this series. Was it chasing Clayton Kershaw before Game 1 was ten minutes old? Zac Gallen’s primal scream in Game 2? The inexplicable sight of four home runs in one inning? Gabriel Moreno’s do-over long ball? The stunning lack of Dodger blue in a sea of Sedona Red? The continued dominance of a re-invented bullpen?
Or is it just the joy of beating…them.
Maybe it didn’t matter how it happened and what mile markers were passed on the way. I’m having a hard time deciding what I enjoyed more, the journey or the destination. That’s the L.A. Dodgers the D-backs just sent home; one mother of a demon that just got exorcised.
What happens from here I couldn’t tell you. But this series will live on in D-backs lore for a long long time. Like a folded page in your favorite book, or the best scene in your favorite movie, you’ll go back to it time and time again.
And it will make you smile every time.
Alex Weiner, ArizonaSports.com editor and D-backs beat writer: The Diamondbacks out-pitched and out-hit the Dodgers in one of their most complete three-game stretches all season. Corbin Carroll said after the game he felt they are playing their best baseball right now, and that is hard to argue.
Five straight wins to open the postseason on a run many outside Arizona never considered. Wednesday was more of that, as Brandon Pfaadt stepped up to quite a challenge against a Dodgers lineup that got the better of him in August. Pfaadt settled in and gave Arizona 4.1 scoreless innings before the bullpen continued its excellence in holding leads.
Slug once against pushed the D-backs over the edge offensively with four home runs in six at-bats. At the end of the day, the D-backs’ starters gave them 16 innings of two-run ball while L.A’s recorded a total of nine outs. Dodgers stars Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman were non-factors while Arizona had production up and down the lineup.
The young D-backs were unfazed by the spotlight and their accomplished division foes, and they deserved a bid to compete for the pennant.
Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta: There are certain victories for Valley teams that just feel better than others. When the Suns beat the Lakers, it’s a good day. When the Cardinals beat the Cowboys, same thing. ASU over USC? Beautiful.
The idea of the D-backs beating the Dodgers is delicious. For the past five years or so, it’s mostly been only an idea. That’s one of the things that makes their 4-2 Game 3 win and series sweep so satisfying. Recently, the Dodgers have been the hammer, the D-backs the nail. That got reversed in a big way over three days.
The Diamondbacks looked like the big, bad wolf of the N.L. West. Their starting pitching was superior. Their bullpen ran circles around L.A.’s. Their offense completely outplayed the Dodgers’. It was utter domination in every facet.
People will talk about the four-homer third inning forever in this town, and for good reason. But let’s talk about Brandon Pfaadt’s performance. The rookie came up big. I actually thought Torey Lovullo gave him a quick hook and that might come back to haunt Arizona. It didn’t. Lovullo, like many of his players, is on a hot streak right now.
Everyone in the country (outside Arizona) is still talking about the Diamondbacks’ only winning 84 games. The team itself has moved on from that fact and is having fun playing baseball. It’s been fun to watch and makes this connected team a dangerous one moving into the NLCS.
Steve Zinsmeister, co-host of The Ain’t No Fang Podcast: Beating the Dodgers is sweet. Sweeping them in the playoffs is sweeter. Doing it in front of 50,000 screaming fans at Chase Field is priceless!
This postseason has been all about exorcising demons from the past. The Diamondbacks swept the Brewers, who eliminated them back in 2011 (Thanks a lot, Ryan Braun!). Then Arizona swept the Dodgers, who knocked them out in 2017.
I’m tired of underestimating this team. I’ve been guilty of seeing the D-backs for their weaknesses. I’m done with that. I’m choosing to look at the NLCS through a different lens. Arizona has two legitimate aces, a newfound lockdown bullpen, and the hottest bats in baseball. I don’t know which opponent looms ahead but they should be sweating the dominant Diamondbacks!
Mitch Vareldzis, producer of Burns & Gambo: There are two stats from tonight that still make me say ‘wow’ every time I read them.
THE DBACKS ARE THE FIRST TEAM WITH 4 HR IN AN INNING IN POSTSEASON HISTORY
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 12, 2023
And number two:
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
If you haven’t “Embraced the Chaos” now? I’m not sure what more you want to see.
P.S. I hope Gabi is ok.
Kellan Olson, ArizonaSports.com editor: There are certain ways to digest upsets but for me this was such an emphatic, complete brand of baseball played by the D-backs that it didn’t even feel like one. And to go a step further, no one is beating this team if they keep playing like this throughout the rest of the postseason.
Forget about the offense for a second! How can you not feel that way with how this team pitches and defends? And you know what, any concern of inexperience hurting Arizona, much like the 2021 Phoenix Suns NBA Finals team, is immediately thrown aside now after how handily the D-backs took care of the Dodgers.
In the building, this was an incredible night. The third inning was a party. The peak was Gabriel Moreno’s two homers in two swings, making up for the first one later being deemed foul after a replay review. He’s getting very good at bat flips, and this one was particularly awesome because Moreno was halfway up the first base line, breaking quickly out of the box in case the ball was in play (so he didn’t make that mistake again like his groundout earlier in the game). The last couple of months have been this certification process for Moreno as one of the most important players for this team now and in the next 5-10 years. That was his emphatic stamp.
Feeling very lucky to have been in the house for all of it.