ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

‘That’s our pool’: Diamondbacks heard David Peralta, shift Dodgers’ Chase Field narrative

Oct 12, 2023, 9:25 AM | Updated: Oct 13, 2023, 8:14 am

Long-time Arizona Diamondbacks fans remember the great offense of 2013, when the Los Angeles Dodgers lept into the Chase Field pool after clinching the NL West title.

It provoked a reply from CEO and president Derrick Hall.

Late Arizona Sen. John McCain tweeted about it.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was on that 2013 team. A decade later, he was shelled and lasted 0.1 innings in Game 1 to set the tone for Arizona’s NLDS sweep of Los Angeles that ended Wednesday night with the D-backs leaping into their own pool with an NLCS appearance clinched.

Kershaw and Hall are among the few direct connections still on the respective teams in 2023, but for the Valley’s youngest pro franchise, there are enough links here to see the foundations of a history that, like a tree, is adding rings to its depth.

And you don’t need to be a dendrochronologist to feel it. Arizona players relatively new to the one-way rivalry felt the gravity of Wednesday.

“I think it’s an understatement to say we were counted out, especially in this series for sure,” Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen told reporters at Chase Field after his team advanced. “Obviously, it’s no secret we’ve had our battles with them, our struggles.

“This one tastes a little sweeter. Especially (because) I heard some comments that this was going to be a home game for them. That’s our pool.”

Gallen was referring to a Los Angeles Times article published this week that quoted several D-backs-turned-Dodgers: free agent A.J. Pollock and current Dodger David Peralta, the latter of whom left as a beloved face of the franchise.

“Every time the Dodgers would come in there to play against us, it was blue,” Peralta said. “We got excited because the stadium was packed, but it was all Dodgers fans.

“We’re going to feel,” he said, “like we’re going to play at home.”

Fair is fair. There are reasons fanbases in both Phoenix and Los Angeles discussed the mix of Sedona red versus blue heading into Game 3, the Diamondbacks’ first home game of their postseason run: demographics, Phoenix being a top city for new residents, yada, yada.

The Dodgers have won a lot at Chase Field. They’ve just won against the D-backs period.

From the shortened pandemic season in 2020 through this year, Arizona is 15-46 (.246) overall against Los Angeles and 10-22 (.313) at Chase Field.

The D-backs felt they beat a really good team, not one that Dodgers fans have become accustomed to watching wilt in the playoffs.

Hall spent 12 seasons with the Dodgers before joining the Diamondbacks. He didn’t get petty about the pool situation, but he did admit the victory had something extra to it.

“I don’t think (it feels different) just because it’s us and you got a division rival. Anyone who can beat the Dodgers in the playoffs is a huge accomplishment,” the team president and CEO told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Thursday morning. “They’re tough. We said it — if you’re going to go anywhere in the playoffs, if you’re going to go anywhere in the postseason, you’ve got to go through them. They’ve earned that.

“I mean, they have dominated so many of us, especially in the division. I think that makes it even more accomplished of a feeling, especially for me with my history. We’ve now been to … three NLCS’s (as a franchise). I’ve been to two of them now. This one feels different.”

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‘That’s our pool’: Diamondbacks heard David Peralta, shift Dodgers’ Chase Field narrative