Diamondbacks’ Brandon Pfaadt gets Game 3 nod in NLCS vs. Phillies

Oct 17, 2023, 2:33 PM

Brandon Pfaadt...

Brandon Pfaadt #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks walks across the field in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game 3 of the Division Series at Chase Field on October 11, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo committed to rookie Brandon Pfaadt starting Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday at Chase Field.

Lovullo announced Pfaadt as his starter on Tuesday ahead of Game 2.

Pfaadt will make his third postseason appearance after shutting out the Los Angeles Dodgers through 4.1 innings in Game 3 of the division series, when Arizona completed the sweep.

Lovullo spoke highly of Pfaadt’s performance against L.A.

“I like so much about his last outing. It was 42 pitches … commanding the baseball. He is a little bit like Merrill (Kelly). He can walk the baseball around the zone with different shape, speeds and spin rate.

“I feel like being able to do that against a very rugged Phillies lineup where you can’t be predictable in one spot with one pitch because they will hurt you, I think Brandon being able to change speeds and work the ball around.”

Lovullo has not announced a Game 4 starter yet.

Arizona dropped the series opener 5-3 on Monday, its first loss of the postseason. The D-backs bet on their top-end starters to win games in Philadelphia, but the Phillies tagged Zac Gallen with five runs in Game 1.

“You have a couple of thoughts in mind as you go into a series. Split, get home, see what you can do, create a little bit of distance between you and your opponent,” Lovullo said. “There is importance to this game. I think if we can come into their building and split — and that’s all we can do right now, we can’t go backwards — I think it would give us a really good push start for the next three at home.”

Phillies southpaw Ranger Suarez is in line to start Game 3. Suarez has thrown 8.2 innings with one earned run this postseason.

Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson also has not announced his Game 4 starter. He said regular season starters Taijuan Walker and Cristopher Sanchez will be available as relievers in Games 2 and 3.

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