Snakes alive! D-backs thrilling win over Phillies is a dose of redemption
Oct 19, 2023, 6:29 PM | Updated: Oct 20, 2023, 7:40 am
Their fans showed up in force. Their rookie pitcher showed up with force. And before a playoff matinee had ended, the Diamondbacks found something very important:
They found one more run than the Phillies.
Snakes alive.The Diamondbacks eked out a 2-1 triumph in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series before a sellout crowd Thursday at Chase Field. It was a testament to their mettle, their pitching staff, and their October resiliency.
“Our team is awesome,” starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt said. “We don’t stop fighting. That was a big win for us to get the momentum on our side, and we’re going to keep going after it.”
The stars were Pfaadt and Ketel Marte. The Diamondbacks rookie suffocated an offense that had been posting historic numbers during its postseason demolition. Meanwhile, Marte was moved to the top of the lineup and continued his torrid hitting, lacing a game-winning hit that rescued an offense that is still AWOL and on the back of a milk carton.
It was a tense, thrilling game. It was old-school baseball at its finest. And it filled the winners with a sense of new life.
“Brandon was unbelievable,” Diamondbacks Manager Torey Lovullo said. “Brandon threw the baseball as good as you could’ve possibly hoped or imagined.”
No matter where this journey ends, the 2023 postseason will be a major triumph for these Diamondbacks. They pulled off a deeply satisfying sweep of the Dodgers. They gained a measure of redemption on Thursday after their dreadful performance in Game 2. And they have identified another top-line starting pitcher in Pfaadt, who has been spectacular in a pair of playoff starts.
Pfaadt struck out nine Phillies, allowing just two hits and walking none. He was so good that the Chase Field crowd loudly booed Lovullo when he emerged from the dugout with two outs in the fifth inning, unwilling to expose Pfaadt to a third trip through the Phillies’ powerful lineup.
Lovullo was ready for the reaction. He even admitted to asking himself a very personal question in the dugout:
“Am I an idiot?” Lovullo said.
“Yeah, I’m sure I was the most unpopular guy in the city of Phoenix, in the downtown area, maybe the state of Arizona. But I want everybody to know that is trying to think along with me: I have a strategy for everything that is done,” he said.
Pfaadt left to a standing ovation, becoming the first pitcher in postseason history with zero runs and zero walks in successive starts. His mission was to make the Phillies chase and miss, which he did regularly with a sizzling, dancing high fastball. His playoff success under tremendous pressure will only propel him moving forward.
After the game, Lovullo seemed a bit surprised by the barrage of questions regarding his clarity and dugout sanity. After all, his bullpen was mostly stellar. His bullpen strategy has remained consistent throughout the postseason, and ultimately, his strategy worked in Game 3. This much is certain:
If the Diamondbacks win another game on Friday night, this series will reach a fever pitch. And no one will question the manager about anything.
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