Diamondbacks are World Series-bound with NLCS Game 7 win over Phillies
Oct 24, 2023, 8:23 PM | Updated: Oct 25, 2023, 7:59 am
The 84-win Arizona Diamondbacks, improbably, are headed to the World Series to face the Texas Rangers after taking Game 7 of the NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-2, on Tuesday.
For teams that played a full MLB season, those 84 wins are the third-fewest regular-season victories recorded by a team to make the World Series in the expansion era (1961 onward).
Arizona returns to the World Series for the second time in franchise history, with its last appearance in 2001 ending with the Valley’s only major professional sports championship.
To have a chance at making it No. 2 for the state of Arizona, the D-backs had to win their second of two franchise Game 7s, the last one coming in that very World Series against the New York Yankees, which ended with Luis Gonzalez’s memorable walk-off RBI.
On Tuesday, it took a historic performance from the team’s best player to do that.
Corbin Carroll recorded three hits, two steals, two runs and two RBIs against the Phillies, turning in a massive playoff performance when the Diamondbacks needed him most. It was the first time in MLB history a player recorded at least three hits and two steals in a Game 7.
He got help from fellow rookie Brandon Pfaadt, who went 4.0 innings as the starting pitcher. The right-hander struck out seven and allowed two earned runs and four hits.
His 22 strikeouts over three playoff appearances and just 16.2 frames already ranked third in team history behind Curt Schilling (63) and Randy Johnson (62), who were on the World Series-winning team in 2001.
Philadelphia attacked Pfaadt with aggression on Tuesday, swinging and making contact on first pitches.
The Phillies’ Alec Bohm got Pfaadt with a solo home run in the second inning that evened the score at 1-1, just after Christian Walker grounded into a force-out to score Carroll in the top of the first frame.
In the fourth, Philadelphia’s Bryson Stott doubled off Pfaadt to score Bohm, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead.
Carroll answered immediately with a single to score Emmanuel Rivera in the fifth, and D-backs catcher Gabriel Moreno singled to score Carroll from second to make the outfielder’s second steal of the night pay off. Moreno, another rookie, had two hits and an RBI in Game 7.
With that and a 3-2 Arizona lead, a Carroll sacrifice fly scoring Geraldo Perdomo in the seventh gave the Diamondbacks a 4-2 buffer.
Arizona’s bullpen remains superb. Joe Mantiply, Ryan Thompson, Andrew Saalfrank, Kevin Ginkel and Paul Sewald combined to back up Pfaadt with a combined four strikeouts and one hit allowed in the final 5.0 innings.