Diamondbacks experience disappointment, gratitude after World Series loss to Rangers
Nov 1, 2023, 11:09 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2023, 7:43 am
PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks closer Paul Sewald remained in the dugout for a few minutes watching the Texas Rangers dogpiled after winning the World Series at Chase Field on Wednesday.
Players do this all the time for many reasons after losing big games, and for Sewald, it was a way to digest what just happened.
“Kind of have to ease your way into processing that I think,” Sewald said after a 5-0 loss in Game 5. “Just disappointed that it wasn’t us celebrating but trying to reflect on the amazing 162 and an incredible ride here.”
Several Diamondbacks echoed the battling feelings of disappointment for the end of a run to the title — Arizona’s first pennant win since 2001 — but also gratitude for the experience in the clubhouse amid hugs and handshakes.
The D-backs made the postseason on Game 161 yet showed the poise and togetherness to upset the Brewers, Dodgers and Phillies en route to bring World Series baseball back to the Valley.
“You just never want it to stop, it’s like your favorite roller coaster that you never want to get off of,” teary-eyed manager Torey Lovullo said postgame. “We’re going to continue to climb that mountain. Once we get there, we want to stay there for a long time. But the reason why it hurts so bad is because we care so much. We care about this baseball community. We care about the fans of Arizona who bleed Sedona red with us.
“This is painful. This is just plain painful. And I can’t quite move past that right now. But I will. I told the guys to absorb it and process it the right way, don’t compartmentalize it, don’t put it away. Think about how you feel when you get to that point and we’ll get to that crossroads at some point and be able to say, ‘Wow, this was a great run.'”
“You just never want it to stop…”
🔊Listen to manager Torey Louvllo’s message to the Arizona Diamondbacks after their World Series loss to the Texas Rangers: pic.twitter.com/kKXk1VQuKa
— Arizona Sports (@AZSports) November 2, 2023
The Diamondbacks had opportunities in the World Series to swing the momentum, and Game 5’s deciding loss was defined by squandered moments.
Arizona went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position over the first six innings, a stretch over which starting pitcher Zac Gallen was throwing a no-hitter. The D-backs had a runner on third base with fewer than two outs twice. Instead of a crooked score, it was still 0-0.
Third baseman Evan Longoria said there will be some sleepless nights thinking about it. Chase Field once again was ready to explode and couldn’t quite get there.
“We’ve all been through that plenty of times where you go home and you think about what you could have done, what you could have looked for and what the desired result was in that situation,” Longoria said.
Gallen was perfect until a fifth-inning walk. He attacked the zone, efficiently cutting through a dangerous Rangers lineup with 72 pitches through six frames. Eventual World Series MVP Corey Seager singled the other way to lead off the seventh and end the no-hit bid.
Seager scored the Ranger’s first run of the game and — despite five clutch outs from reliever Kevin Ginkel — Texas broke out with four runs in the ninth inning against Sewald that sealed the series and secured the first title in franchise history.
“I would have rather given up 1,000 runs tonight and we still won the game” – Zac Gallen pic.twitter.com/XfPnlMVvkF
— Alex Weiner (@alexjweiner) November 2, 2023
Arizona’s first two losses in the series came by three total runs with an 11-inning loss in Game 1. The fourth installment was one-sided until late, while Wednesday’s final score didn’t indicate how tight and tense a ballgame it was throughout.
First baseman Christian Walker said it is motivating how close the D-backs came to winning a championship.
“Something I like about this group is that we don’t take things for granted,” Walker said. “We understand how difficult the season is and how hard it is to do what we just did. … We feel like we had a shot, we were right there. I think we can build off of that, that’s motivating heading into the offseason.”
Christian Walker on Torey Lovullo’s message after the game: pic.twitter.com/Dw0pNQzz9B
— Alex Weiner (@alexjweiner) November 2, 2023
“The undying belief that we were the team people said we weren’t, we rallied around that quite a bit,” Longoria said. “We’ve got a lot of good players in here. This organization has built a very good corps of young players that I think is exciting for the future.”
Gallen said he is already excited for the first day of spring training.
He won’t have to wait so long, as this will be a shorter offseason for the Diamondbacks than usual. The last time they played in November was back in 2001.
For now, as Lovullo said, it is time to hurt and remember the feeling with the goal of never experiencing the loss again.
The words “it sucks” and “it’s tough” came up a lot in postgame interviews.
The Diamondbacks had a historical run to be one of two teams remaining in the end, and now comes the time to figure out how to get one step further.