Two years ago, the Arizona Diamondbacks lost 110 games – even this season, they weren’t even supposed to be a postseason contender in spring training.
Now, they’re World Series bound.
The Diamondbacks won the National League pennant on Tuesday night with their Game 7 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The snakes got on the board first with back-to-back singles and then a groundout that drove in a run, but the Phillies answered with Alec Bohm’s solo homer in the second. Philadelphia took the lead on a Bryson Stott double in the fourth, but Arizona put up two in the fifth – likely Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll singled in a run, and after quickly stealing second, he scored on a Gabriel Moreno single. Carroll drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Philadelphia put the lead run at the plate in the bottom half of the seventh after back-to-back one-out walks, which made the D-Backs go to their set-up man in Kevin Ginkel, their fifth pitcher of the night, a tick earlier than they’d hoped. It worked out, as Trea Turner and Bryce Harper both flied out to center to end the threat. Ginkel then struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth.
Paul Sewald came on for the save, and retired the side in order to send the Diamondbacks to the World Series.
Carroll had three hits, while Moreno, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Gerlado Perdomo each had two in the win.
For the Phillies, Turner finished the series 0 for his last 14, while Nick Castellanos was 0 for his last 23. Harper went 0-for-7 in Games 6 and 7 combined.
Rookie Brandon Pfaadt gave Arizona just 4.0 innings as the starter, striking out seven in the process, but the bullpen combined for five innings of scoreless, one-hit ball.
Ketel Marte’s double in the seventh set an MLB record – Marte has a hit in all 16 of his postseason games played, making it the longest hitting streak to start a postseason career ever. He’s one game shy of tying the all-time record of 17-straight games with a hit, shared by Manny Ramirez, Derek Jeter, and Hank Bauer.
It’s the Diamondbacks first trip to the Fall Classic since they won it in 2001 in seven games over the New York Yankees, who had won the previous three in a row.
Arizona had lost the first two games of the series in Citizens Bank Park, but won the next two on their own home turf. After losing Game 5 in Phoenix, though, they knew they had a tall mountain to climb in facing elimination in maybe the most hostile environment in the big leagues. Apparently, it was no match.
The Diamondbacks will now face the Texas Rangers in the World Series, who, too, won Games 6 and 7 on the road to clinch their spot into the final round. It’s the first time in MLB history that both teams in the Fall Classic won Games 6 and 7 as the away team.
Now, Arizona will try to keep up their road momentum, as Game 1 is Friday night in Arlington.