For the first time since 2007, Arizona Diamondbacks fans are settling in to watch their team in the NLCS.
Monday marks just the third time in franchise history that the D-Backs have made it this deep into October, but everything about the team suggests that they're not going to slow down anytime soon. A tall order lies ahead, with the red hot Philadelphia Phillies standing in their way, but the Diamondbacks bring one of the best lineups in the postseason with them to Philly.
Corbin Carroll is a superstar on the rise, and the closest thing to a lock for NL Rookie of the Year. He's been a driving force behing the Diamondbacks run, which predates the ride they're on in October. Arizona was on the outside of the playoff picture when September began, but fought back to claim the final Wild Card spot in the last few days of the season.
Rather than be a quick out as a team that snuck in, the D-Backs rolled through the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers, and have yet to lose a game this October.
That will likely change in the NLCS, but Arizona has proven to be up to the task of not only hanging with the Phillies but having a real chance of pulling off the upset.
Arizona Diamondbacks lineup for NLCS Game 3 (October 16, 2023)
In addition to the excellent play on offense, the Diamondbacks count pitching as one of their key strengths. Carroll is likely winning Rookie of the Year, but he'll be joined in the fun by Zac Gallen who looks to be the NL Cy Young favorite.
Gallen has been a brute force on the mound, dominating everyone he's gone up against this year. He'll get the ball in Game 1 and gives Arizona a real chance to stifle the Phillies lineup. It won't be easy, but at the very least baseball fans who might not have watched much of the D-Backs will get a wonderful introduction to them through Gallen.
Here's the rest of the lineup that Torey Lovullo is rolling with in Game 1 on Monday night:
Lourdes Gurriel Jr