Arizona Diamondbacks' pitching backs solid bats and forces a Game 7

The Arizona Diamondbacks' strong pitching performance in Game 6 backed their solid hitting, focing a game 7 of the NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly (29) reacts after striking out Philadelphia
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly (29) reacts after striking out Philadelphia / Joe Rondone/Arizona Republic / USA TODAY

The Arizona Diamondbacks will live to fight another day. A great pitching performance backed by some solid hitting led the way in Game 6 of the National League Championship series against the Philadelphia Phillies. 

The Diamondbacks’ pitching twirled up a gem. Merrill Kelly started the game, and tossed five innings, allowing just one run to score, and struck out eight. Ryan Thompson, Andrew Saalfrank, Kevin Ginkel, and Paul Sewald combined four scoreless innings, allowed just three base runners on two hits, and struck out two. Sewald was responsible for the two K's in the 9th inning, and securing victory.

The Diamondbacks opened the scoring by tagging Aaron Nola for three runs in the second inning. Tommy Pham led off the inning with a solo shot, then Gurriel Jr. went back-to-back with a solo homer of his own. Center fielder Alek Thomas then drew a walk, and was driven in on an Evan Longoria double. The D-Backs didn’t score during the rest of the inning, but they tagged on a fourth run in the top of the 5th. Corbin Carroll hit a one-out triple, then Ketel Marte followed him up with a triple.

The Diamondbacks scored one more time in the top of the 7th inning. Geraldo Perdomo opened the inning with a leadoff single off of Orion Kerkering, then swiped second base during a Carroll strikeout. Marte drove in the 5th and final run of the game, and racked his second RBI of the day by singling home Perdomo.

The lone run the Diamondbacks allowed was in the bottom of the second inning. J.T. Realmuto led off with a double. Brandon Marsh then smacked a one out single to score Realmuto, but that was all the damage the Phillies were able to muster against the Arizona pitching staff.

The Diamondbacks have now forced a do-or-die Game 7. The Phillies have yet to announce who will take the mound in the final game of the Championship Series, but the Diamondbacks will trot out rookie Brandon Pfaadt in what will be the most pivotal game of his young career thus far. Pfaadt will look to continue his Postseason dominance, has he’s struck out 15 batters, allowed just a single walk, and three earned runs in 12.2 Postseason innings thus far.