The Arizona Diamondbacks came back to their home ballpark looking for redemption. After losing the first two games of the National League Championship in Philadelphia, the D-Backs returned West and delivered an entertaining game with an outstanding ending.
The Arizona Diamondbacks took a close game three of the National League Chasmpionship Seires in thrilling fashion from the Phillies.
Game 3 started off with a pitcher's duel. Brandon Pfaadt turned in what may have been his best start of 2023. Pfaadt pitched 5.2 scoreless innings, with only two batters reaching via base hits. That includes a first-inning single by Trea Turner and a Brandon Marsh double in the third inning. Marsh also struck out nine batters, which is a single-game best for Pfaadt thus far in his young Major League career. However, Louvullo's decision to pull Pfaadt was a questionable one. The young right-hander only had 69 pitches on the day, but luckily, the decision worked out in the end.
However, lefty Ranger Suarez was able to match Pfaadt pound for pound. He pitched 5.1 innings, allowing two base hits and walking one. Suarez struck out seven D-Backs. Arizona did not get their first hit of the game until Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled in the second inning. Ketel Marte got a double in the 3rd inning and another two-bagger in the 6th. However, that was the extent of the damage they were able to manage off of Suarez.
The 7th inning had some action to it. Andrew Saalfrank opened the inning but issued a walk to Bryce Harper. Right-hander Ryan Thompson then took the rock, allowing a single to Alec Bohm. The Snakes got a big break, getting the red-hot Bryson Stott to ground into a double play. Now with a runner on third, all-star catcher J.T. Realmuto came up to the plate and, in a 0-1 count, watched a pitch go to the backstop, scoring the game's first run. Thompson was able to escape the inning without allowing any further damage, getting Realmuto to strike out.
The D-Backs tied it up in the 7th inning, and despite threatening to score more, only were able to get one to cross the plate. Orion Kerkering took the mound in the 7th for the Phils. Tommy Pham, the first batter Hoffman faced, smacked a single to center field. Alek Thomas then replaced Pham on the basepaths. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. then came up and hit a double, which scored Thomas.
Pavin Smith then came in to pinch hit for Evan Longoria, and he collected a single of his own, but Gurriel could not score. Now, with runners on the corners and no outs, the D-Backs looked to try and take the lead, but then lefty Jose Alvarado came in and got Emmanuel Rivera to ground into a 6-4-3 double-play, which Gurriel did not come home on. Gerlado Perdomo then came to the plate and grounded out to the pitcher, ending what started off as an extremely promising inning.
Neither team scored in the 8th inning, and the Diamondbacks held the Phillies scoreless in the top 9th, meaning Arizona had a chance to walk it off in the bottom 9th. Gurriel Jr. came through again with a single to start the inning against Craig Kimbrel, then stole second base. Pavin Smith then got an infield single, moving Gurriel to third base. With the winning run just 90 feet away, Emmanuel Rivera came up with a chance to send everyone home happy. However, he grounded to Trea Turner, who was playing in. Gurriel left third base on contact, and while a swim move almost got him to home, he wasn't even able to touch home plate and was tagged out by Realmuto.
Despite the dance at home plate between Gurriel Jr. and Realmuto, Smith decided not to go from second to third base, making two questionable base running decisions on one play. Perdomo then came up, working a full-count walk to load the bases. But Ketel Marte came through in the clutch, sending a line drive into center field, driving in Smith, and giving the Diamondbacks a happy ending for the day.
The series is now 2-1 Phillies, but the NLCS is far from over. The D-Backs and Phillies meet again at Chase Field for Game 4 at 8 PM Eastern time. Neither team has announced yet who will start the game. However, it was reported by Bob Nightengale that it would not be Zac Gallen.