Was there ever a doubt? This team continues to prove outsiders wrong, and they did it in dramatic fashion on Friday night.
When Emmanuel Rivera stepped up to dish to lead off the bottom of the 7th, the D-backs were trailing by 3 runs. On the first pitch of his at-bat, he popped up to Bryce Harper and in that moment, the D-backs were given a 9% chance to win the ball game.
As you know, Arizona defied all odds, as they have been all season. All the little things they do well add up, and though this team can lack firepower at times, they never ever give up.
These 3 players were the key that unlocked the door to a massive game 4 W.
Diamondbacks #1 star: C Gabriel Moreno
How about these Diamondbacks rookies?!
First, it was Brandon Pfaadt in game 3, and now the rookie catcher who came over in a deal involving Daulton Varsho. Moreno looked like a seasoned vet last night.
In the bottom of the 3rd, he notched an RBI single and he did the same in the bottom of the 8th. Both were crucial, but his run-scoring single in the 8th would be the stamp that sealed the deal for a Diamondbacks victory.
I think the most impressive part of Moreno’s night was that he came up clutch with 2 outs. That is definitely something that can get overlooked. He faced a mountain of a moment and didn’t blink.
Moreno’s final line: 2 hits, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, +42.5 WPA
Diamondbacks #2 star: CF Alek Thomas
What a game for a man that bounced back and forth between the minors and the majors this season.
Everyone knows he can field and run the bases like no other, but Alek Thomas at times looked lost at the plate. He finished the regular season with a .647 OPS and a 4.7 walk percentage. Not ideal numbers for an everyday outfielder.
But none of that mattered last night. In the bottom of the 8th, Arizona was down by 2 as Thomas entered the game to pinch hit. On the 6th pitch of his at-bat, he hooked a fastball deep into right field, and to make his game-tying home run even sweeter, it landed in the pool.
I am not sure what was colder last night, the pool water or Alek’s veins…
Diamondbacks #3 star: Closer Paul Sewald
That Sewald trade with Seattle is looking pretty darn good right about now.
This postseason, Sewald has twirled 6 scoreless innings and has recorded 5 saves. A masterclass deadline deal from Mike Hazen.
Last night he was given the ball with his team grasping to a 1-run lead. After getting two quick punch outs, Sewald gave up a rocket double to Kyle Schwaber and suddenly the Phills were back in business.
After falling behind to Trea Turner 2-0, Sewald emphatically responded with 4 straight pitches in the zone, eventually striking out Turner to end the game.
Arizona needed a reliable closer, that is exactly what Sewald has emulated…