Despite the magical playoff run coming to an end, the 2023 Diamondbacks truly solidified their legacy as one of the most fun, exciting and tough teams in Arizona's rather short baseball history.
Both the bats and the pitching went cold near the end, but here's a look at the players who truly rose to the occasion in the franchise's biggest games this year:
Diamondbacks #1 stud: 2B Ketel Marte
It's hard to fully put into words what an incredible postseason Ketel Marte was able to deliver.
The 30-year old switch hitter followed up a bounce-back regular season by recording at least one base hit in all but the final game of the World Series, setting the MLB record for most consecutive postseason games (20) with a hit. Marte, going back to the 2017 season, had not played in a single career postseason game where he did not record a hit prior to the end of game five
But it was more than just a record. Marte put the team on his back when they needed it the most. He slashed .329/.380/.534 throughout the postseason, with an OPS of .914. The stud second baseman also accounted for two home runs--one of which tied game one of the Wild Card at 3-3--and 11 RBI over the 17-game span.
But Marte's most notable moment came at Chase Field in game three of the NLDS, down 2-0 in the series.
A pitching duel, beginning with a Brandon Pfaadt gem, turned into a 1-1 tie in the ninth inning. Phillies closer Craig Kimbrel had allowed two walks and a single with no outs, but a ground ball from Emmanuel Rivera caused Lourdes Gurriel Jr to be thrown out at home. Geraldo Perdomo walked, and the bases were loaded with one out for Ketel.
Kimbrel, on an 0-1 count, threw a high fastball. Marte jumped on the pitch, tomahawking it into center field. Pavin Smith scored, and the Diamondbacks walked off the Phillies, to the thunderous jubilation of the home Phoenix crowd.
Marte capped off a 3-5 game, his fourth multi-hit game of the postseason. He would end October play with seven of such games, taking home the much-deserved NLCS MVP award. Marte rose to the occasion on the biggest stage and became a hitting machine, even when the offense looked quiet.
Diamondbacks #2 stud: SS Geraldo Perdomo
Perdomo might not have been the pick to have a huge impact in the playoffs, coming off a lackluster few months of regular season play. But the young infielder delivered several clutch moments in the 2023 postseason, and put up impressive numbers over the 17-game sprint.
Perdomo slashed .298/.389/.426 through the month of October. Perdomo had only hit six home runs in the regular season, but sent two balls over the fence in the playoffs in back-to-back games, one solo shot to begin the rally and contribute to the crucial and historic four-homer inning against the Dodgers.
He was nothing short of special defensively, making critical plays throughout the postseason, but most notably contributing to necessary outs to hold onto a lead in two a tight Wild Card games. He continued his defensive masterclass into the World Series.
While Perdomo may not have been the star of the show, he was certainly an unsung hero on both sides of the ball this October, and was ready to party at every turn.
Diamondbacks #3 stud: RHP Brandon Pfaadt
I've already broken down Pfaadt's inspirational journey through the 2023 season, but enough cannot be said about his ability to show up in the biggest games of his career. After a 3-9 regular season with an ugly 5.72 ERA, Pfaadt stepped into the playoffs and pitched some of his career best games, even facing elimination.
In 22 innings of postseason play, Pfaadt pitched to a 3.27 ERA, including a shutout 4.1 against the Dodgers in Arizona's first home playoff game since 2017. His efforts would help the D-backs finish their three-game sweep of their NL West rival, and send the Snakes to the NLCS.
His next start was even more spectacular: a 5.2-inning, nine-strikeout shutout against the Phillies, eventually leading to Marte's walk-off single, when Arizona was in desperate need of a win and some series momentum down 2-0.
His final outing in game three of the World Series was also solid, however, a missed strike call by home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez erased what would have been a scoreless inning, and Pfaadt missed a location to Corey Seager, leading to a 3-0 deficit.
Despite this rougher outing, Big Game Brandon was able to give the D-backs a chance to win games in each and every one of his appearances. Although finishing with an 0-1 personal record, Arizona was 4-1 in games that he pitched, including a crucial 2-run, 7-strikeout performance in a world-series-or-bust game seven of the NLCS.
The D-backs have had a magical postseason. There are plenty of others worthy of praise, like rookie phenom Corbin Carroll, veteran OF Tommy Pham, RHP Merrill Kelly and the three-headed bullpen monster.
Don't worry, I'll be breaking down their dominance in other pieces. However, these three Diamondbacks stood out from the get-go of an excellent 2023 playoff run, with hopefully much more to come from them in the future.