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Diamondbacks keep shocking everyone but themselves

PHOENIX — Who said Chase Field’s overheated and underrated Arizona crowd couldn’t match the rabid Citizens Bank Park fans when it comes to noise? Fans here set an indoor decibel record while booing Diamondbacks manager Tory Lovullo for removing talented (in their estimation at least) rookie Brandon Puffert too soon. I tried.

The crowd also sold out tickets for Game 3 of the NLCS, perplexing critics who have been making fun of the sky-high $9 “admission” ticket prices on the internet. The same is true for games at 2pm (local time). It’s 103 degrees outside. (But yes, it’s dry and hot!)

These D’backs will surely amaze you.

The 84-win, red-hot Diamondbacks ended a sweep attempt by heavily favored Philadelphia with a 2-1 walk-off victory, closing the gap to 2-1 and giving Phoenix at least a chance to snowball. (probably a little). just a little).

With one out in the 9th inning, Ketel Marte yelled over the loudspeaker, “This is our home,” after hitting the winning hit off Craig Kimbrel, the Phillies’ vaunted closer.

Ketel Marte hit the winning single in the Diamondbacks’ Game 3 victory.
USA TODAY Sports (via Reuters Con)
Ketel Marte and the Diamondbacks cut their deficit to 2-1 in the NLCS with Thursday’s win.
USA TODAY Sports (via Reuters Con)

This was certainly their day. They outplayed the Phillies from start to finish, but wasted chances and needed a second-half rally to give themselves another highlight of October. Everyone thinks this is Red October, like the Phillies have been dismantling people. Especially after the 10-0 loss in the second game, ticket prices dropped by 90 percent. But the Diamondbacks are hoping to turn this into a different shade of red October.

If fans showed signs of disappointment after the first two games of this series, the D-backs never were. They may be too young to think about the fact that they’re facing an All-Star lineup. Or maybe they’re remembering just a week ago when they defeated all-time great Clayton Kershaw and the 100-win Dodgers.

“That’s exactly who we are,” said Diamondbacks cleanup hitter Christian Walker, a Philadelphia native. “Your back is against the wall. It’s a different person doing it every day.”

It’s true that they have a lot of surprise stars, but Marte has been productive lately, giving up six hits in the series, just five fewer than the rest of the team combined. Only. They scored a total of three runs against the Phillies’ top pitching trio, including Game 3 starting pitcher Ranger Suarez, who battled Pfert (pronounced “fight”) and were nearly even. Ta.

It won’t be easy to win three more in a row. But as the Diamondbacks’ Alec Thomas pointed out, “things don’t seem to be going well” if possible.

However, it’s not luck. This team is better than it was in the regular season between opportunistic everyday players, a no-name shutdown bullpen, and a rookie starter who just turned 25 on Sunday.

Brandon Puffert, 25, had nine strikeouts for the Phillies before being pulled.
USA TODAY Sports (via Reuters Con)

You don’t even look at his 5.72 regular season ERA, but this kid has the ability to dominate the hottest teams in baseball and stop teams that seem unstoppable. Puffert struck out nine Phillies, but was barely touched when Lovullo removed him with two outs in the sixth inning.

“I felt like once we got to a certain point in the game, he was going to let the bullpen do the work and the bullpen would match up and give us a really good advantage against really good hitters,” Lovullo explained. . “So the conversation is typical: Am I an idiot if I take him out of the game with 5²/₃ and he has nine strikeouts? [innings]? ”

The crowd was not disappointed and expressed their views. But while the Phillies overcame a run when sidearm reliever Ryan Thompson’s wild pitch allowed Bryce Harper to slide home headfirst, the bullpen ultimately did the job against the best batting lineup.

Diamondbacks manager Tori Lovullo was booed Thursday for his decision to pull Brandon Puffert.
USA TODAY Sports (via Reuters Con)

“I know this is a very unpopular decision,” Lovullo said. “But we have great information… and when we have limited emotion and limited stimulus, the best decision to make moving forward with this and to control a very, very powerful attack is We have a roadmap of what it is.”

The way the Phillies have outscored their opponents 19-4 at home and outscored them by 32 points this postseason, it’s not known if anyone can hold them back, much less a rookie or a nearly unknown reliever from the Diamondbacks. It was unclear whether the three members of the corps could hold it back.

Arizona still has a camelback mountain to climb to defeat a team that now has to be a World Series favorite. They will play a bullpen game on Friday, trying to even out a series that seemed to be over before it even started. The Phillies have a significant pitching advantage in any given game depending on their star lineup. If the Diamondbacks pull this off, it won’t be the biggest upset in postseason history, but it’ll be pretty close.

Bryce Harper’s Phillies failed to hit a home run against the Diamondbacks on Thursday.
USA TODAY Sports (via Reuters Con)

It’s not every day that the Phillies are held hitless. Six of the nine batters in the lineup were held hitless, and Nick Castellanos, perhaps the greatest No. 7 hitter of all time, struck out in all three innings.

“You can tell Philadelphia wasn’t at its best. There’s a whole different energy in the desert,” Thomas said. “Don’t give up and play until the end.”

Most people thought the end was near. But the Diamondbacks shocked us just by getting to this point. So who knows what they can do next?

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