The National League Championship Series is off to a slow start, as it took until Game 3 for the Arizona Diamondbacks to secure a win against the Philadelphia Phillies, avoiding a daunting 3-0 deficit.
In their previous games at the electrifying Citizens Bank Park earlier in the week, Arizona faced defeat on both occasions, where the Phillies boasted a perfect 6-0 record this postseason.
The match remained a tight contest, with both teams exchanging scoreless innings for the first six frames. The Phillies had a chance to score when Brandon Marsh doubled in the third inning, but they couldn’t bring him home. Similarly, Arizona missed an opportunity to capitalize on Ketel Marte’s double.
As both teams turned to their bullpens, the Phillies had runners on first and second with no outs in the seventh inning. A double play put Bryce Harper on third, and a wild pitch by Ryan Thompson allowed Harper to score the first run of the game.
In the bottom half of the inning, Lourdes Gurriel’s hit down the left field line enabled pinch-runner Alek Thomas to score from first, leveling the score.
The ninth inning saw the Phillies bring in Craig Kimbrel, and the drama intensified. A leadoff walk, a stolen base, and an infield single loaded the bases with no outs. Pavin Smith’s stolen base took the force out of play.
Emmanuel Rivera hit a grounder to short, and Trea Turner was forced to make a play at home. Gurriel attempted to avoid the tag but was caught by catcher J.T. Realmuto just before his second effort.
Kimbrel then walked Geraldo Perdomo, loading the bases. The next batter, Marte, delivered a clutch base hit into center field for a walk-off victory.
This marks the third walk-off win in Diamondbacks postseason history, with the most famous being Luis Gonzalez’s bloop single against Mariano Rivera in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against the New York Yankees.
Marte was the standout performer with three hits among the Diamondbacks’ nine. Rookie pitcher Brandon Pfaadt, who had a regular season ERA of 5.72, held the scorching hot Phillies offense scoreless in his 5⅔ innings of work.
The teams are set to face off again on Friday night in Phoenix, and Arizona’s win has also ensured a Game 5 on Saturday night.