Diamondbacks rookie pitcher Brandon Pfaadt continues strong postseason, young snakes keep pace with mighty Phillies.
PHOENIX, Ariz. ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) - Rookie starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt continued his strong postseason holding the Philadelphia Phillies scoreless for five and 2/3 innings in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. Ketel Marte stayed hot at the plate and delivered the game winning base hit with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning for a walk-off 2-1 victory. For Marte, it was his first ever postseason walk-off.
"I was just sitting fastball," Marte said after the game. "He [Craig Kimbrel] through me a fastball on the first pitch and...he through me a fastball again and I hit it."
Pfaadt continued his impressive postseason on the mound. Down 0-2 in the series after the first two games in Philadelphia, Arizona was desperate for a win. Pfaadt picked right up where he left off after his Game 3 start in the #NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pfaadt worked into the sixth inning, held Philadelphia scoreless and recorded a career best nine strikeouts.
"Yeah, it feels great, it feels great to pick up the team," Brandon Pfaadt said. "We went down 2-0 [in the series] that was a big win, we knew that going in. I think coming out with that win, that helps us get some momentum on our side and, we'll see where it takes us tomorrow."
Pfaadt became the first pitcher in MLB postseason history with back to back starts allowing zero runs and zero walks. He's also the youngest pitcher in Diamondbacks history with nine or more strikeouts in a playoff start.
"We just felt like once we got to a certain point in the game, we could hand it off to a bullpen that was able to matchup and give us what I feel is a really good advantage against some really good hitters," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "So, the conversations are very typical, so, um, am I an idiot if i take him out if the game with nine strikeouts in five and two-thirds?"
I'm pretty sure I was the most unpopular guy in the city of Phoenix, in the downtown area and maybe the whole state of Arizona.D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo on pulling SP Brandon Pfaadt in the sixth inning of NLCS Game 3
Lovullo continued to share why he replaced Pfaadt who was pitching the game of his life.
"Those are the things that I'm asking and try to keep it loose, but, I'm asking them if the manager is an idiot for taking him out after five and two-thirds," Lovullo said. "I know it's a very unpopular decision but we have great information about a plan and a road map when there's limited emotion and limited stimulus, what the best decision to move this thing forward and control a very potent offense. We felt like we went in that route and direction today."
The game remained scoreless until the top of the seventh inning. Philadelphia scored the game's first run as Bryce Harper scored from third on a wild pitch from Ryan Thompson. The Diamondbacks answered in the home half the the seventh. Tommy Pham singled and then was replaced by pinch runner Alek Thomas. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled to score Thomas from first to tie the score at 1-1.
The game remained tied in the bottom of the ninth, with one out and the bases loaded, Marte hit a high pitch from reliever Craig Kimbrel into centerfield for the game winner and a 2-1 victory.
The Diamondbacks remain undefeated at Chase Field during this postseason. The win assures the Diamondbacks of stretching the series to at least Game 5 and a chance for fans to see the Diamondbacks for all three games at home.
Arizona will play the bullpen game in Game 4 with Joe Mantiply scheduled to start on the bump before giving way to the rest of the Diamondback relievers.
Game 4 at Chase Field is on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 5:07 p.m.