The Arizona Diamondbacks ended the 2023 MLB regular season well behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sixteen games behind, to be specific. Arizona snuck its way into the National League Wild Card and miraculously moved past the Milwaukee Brewers to find itself matched up against its division leader in the NL Divisional Series.
Two games later, and all the regular season wins and losses are virtually irrelevant. The Diamondbacks have Los Angeles in a chokehold, and are one win away from its third-ever NLCS appearance after defeating the Dodgers 4-2 Monday night. Here’s how Arizona finds itself in this spot:
How It Happened
— MLB (@MLB) October 10, 2023
The Dodgers tossed out rookie pitcher Bobby Miller for the start. In his first postseason appearance, Miller gave up three runs in the first inning and left the game after 1.2 frames. He let up four hits and two walks in his short stint.
Out of the other dugout, Arizona ace and Cy Young candidate Zac Gallen put on a solid performance. Gallen tossed 5.1 innings of two-run ball with four strikeouts and two walks. He gave up a solo home run to J.D. Martinez in the fourth and was pulled in the sixth after letting Max Muncy on base. Muncy would eventually score for Gallen’s second earned run allowed. Despite the pair of runs, Los Angeles was unable to close the distance. A Lourdes Gurriel Jr. home run in the sixth put the D-Backs up 4-2 headed into the home stretch.
Arizona sent out reliever Paul Sewald for the ninth inning. He worked the final three outs including a strikeout to snag the win. It marks his third save of the postseason so far.
Just Dingers. pic.twitter.com/htc2xIMt6P
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 10, 2023
The Diamondbacks are in a perfect situation given where they started. They remain undefeated in the playoffs, can stay on schedule with the pitching rotation and will head back home to Chase Field with a chance to clinch their first championship series appearance since 2007.
The Dodgers are not so lucky. The team is star-studded, built to win now and took home over 100 wins over the past few months. A sweep in the divisional round is likely the worst-case scenario for Los Angeles.
Game 3 is set for Wednesday at 9:07 p.m. Lance Lynn will start on the mound for the Dodgers and look to keep their season alive. For Arizona, Brandon Pfaadt takes the mound with a chance to close out the series and pull off a major upset.