The Arizona Diamondbacks are headed to the National League Championship Series.
The Diamondbacks swept the National League West Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers in three games during the National League Division Series.
The last game of the sweep took place on the evening of October 11, at Chase Field in Phoenix.
The Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers, 4-2.
A rocking, sell-out crowd of 48, 175 shook the Chase Field rafters, and drowned out a very large contingency of loyal Dodgers fans.
“BEAT L.A.” was the common chant of the game, from the first pitch until the final out.
Home Run Barrage Sets The Tone:
The Diamondbacks struck four home runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning off Dodgers right-handed starter, Lance Lynn.
Lynn, 36, yielded home runs to the Diamondbacks Geraldo Perdomo, Ketel Marte, Christian Walker, and Gabriel Moreno.
Moreno hit the fourth homer of the inning. His blast to right field came after he barely missed a home run that was deemed foul by the right field umpire. Replay confirmed the call.
Moreno was forced to leave the game in the 5th inning with a bruised right hand.
Dodgers Starting Pitching Woes:
Behind right-hander Merrill Kelly, the Diamondbacks won the first game of the Divisional Series by beating the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw. The final score was 11-2. The game was played at Dodgers Stadium, October 7.
Moreno, Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, and Tommy Pham all homered for Arizona in that game.
In the October 9, second game of the series, the Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers 4-2. Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen defeated Dodgers young rookie Bobby Miller, giving the Dbacks a commanding two game lead in the best-of-three series.
In the third and final game of the sweep, Lynn couldn’t keep the potent Diamondbacks bats quiet.
The Diamondbacks became the first team in baseball history to hit four home runs in one inning during the postseason.
The Dodgers easily won the National League West, with a 100-62 season.
With their 84-78 record, the Diamondbacks finished second in the division, and entered the playoffs as a Wild Card team, beating the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee. The Diamondbacks swept the Brewers in two games.
The Dodgers entered the Division Series with serious starting pitching issues.
Dodgers lefty Julio Urias, an important component of the Dodgers rotation, was placed on Administrative Leave by Major League Baseball. Urias was arrested for domestic violence in September.
Right-handers Walker Buehler and Tony Gonsolin are both recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Right-hander Dustin May is on the mend from flexor tendon surgery.
Not many teams can survive without four of their starting rotation.
Yet, the Dodgers managed to will 100 games in the regular season by cobbling together a rotation of both veteran and young starting pitchers.
The Dodgers acquired Lynn from the Chicago White Sox in a July trade. He fashioned a 7-2 record for Los Angeles in his 11 Dodgers starts.
Lefty Clayton Kershaw, 35, had an outstanding season for Los Angeles, finishing with a 13-5 record in the regular season.
Bobby Miller, only 24, threw to a record of 11-4 in the regular season for the Dodgers. He started 22 games, and finished with a 3.76 ERA.
Given the regular season records of those three playoff starters, one would think the Dodgers would be more than competitive in a short series, where three wins allows a team to advance to the National League Championship Series.
It was not to be.
The Diamondbacks bats could not be silenced.
The pitching of right-handers Kelly, Gallen, and Game 3 starter Brandon Pfaadt proved too much for Los Angeles.
The Diamondbacks played excellent defense in every game.
The Diamondbacks put pressure on the Dodgers by stealing bases.
In short, everything came together for Arizona. Everything.
Not much seemed to work for Los Angeles.
One could tell the sense of urgency in Dodgers manager Dave Roberts as he met the media prior to Game 3.
To this writer, Roberts seemed very tense and outwardly concerned about the buzz saw he had seen with the Diamondbacks in the prior two games in the series.
To the contrary, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was relaxed, confident, and enjoying the moment when he met the media on the October 10 Workout Day, and prior to Game 3.
The Diamondbacks will face the winner of the Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves Division Series.
The Phillies lead that series, 2-1.