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Snake Bytes 10/24: One Win to Rule Them All

The Unthinkable Has Happened! Arizona is ONE WIN away from a World Series Appearance

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Diamondbacks News

[Fangraphs] Snake It ‘Til You Make It: Kelly’s Heroics Force NLCS Game 7 by Michael Baumann

Nola’s two-strike knuckle-curve was supposed to drop out of the strike zone but instead hung around Pham’s belt. At 35, he is no longer the MVP vote-getter he was in the middle of the last decade, but… well, you heard the man. He didn’t miss it, shooting a screaming low-trajectory line drive into the left field seats.

Nola got ahead of the next batter, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., but missed badly with his second pitch — outside for a ball — and then his third. After Game 1, I noted that Zac Gallen does not have the velocity to throw center-cut fastballs past the Phillies’ big hitters. Nor does Nola, who left a 90-mph sinker down and in; Gurriel whacked it into the stands about a section to the right of where Pham’s dinger had landed moments before.

[MLB] D-Backs vs. Phillies NLCS Game 7 FAQ (Tonight, 8ET, TBS) by Anthony Dicomo, Steve Gilbert & Todd Zolecki

In all best-of-seven postseason series, teams that have won Game 6 to force a Game 7 have come out on top in that winner-take-all contest 34 of 60 times (57%). Teams playing in their home ballparks are only 62-64 all time in winner-take-all postseason games, including 30-28 in best-of-seven series.

[MLB] Hyped for another Game 7? Here are the key storylines by Will Leitch

Storyline No. 1: Did the D-backs finally end the Citizens Bank Park mystique?

Storyline No. 2: Which unlikely postseason hero further cements his legend?

Storyline No. 3: Can the Phillies make their first Game 7 a memorable one?

[YahooSports] MLB playoffs 2023: Diamondbacks shut down Phillies, force NLCS Game 7 with 5-1 victory in Game 6 by Rhiannon Walker

The Diamondbacks arrived at this outcome thanks to a dominant performance from Merrill Kelly on the mound and a reinvigorated Tommy Pham at the plate (more on them below).

A special round of applause is reserved for Ketel Marte, who knocked Phillies starter Aaron Nola out of the game with an RBI triple that made it 4-1 in the fifth inning. In the seventh, Marte added another RBI to his score sheet with a single that brought Geraldo Perdomo home for some insurance. Marte is on a 15-game hitting streak, tied for sixth-longest in MLB postseason history.

[MLB] Bold NLCS Game 7 predictions: Home runs, extra innings, surprise heroes, the final out! by David Adler, Anthony Castrovince & Brent Maguire

1. What will be higher: Arizona’s stolen base total or Philly’s home run total?

2. In what inning will the winning run score?

3. Which star will make his mark on the game?

4. Who will be a surprise hero?

5. Which pitcher will record the final out of the game?

[FastballFanNation] Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies Peg Starting Pitchers for Game 7 of NLCS by Sam Connon

The Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks are set to face off in Game 7 of the NLCS on Tuesday, and two pitchers will be tasked with starting their teams’ nights off on the right foot.

Lefty Ranger Suárez has been pegged as the Phillies’ Game 7 starter, while rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt will take the mound for the Diamondbacks. The stakes couldn’t be higher for the two hurlers, as the winner will advance to the World Series.

[MLB] D-backs defuse Phillies’ home-field edge, force decisive Game 7 by Steve Gilbert

The early lead helped quiet a sellout crowd that had come hoping to see the Phillies clinch their second straight trip to the World Series.

“It was considerably more quiet for those middle innings when I think things can get really ramped up here,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I just feel like those early runs let us exhale a little bit. It’s an elimination game for us. We know what’s at stake. We knew what we had to do, and we were in the middle of doing it. I think we just started to relax a little bit, and we just continued to capitalize throughout the course of the day.”

[CBSSports] Phillies vs Diamondbacks score, highlights: Arizona forces NLCS Game 7 after jumping on Aaron Nola by Matt Snyder

The Arizona Diamondbacks went into Philadelphia and won NLCS Game 6 over the Phillies on Monday evening. Arizona’s 5-1 victory forces a Game 7, which will come Tuesday night. The winner takes the pennant and will face either the Rangers or Astros in the 2023 World Series. The D-backs never trailed in this one, taking a lead in the second inning and holding it the rest of the way.

The best-of-seven NLCS is now tied, 3-3, with the D-backs having won three of the last four games. The Game 6 loss for the Phillies was their first defeat at Citizens Bank Park in these playoffs and marked their first home loss against an NL opponent in the playoffs since 2011.

Here’s how it went down in Game 6.

Baseball News

[MLBTR] Dusty Baker Has Indicated Plan To Step Away From Managing by Anthony Franco

Baker has been at the helm in Houston for four seasons. The Astros hired him going into 2020 in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal which led to A.J. Hinch’s dismissal. His stint in Houston has consisted of a series of one-year contracts. Baker first signed a one-year deal with a team option, which the club exercised. He subsequently inked one-year deals in the immediate aftermath of each of the past two seasons. Baker will be out of contract again this winter.

[Fangraphs] Rangers Romp to World Series Behind Adolis Garcia’s Dominant Performance by Ben Clemens

Jordan Montgomery might have had a case for MVP if it weren’t for García’s late-series outburst. He threw 11.2 solid innings across starts in Games 1 and 5, then returned on two days of rest to stymie the Astros for another two-plus innings on Monday. Josh Sborz faced six batters and retired five of them. Seager was locked in right from the first pitch he saw, finishing 3-for-5 with a walk and a home run. Carter and Jonah Heim reached base multiple times. Nathaniel Lowe cracked a two-run homer. When all was said and done, eight of the nine Texas starters reached base at least once, wearing down eight Houston pitchers.

[MLBTR] Latest on Padres’ Managerial Situation by Anthony Franco

That’s a reflection of the apparently strained relationship between Melvin and baseball operations leader A.J. Preller. Multiple late-season reports indicated there was a strong divide between the two. San Diego ownership clearly doesn’t believe the situation had become untenable. After a meeting between Preller, Melvin and chairman Peter Seidler, the organization announced a few weeks ago that Melvin would return. However, the Giants’ interest could afford San Diego a fresh start while clearing Melvin’s $4MM salary. Had he been fired, the Padres would’ve remained on the hook for the money.

[MLB] ‘All hands on deck’: Phillies staring down 1st Game 7 in club history by Todd Zolecki

The Phillies will play the first Game 7 in their 141-season history on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park after losing to the D-backs, 5-1, in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Monday night.

It is a spot nobody expected them to be. Philadelphia handled Arizona at home in the first two games of this best-of-seven series. Then, after a pair of late-inning stumbles in Games 3 and 4 at Chase Field, the Phillies resumed control with a convincing victory in Game 5 in Phoenix. And they had entered Monday’s contest 5-0 in potential clinching games under manager Rob Thomson.

International Baseball News

[ESPN] Bartolo Colon, Robinson Cano, Pablo Sandoval join Dubai-based league by Associated Press

Bartolo Colon, Robinson Cano and Pablo Sandoval are among several notable, older former major league players selected Monday in the inaugural draft of a Dubai-based baseball league.

The 50-year-old Colon, 40-year-old Canó and 37-year-old Sandoval headlined picks by teams in Baseball United, the first pro baseball league in the Middle East and South Asia. Didi Gregorius, Andrelton Simmons and Steven Moya were also among those selected.

The league’s investors include Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera and Barry Larkin. Kash Shaikh, president and CEO of Baseball United, told The Associated Press in May that the league will own the initial four teams, with four additional teams to be unveiled next year. He hopes the teams can eventually reap lucrative returns at auction. He also promised yet-to-be announced rules that would differ from Major League Baseball, including “things that you’d never see in other professional baseball leagues” to further appeal to cricket audiences.