|Corbin Carroll - RF||Marcus Semien - 2B|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Corey Seager - SS|
|Gabriel Moreno - C||Evan Carter - LF|
|Christian Walker - 1B||Adolis Garcia - RF|
|Tommy Pham - DH||Mitch Garver - DH|
|Lourdes Gurriel - LF||Jonah Heim - C|
|Alek Thomas - CF||Nathaniel Lowe - 1B|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Josh Jung - 3B|
|Geraldo Perdomo - SS||Leody Taveras - CF|
|Zac Gallen - RHP||Nathan Eovaldi - RHP|
Yeah, this is going up WAY early. I mean, we’ve waited 22 years for this, I think getting an extra hour of Gameday Thread goodness is entirely justified, wouldn’t you say? Corbin Carroll gets the honor of having the first trip to the plate by a Diamondback in a World Series game since Luis Gonzalez’s little bloop sealed victory for Arizona in 2001. It’s amazing how much the world has changed since then. Not least that Corbin Carroll was just a month or two past his first birthday for Gonzo’s single. Gabriel Moreno and Alek Thomas were also in the “One Year Old” club on that day, and as for Jordan Lawlar? Not born until the following July. He could well have been a work in progress at the time!
It’s going to be the third all wild-card matchup, the last time being in 2014, when the Giants beat the Royals. But it’s the first time teams will have faced off just two years after both losing 100+ games. There have been such franchises to reach the World Series - just not two in the same year. The 2008 Rays, 1969 Mets, 1967 Red Sox and 1914 Braves all did it, with the Mets and Braves winning the series. Arizona or Texas will join them at some point in the next couple of weeks. Fun fact: Evan Longoria’s 15-year gap between World Series appearances is the longest ever for a position player.
Zac Gallen starts for Arizona, and we need him to improve on his NLCS performances. But the omens seem good: in particular the “bird sacrifice” which saw both he and Randy Johnson take the lives of an innocent avian during the year. There’s also how the All-Star Game was in Seattle both seasons, we have President Bush throwing out a first pitch, and the 2023 dates line up with the 2001 World Series. Then, the season was held up due to 9/11, but between additional off-days and an extra round of playoff games now, it synchs perfectly. I remember Game 4 in 2001 fell on Halloween: when handing out candy to the kids, we provided in-game updates to the accompanying parents.
Make no mistake, the Rangers are a potent offensive force, and I’d not recommend leaving fastballs in hittable spots. I suspect Gallen is aware of this. :) The team succeeded in Games 6 and 7 against the Phillies by getting back to their natural game, e,g, stealing four bases in each contest, and shaking the opposition out of their comfort zone. Hopefully, that will continue, and if Gallen can hold us even or better against Nathan Eovaldi, I feel good about our chances if this turns into a battle of bullpens. Having gone through the fire of Citizen’s Bank Park and prevailed, I do feel our players will be battle-hardened and ready for anything. Here’s to a good series.