D-backs do everything right to secure series win

May 24th, 2023

PHILADELPHIA -- When a team is going good, they have nights like the D-backs did Tuesday against the Phillies in a 4-3 win at Citizens Bank Park, where it’s hard to catalog all the things that they did right.

You could talk about catcher and his two-run homer that got the offense started in the second inning, as well as the fact that he threw out Bryce Harper trying to steal in the fourth and blocked several balls in the dirt in the eighth with a runner on third.

“Gabby's a real good ballplayer and he throws guys out, but he also puts his body in front of balls when they bounce and saves runs that way, too, so can’t say enough good things behind the plate,” D-backs starter said.

Right fielder could also be a focus. He was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and drove home what proved to be the winning run with a single to left in the eighth.

Speaking of outfielders, there was center fielder , who, while hitless at the plate, made a sliding catch to end the eighth with runners on first and second and the D-backs clinging to a one-run lead.

“That was a heck of a catch,” Carroll said of Fletcher. “Great jump. You know, he took the game in his hands right there. If he misses that one, we're probably chasing the run. I love [the aggressiveness]. I've got all the confidence in the world in him. He makes that catch 10 out of 10 times.”

And you can’t forget Nelson, who turned in his best effort of the year, allowing one run on three hits over six innings.

“The fastball was coming out hot,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “He was spotting it up. And when a starting pitcher is throwing the ball to the lines and the edges, he’s going to have a good night, and I think that was where he was today. He threw some really good changeups to left-handed batters about midway through the outing, thought there were some good breaking balls as well. Everything is coming together for him. It was a very, very good outing.”

With the win, the D-backs assured themselves a series win, and heading into the final game of this nine-game road trip (which also included stops in Oakland and Pittsburgh), Arizona is 6-2.

That puts the D-backs at 29-20 for the year, marking the first time that they’ve been nine games above .500 since Sept. 11, 2018.

“We’re playing hard,” D-backs GM Mike Hazen said before the game. “It’s May. We have a long way to go. Every day is a grind. There’s no freebies on our schedule. Every team is tough. We practice hard. We play hard and I feel good about that. These guys come to play every single night. We don’t strike out a ton. I think that’s been one of the things we were hoping to address. I think that’s happened. I think that puts pressure on defenses. We’ve seen teams make mistakes against us. That’s to our benefit in a lot of ways. We have some stuff to figure out, we have a long way to go, but it’s going to be very competitive.”

The early success is also helping a young team believe more and more in itself each day.

“It's fun,” Nelson said. “I think winning breeds winning, and guys are playing aggressive and playing the way that they can play. So I think that when the vibes are good, stuff like that just happens and we just need to keep it going.”