D-backs pool their power in stunning NLDS sweep of Dodgers

October 13th, 2023

PHOENIX -- For the first time since 2007, the D-backs are headed to the National League Championship Series as they beat the Dodgers, 4-2, on Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep in the NL Division Series.

Arizona fans packed Chase Field to the hilt to see whether the D-backs could vanquish the team that had tormented them for the better part of a decade.

“I’m seeing it, so I guess I have to believe it,” D-backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick said. “I’m really happy for our town. It’s been a long while for us, as you guys know, and these young guys were overachieving and everyone is sort of saying, ‘Oh, they’re pretty damn good.’ I don’t know about the national media. They probably don’t quite have it yet. But some of the rest of us are kind of getting it.”

The D-backs have yet to lose in the postseason, sweeping the Brewers in two games in Milwaukee to clinch the NL Wild Card Series before completing the sweep of the Dodgers. It’s the first time they’ve won multiple playoff series in a year since the 2001 team won the World Series.

The last time the D-backs were in the NLCS was 2007, when they were swept by the Rockies.

The D-backs will now open the NLCS on Monday in Philadelphia after the Phillies beat the Braves in four games in their NLDS.

“I'll start stressing about that tomorrow,” D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said Wednesday night. “I'm committed to stressing about that tomorrow, not tonight. They both have incredible offenses.”

Arizona scored all its runs in a record-setting third inning against Dodgers starter Lance Lynn -- becoming the first team in postseason history to hit four home runs in one inning.

Neither team scored in the first two innings before led off the bottom of the third with a homer off Lynn. It brought the crowd to its feet with “Beat L.A.” chants.

They hadn’t seen anything yet.

One out later, homered, then another out after that homered. followed with a fly ball down the line that was initially ruled a home run, but was overturned upon review.

But the D-backs are riding a wave right now, so on the very next pitch from Lynn, Moreno homered to left and Arizona found itself with a 4-0 lead.

“Unbelievable,” Hazen said. “Unbelievable. No, I haven't [seen that before], and I have been in this game a long time. But I mean, to have to gather yourself and get back into the box and hit the next pitch for a bomb? I don't know.”

Right now, though, the D-backs aren’t trying to figure out why they’ve been on such an amazing run after limping into the postseason on a four-game losing streak.

Instead, they are simply living in the moment and trying to enjoy every second of it.

“We were saving it,” outfielder joked about the losing streak. “It's just baseball. You know, you try to understand it, but you can’t.”

The D-backs won 16 fewer games during the regular season than the 100-win Dodgers did. It was the sixth-biggest postseason upset (by run differential) in postseason history, and the biggest one to result in a sweep.

There’s no doubt that beating the Dodgers carried a little something special for the D-backs, who have been bedeviled by L.A. for years now.

“I’ve been referring to them throughout, while communicating with friends, as the 900-pound gorilla,” Kendrick said. “They’ve always been that for us, to be fair, and they deserve to have that status. Finally, maybe the gorilla has been, at least, put to sleep temporarily.”

As they did after clinching a postseason berth at home the last weekend of the season, the D-backs took a celebratory dip in the pool beyond the right-field wall.

As he walked back toward the dugout following his swim, D-backs ace Zac Gallen reflected on beating the Dodgers.

“I think it's an understatement to say we were counted out, especially in this series, for sure,” Gallen said. “And obviously, it's no secret we've had our battles with them, our struggles. But yeah, this one tastes a little bit sweeter, for sure. Especially since I heard some comments that this is just gonna be a home game for them.

“That's our pool.”