Marte sets hit-streak record, named NLCS MVP

October 25th, 2023

PHILADELPHIA --  capped his record-setting night on Tuesday by not only helping the D-backs punch their ticket to the World Series, but by earning the 2023 National League Championship Series MVP Award in the process.

Just when Marte’s bid for history seemed to be on the ropes, he ripped a clutch seventh-inning double in the D-backs’ 4-2 victory over the Phillies in Game 7 of the NLCS at Citizens Bank Park. The hit extended his postseason hitting streak to 16 games, making it the longest by any player to start his postseason career in MLB history.

“The whole idea is to give everything you’ve got,” Marte said via a translator after receiving his MVP Award while his teammates chanted his name. “So thankfully, things are working out.”

That’s a bit of an understatement.

Marte went 12-for-31 (.387) with four doubles, a triple, three RBIs and a stolen base in the NLCS. He was also a catalyst in all four of Arizona's wins, going 8-for-19 (.421) with four extra-base hits and all three of his RBIs in the club’s victories against the Phillies.

“Ketel, [he’s] just a special player,” said teammate Corbin Carroll, who snapped out of his NLCS funk by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two stolen bases in Game 7. “There were times this year where it was like, ‘How do you even pitch this guy?’ He is kind of back in that mode right now. It's special to watch.”

Phillies pitchers also had trouble finding the answer to that question in the NLCS, including veteran righty Aaron Nola. Marte went 3-for-6 with a double and a triple against Philadelphia’s Game 2 and Game 6 starter, who heaped praise on the Arizona star following Game 6.

"He's got lightning-fast hands,” Nola said. “You've really got to make your pitch against him. You've got to change speeds on him. He's swinging the bat really well right now.”

Not only is Marte’s 16-game hitting streak the longest to begin a postseason career, passing Marquis Grissom (1995-96), but it’s just one game shy of the overall record. Only three players -- Manny Ramirez, Derek Jeter and Hank Bauer -- have recorded a hit in 17 consecutive postseason games.

Marte will look to join that club in Game 1 of the World Series against the Rangers on Friday night at Globe Life Field -- but that’s not his goal.

“Keep on winning,” Marte said. “Four more games.”

Marte opened Tuesday’s game with a five-pitch strikeout against Phillies starter Ranger Suárez. Arizona's leadoff hitter then struck out looking in the third and went down swinging in the fifth.

But with a runner on first, one out and the D-backs clinging to a one-run lead, Marte ripped a double into the right-field corner off Phillies reliever José Alvarado. That set up Corbin Carroll's sacrifice fly one batter later to extend the lead to 4-2.

Marte's historic streak began in 2017, when he went 3-for-5 in the D-backs' NL Wild Card Game win over the Rockies, then notched at least one hit in all three games against the Dodgers in that year’s NL Division Series. He has picked up right where he left off this postseason, recording at least one hit in all 12 of Arizona's games to this point.

Next up, Marte will put his streak on the line on the game’s biggest stage.