D-backs vying for second championship as World Series begins against Rangers
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -- After 22 long years, the Arizona Diamondbacks have made it back to the World Series. On Friday, the D-backs will face off against the Texas Rangers for Game 1 in a best-of-seven series to see who will take home the Commissioner’s Trophy.
Zac Gallen will take the mound for the D-backs, while Nathan Eovaldi will start for the Rangers. Gallen has had a few shaky outings lately. In his two starts against the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS, Gallen gave up nine earned runs and 14 hits. He also gave up five home runs in both games to Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos. Still, the D-backs hitting and bullpen was enough to propel them to a 4-2 win in Game 7 at Citizens Bank Park.
Both the D-backs and Rangers rallied on the road in their League Championship Series, winning Games 6 and 7 away from home to punch their tickets to the Fall Classic — the first time that happened in both leagues since the LCS went to a best-of-seven format in 1985. “I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again: A connected team is a very dangerous team,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “No matter what happened in those times of crisis, these guys stuck together.”
The D-backs are searching for another World Series title to nab — adding onto an iconic 2001 World Series championship where Luis Gonzalez hit a bloop single off New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera for a walk-off win in Game 7. Texas’ last World Series appearance was in 2011 when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Rangers have never won it all.
Despite not having home field advantage in the postseason, the D-backs have proven they can win on the road. In eight road appearances this postseason, the team has won six games. The team also took home the NLCS pennant after defeating the Phillies on their home turf in two do-or-die games. Rookie Corbin Carroll went 3-4 with two RBIs in Game 7, while fellow rookie pitcher Brandon Pfaadt recorded a strong outing, striking out seven batters. The Snakes’ pitching was also lights out among the Phillies’ top hitters. In Games 6 and 7, the Phillies’ heart of the lineup, Schwarber, Trea Turner, Harper and Castellanos, went a combined 1-28 at bat.
So who will the D-backs need to contain on the Rangers this World Series? Adolis Garcia is on a slugging streak, homering in his last four games and setting an RBI record of 15 in a postseason series. Eovaldi and fellow pitcher Jordan Montgomery have also nabbed a couple of wins and are key starters in the Texas lineup. Rangers manager Bruce Bochy is also vying for his fourth World Series title.
It’s a Fall Classic few saw coming, as both teams lost over 100 games just two years ago. A Rangers-Diamondbacks matchup had 1,750 to 1 odds when wagering opened last fall. But the Grand Canyon State and Lone Star State will face off to see who will take home the crown.
WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE (all times MST)
- Game 1: Friday, Oct. 27 at Texas, 5:03 p.m.
- Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 28 at Texas, 5:03 p.m.
- Game 3: Monday, Oct. 30 at Arizona, 5:03 p.m.
- Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 31 at Arizona, 5:03 p.m.
- Game 5 (if necessary): Wednesday, Nov. 1 at Arizona, 5:03 p.m.
- Game 6 (if necessary): Friday, Nov. 3 at Texas, 5:03 p.m.
- Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday, Nov. 4 at Texas, 5:03 p.m.
The D-backs added an extra bat for the World Series, putting Jace Peterson on the roster Friday and dropping pitcher Slade Cecconi for the matchup against the Texas Rangers. Peterson, acquired from Oakland on July 31, appeared in two games in the NL Division Series against Milwaukee. In his only plate appearance, he grounded out as a pinch hitter for Evan Longoria in the eighth inning of 4-2 win over the Brewers that completed a three-game sweep.
Peterson was a defensive replacement for Longoria at third base in the ninth inning of the opening 11-2 win. The 33-year-old, a veteran of 10 major league seasons, hit .211 with six home runs and 37 RBIs for the Athletics and Diamondbacks, including .183 with no homers and nine RBIs in 41 games and 106 plate appearances with Arizona.
Cecconi, a 24-year-old right-hander who made is debut on Aug. 2, pitched two scoreless innings in the NL Championship Series win over Philadelphia. He appeared in Games 2 and 5, both losses.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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