Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!
On Monday, the Texas Rangers celebrated their ALCS victory in Houston. Last night, the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrated their NLCS victory on the Philadelphia Phillies’ home field. Both series were tense and terrific seven-gamers, and this year’s World Series will be played by two Wild Card teams.
If you’d asked me a week ago, I’d have told you I thought the Phillies were going to win it all. They headed into the NLCS with lots of momentum and swagger. The Diamondbacks finished the regular season just three games over .500 and 16 games behind the NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
The D-backs came into the NLCS with plenty momentum of their own: they swept both the Brewers and the 100-game winning Dodgers and headed to Philly with a 5-0 record in the postseason. What happened in the regular season doesn’t matter anymore.
Still—Arizona just seemed quietly mediocre through most of the regular season. Sure, they hastily toppled the Dodgers, but LA’s pitching depth had greatly thinned out by October, and the Dodgers have a habit of choking in the playoffs. Par for the course.
But that’s the thing: pitching reigns supreme in the postseason, and the D-backs pitching blossomed like a desert rose this fall. They shut down two superstar-laden lineups when it mattered most, played pesky small ball, and punched their ticket to their second World Series.
Without question, the Arizona Diamondbacks, led by NLCS MVP Ketel Marte, are this year’s MLB Cinderella story. But the Rangers overcame plenty of obstacles of their own to get to the World Series. Both LCS were fantastic and full of suspense, but this World Series between two teams that came up clutch with their backs against the wall and overcame 3-2 deficits in hostile territory should be a great one, as well.
The 2023 World Series starts on Friday in Arlington. I’ll take the Rangers in six and would love to see Marcus Semien get a World Series trophy. Who you got?
- Taking stock of the Athletics’ 40-man roster heading into the offseason
- A’s claim reliever Anthony Kay off waivers
- How John Fisher runs his other team: Like A’s, but he shows up for Earthquakes ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- D-backs embrace the chaos, advance to World Series
- What will be new Giants manager Bob Melvin’s priorities going into the job? ($)
- Rosenthal: The Rangers’ secret is out — Adolis García is a superstar ($)
- Red Sox To Hire Craig Breslow As Head Of Baseball Operations
- Offseason Outlook: Houston Astros
- NL Central Notes: Molina, Cardinals, Marlins, Kelly, Pirates
- Offseason Outlook: New York Yankees
- Today in Baseball History
Best of X:
A’s prospects among Monday’s top AFL performers.
Last night's top performers in the Arizona Fall League included:— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 24, 2023
Two Top 100 Prospects
A #Rangers catcher on a tear
Three #Athletics prospects
A #Rays backstop hitting nearly .500
More: https://t.co/cSq3DfA37G pic.twitter.com/HPJbamad1S
But nobody brought him home.
Cristian Pache didn’t draw enough walks for the A’s and they ended up trading him. He just drew four balls in Game 7 of the NLCS.— Jason Burke (@ByJasonB) October 25, 2023
So happy for Marcus. And sad for the A’s, who should have extended him.
It will get you emotional to remember how Marcus Semien made MLB, how hard he worked, and how special he has become. Bay Area’s own now playing in the WORLD SERIES. Well deserved.— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) October 24, 2023
Making old connections.
I was this number of days old when I realized that Erubiel Durazo, Jack Cust, Ryan Christenson, Matt Williams, Bob Melvin, Dwayne Murphy, Bob Welch, Bobby Witt and Mike Morgan all played or coached for the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) October 24, 2023