in our DNA' Diamondbacks aim to reintroduce aggressive baserunning



in our DNA’ Diamondbacks aim to reintroduce aggressive baserunning

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PHILADELPHIA — Heading into the 2023 season, the D-backs made it clear that their game plan would revolve around their strengths: pitching, timely hits, and aggressive baserunning, a tactic deeply ingrained in their style.

NLCS Game 3, presented by loanDepot: Thursday, 5 p.m. ET/2 MST on TBS During the regular season, the D-backs showcased their prowess on the basepaths, ranking second in the Majors with 166 stolen bases, trailing only the Reds with 190. Their ability to create chaos quickly became the team’s mantra.

However, in the National League Championship Series against the Phillies, the D-backs found themselves unable to execute their trademark aggression, failing to steal any bases in the first two games. This setback contributed to their 2-0 deficit following a crushing 10-0 defeat to the Phillies in Game 2 at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday.

“We need to play Diamondback baseball,” emphasized D-backs manager Torey Lovullo. “What we saw out there wasn’t consistent with our style of play. We need to regroup and find a way to turn things around.”

In Game 2, Corbin Carroll’s early single did not translate into a stolen base opportunity, with the Phillies’ cautious pitching preventing any successful attempts. Lovullo explained, “He was slide-stepping every pitch to keep him there. I didn’t want to risk an out. We are naturally aggressive, but he was making it challenging.”

Despite several chances to create pressure on the bases, the D-backs couldn’t convert, leaving runners stranded. Facing formidable pitchers like Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, known for their ability to stifle baserunners, added to the challenge. Wheeler only allowed three stolen bases this season, while Nola’s adjusted pitching style and J.T. Realmuto’s quick catching have compounded the difficulty.

Looking ahead to Game 3, left-hander Ranger Suárez’s limited allowance of stolen bases during the regular season presents yet another hurdle for the D-backs.

Carroll, acknowledging the team’s struggles, emphasized the lack of opportunities, while the team’s key hitters, including Pham and Walker, have yet to find their rhythm against the Phillies’ formidable pitching lineup.

Tuesday’s shutout marked the first time the D-backs had been blanked in 47 postseason games, underscoring the challenge they face in igniting their trademark aggression in the series.


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