Let’s jump into a time machine.
We aren’t going too far back, just back to August 1st when the Mets gave up on the season and started trading away pieces and journeyman Tommy Pham was shipped to the Arizona Diamondbacks who were desperate for a professional bat with some pop, who could help bolster the offense, especially in key hitting situations with men in scoring position.
By August 11th the Diamondbacks were a below .500 team at 56-59, scuffling offensively and desperately fighting to navigate a Wild Card race in one of baseball’s top three toughest divisions. Eventually Pham’s bat, energy and veteran presence started making an impact on the Diamondbacks’ lineup. He also added a legit home run threat to a team who didn’t have one player hit 30 homers.
After a dominating Wild Card series over Milwaukee, the Bros didn’t strike often in the NLCS. In fact, Tommy Pham’s hot bat got so cold midway through the NLDS and into the championship series that he was pulled from the lineup in Game 5.
To that point, Pham had posted just one extra-base hit and struck out 11 times in 36 playoff plate appearances. But championships are not won by a stat sheet of each player’s game-to- game success. It’s about who steps up in the moments when their best is most needed. Pham would redeem himself sooner rather than later.
In Game 6, Pham and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit back-to-back homers in the second inning to spark the scoring and set the tone, forcing a Game 7 with a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Pham didn’t like getting benched in Game 5.
“I kind of felt like I was getting singled out,” Pham said of being left out of the lineup. But the 35-year-old veteran took the bruised ego like a man and made sure that when he got his chance again in Game 6 with the Diamondbacks facing elimination, that he didn’t waste his postseason opportunity.
Another MLBbro has played a role in the Diamondbacks basically shocking the baseball world. Alek Thomas has hit three huge bro bombs in these playoffs at the age of 23.
With his team trailing by two in the bottom of the 8th, Thomas stepped up to the plate as a pinch hitter in Game 4 and hit the biggest home run of the season for the D-Backs to date. And the biggest bro bomb of Thomas’ young career.
Thomas delivered the timely power surge into the pool enroute to a 6-5 Diamondbacks win, which evened the series at 2-2 and turned out to be a pivotal game of the series.
Not too long ago, up until mid-June, Alek Thomas was playing with the Reno Aces in the minor leagues. Slowly but surely, he started acquiring more playing time and became one of those X-factors in the lineup that propelled Arizona to a 28-19 record after Aug 11, into the playoffs and now shockingly playing in the franchise’s first World Series since 2001.
Pham and Thomas’ production wasn’t abundant, but their contributions were timely. They didn’t waste any opportunity to do some heroic sh*t. The headlines are filled with praise for Ketel Marte and he deserves the praise. The second baseman that everyone is finally getting to see on the big stage, was named 2023 NLCS MVP after hitting safely in all seven games of the series.
But the Diamondbacks are the epitome of a team.
They scratch, claw and gut their way to victory behind the exceptional pitching of young arms, clutch hitting and the veteran savvy of guys like Pham and six-year cornerstone Lourdes Gurriel Jr, mixed with the youthful exuberance of future NL Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll and second-year rising star Alek Thomas.
“This is amazing. The hard work we put in all …,” said Thomas following the historic Game 7 win. Sky’s the limit for us”