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Phillies’ Craig Kimbrel Ripped by Fans in NLCS Game 3 Loss to Marte, Diamondbacks

Phillies’ Craig Kimbrel Ripped by Fans in NLCS Game 3 Loss to Marte, Diamondbacks
Adam WellsOctober 20, 2023

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 19: Craig Kimbrel #31 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after loading the bases against the Arizona Diamondbacks d9iin Game Three of the National League Championship Series at Chase Field on October 19, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

After looking completely overmatched in the first two games, the Arizona Diamondbacks have made the 2023 National League Championship Series interesting with a walk-off 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 3 on Thursday.

Ketel Marte delivered the game-winning hit off Phillies closer Craig Kimbrel with a bases-loaded RBI single.


Ketel Marte WALKS IT OFF for the @Dbacks! #NLCS

Kimbrel had been able to avoid a late-game meltdown in the playoffs coming into today. He hadn’t given up a run on one hit, two walks and two strikeouts in four previous appearances in the postseason.

This was the game Phillies fans had been fearing given how erratic Kimbrel had been all season. He opened the ninth by walking Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who easily stole second base. Pavin Smith took second on defensive indifference after reaching on an infield single.

After Trea Turner saved a run with a terrific play on Emmanuel Rivera’s grounder to shortstop to get Gurriel out at the plate, Geraldo Perdomo walked on six pitches to set up Marte’s moment in the spotlight.

Kimbrel was the main target of criticism by fans and analysts after the Diamondbacks were able to win their first game of the series:

Jawn Gonzalez @JohnGonzalez

That sucked. No more Kimbrel

Jared Carrabis @Jared_Carrabis

Kimbrel postseason masterclass.

🦇Batthew🦇 @PanasonicDX4500

“Please do not make me have to go through watching Craig Kimbrel come into the 9th with a one run lead tonight.”

Bill Baer @Baer_Bill

Sent this to a friend when the broadcast showed Kimbrel warming up

Tom Kelly @TommyKelly44

If Rob Thomson keeps going to Craig Kimbrel in big spots it’s gonna cost the Phillies a World Series. Everyone knew what was gonna happen the second he entered the game and it’s been this way for months

sky @GonsolinRBW

Craig Kimbrel tonight

Peter Labuza @labuzamovies

The Craig Kimbrel Experience has been a study conducted by Harvard University. Thank you for your participation.

Mike @mhc_76

Kimbrel cannot be anywhere close to the mound in a non save situation. It’s that simple.

⭐ Hinkie On Sports ⭐ @TrustDaProcess8

The Craig Kimbrel Experience.

Dave Weinstein @bluehen95

I wish someone could help me understand why Kimbrel is still pitching on this team 🤷🏻‍♂️

It’s certainly fair to criticize Kimbrel’s performance in this game. He didn’t look good and threw 24 pitches to record one out. But there were multiple questionable calls from home plate umpire Dan Iassogna called balls that could have changed the entire inning.

Another problem is the Phillies offense had their worst game of the playoffs. Five Diamondbacks pitchers combined to hold Philadelphia to just three hits. Brandon Marsh’s double in the top of the third was the team’s only extra-base hit.

Bryce Harper scored the lone Phillies run on a wild pitch by Ryan Thompson in the top of the seventh.

After getting outscored 15-3 in two games at Citizens Bank Park, the Diamondbacks found the opening they needed in the friendly confines of Chase Field.

Diamondbacks rookie Brandon Pfaadt has allowed no runs on four hits with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings over his last two playoff starts after giving up three runs in 2.2 innings of his first postseason outing against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card series.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo has yet to announce a starter for Friday. Left-hander Christopher Sánchez is expected to start for the Phillies.

The Diamondbacks can even up the series if they hold serve at home in Game 4 on Friday at 8:07 p.m. ET. Philadelphia hasn’t lost back-to-back games since losing three straight from Sept. 28-30, which included being swept by the New York Mets in a doubleheader.

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