Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Arizona Diamondbacks began their postseason run with back-to-back sweeps of the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2007.
The Diamondbacks were underdogs in both matchups, but they especially faced long odds in getting past the Dodgers in the NL Division Series. L.A. went 8-5 against Arizona during the regular season and finished with 16 more wins than them to run away with the NL West title.
Despite this, it was the Diamondbacks that looked like the superior team. Arizona’s pitching staff held the Dodgers to only six runs in the three games, which was impressive considering L.A. enjoyed one of their best offensive seasons in franchise history.
Diamondbacks pitching coach Brent Strom has garnered praise for his work and received a congratulatory phone call from Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax after the team’s NLDS win over the Dodgers, via Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
Arizona Diamondbacks pitching coach Brent Strom was surprised this morning by a congratulatory phone call by none other than Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 13, 2023
While it is a significant honor to be commended by an all-time great like Koufax, Strom likely appreciated the gesture even more as he grew up in Southern California while the left-hander pitched for the Dodgers.
Strom has served as the Diamondbacks pitching coach for two seasons, and since his arrival in 2022, the likes of Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly and Brandon Pfaadt have all taken the next steps in their respective careers.
Prior to joining the Diamondbacks, Strom had coaching stints with the Houston Astros (1996; 2014-2021) and Kansas City Royals (2000-2001).
Torey Lovullo details Diamondbacks’ plans against Dodgers
The Dodgers’ offensive struggles against the Diamondbacks can be attributed to Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman going a combined 1-for-21 in the NLDS.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo credited his pitching staff for setting the tone and having a good strategy against the Dodgers’ dynamic duo, which was to pitch to the edges of the strike zone.
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