The 2023 World Series moves to Phoenix on Monday, with the Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks tied with one win apiece through two games.
The Diamondbacks took Game 2 on Saturday night behind a tremendous pitching performance by Merrill Kelly, giving them a chance to come from behind in a second straight series. For their part, the Rangers came back from a two-run deficit to win Game 1 on a walk-off home run from Adolis Garcia.
“All teams are a little different in their own way,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy told the media on Sunday. “They’re built different. We’re different than them. Their style of ball is a little different. And it works for them. That’s what got them to the World Series.”
“Now it’s always up to you to adapt to the way the club is playing against you, whether it’s a running club or slug team, whatever it is. That’s what we need to do. And that last game, really, was a close ball game. Got away from us at the end, but we played well,” he said.
Texas has not played in Phoenix this season, as the only two regular season games the teams played against each other were also held in Arlington. However, the Rangers have played well and have yet to lose in eight road games this postseason.
“It’s always a great sign, I think, that guys are staying focused on the road,” Bochy said. “Sometimes on the road, you spend more time together. … And that can bring a team together and just build that chemistry you love about a club. And sometimes that happens on the road with the travel and staying at a hotel and coming to the ballpark.”
The Diamondbacks have also spent most of the postseason on the road, playing 10 of their 14 games away from Chase Field and going 7-3. Yet, the return home will likely be a welcome sight as they hold a 3-1 record there this postseason, and manager Torey Lovullo wants to see his team continue to play as it has all October.
“I want them to be tenacious,” Lovullo told the media. “We play at that rate every single day. So I don’t want it to change. I want us to be aggressive, smart, and ready. And the readiness shows up every day because this team loves to go out and compete.”
Game 3 will begin at 7:03 p.m. CT at Phoenix’s Chase Field on Monday. Max Scherzer (0-1, 9.45 ERA in two playoff starts) will start for the Rangers, and the Diamondbacks will send rookie Brandon Pfaadt (0-0, 2.70 ERA) to the mound.
Games 4 and 5 will also be played in Phoenix, while Games 6 and 7 will be played in Arlington (if necessary).