D-backs’ Christian Walker blows through stop sign, hosed by Adolis García in Game 3 of World Series
By JOHN MARSHALL – AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX (AP) — Christian Walker caught a late break while waiting to see if Tommy Pham’s liner would fall in right field.
Trying to gain ground, Walker took one last look at third base coach Tony Perezchica and put his head down, hoping to make up time with a tight turn around the bag.
Perezchica changed his mind and put up a stop sign. Walker did not see it and Adolis Garcia he did pay.
Able to score the first run in Game 3 of the World Series, Walker walked into a costly game in the second game of the series. The Arizona Diamondbacks lost 3-1 to the Texas Rangers Monday night.
“The last time I saw him, he was shaking and I never saw the stop sign,” Walker said. “He was probably trying to do too much and he should have been more aware.”
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Walker – 3 for 31 since the start of the NL Championship Series going into Game 3 – was expected to be motivated when he came to bat and responded with Arizona’s first hit off Max Scherzer. His double went off the base of the wall in right-center after the Diamondbacks came on for a scoreless tie, especially when Pham followed with a single to right.
Walker hesitated to see if García would catch the ball before he succeeded. García quickly got the ball and made a one-hop throw to receiver Jonah Heim, beating Walker by several steps.
Garcia’s 96.4 mph throw was the second-fastest straight home field goal in the postseason by Statcast (2015), behind only Houston’s Marwin González’s 97.4 mph throw in Game 1 of the 2017 ALCS.
“Is it a critical moment in the game? Absolutely,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We talk about making statements and I’m not going to lie, it hurts a little bit.”
Instead of runners on first and third with no outs, Arizona had second with one out. Two batters later, Alek Thomas established a ball from Scherzer’s right angle on, and Rangers third baseman Josh Jung barehanded the deflection, beating Thomas with a first step to end the inning.
Texas scored three runs from Brandon Pfaadt the next inning, two on Corey Seager’s no-doubt homer to right. Texas leads the series 2-1 with Game 4 on Tuesday in Arizona.
“It’s the World Series and we want to win so bad, but still let the game come to us,” Walker said. “I think there is something dangerous for us.”
Walker led the Diamondbacks with 33 homers during the regular season, but he has struggled at the plate during the postseason. He was hitting .167 with a homer and seven RBI in 14 games before Scherzer’s double.
Walker finished 1 for 4 in Game 3.
The 2022 Gold Glove winner was impressive at first base in the postseason, including a bare-handed catch after Heim’s hard hit to first base in Game 2.
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