Trailing 2-1 entering Game 4 of the National League Championship Series at home Friday night, Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo and Philadelphia Phillies Rob Thomson both decided to go with an “opener”. Lovullo called on former Virginia Tech southpaw Joe Mantiply in a pivotal game where Arizona needed to win and he did his job in his one inning of work.
Mantiply set the for the night in a bounce-back effort for Arizona at Chase Field in a 6-5 come-from-behind win.
Joe Mantiply bounces back from a rough Game 2 outing
Mantiply got the ball and delivered in his one-inning of work. He struck out Kyle Schwarber to begin the game looking, then allowed an opposite-field single to Trey Turner. Looking to get something going, Turner decided to try and steal a base, but Mantiply was able to pick him off when Turner tried guessing to go his first movement. Mantiply ended the inning by getting Bryce Harper to ground out.
After a good series against the Milwaukee Brewers in the wild-card round and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series, Mantiply was hit and hit hard by the Phillies in Game 2 in Philadelphia. In just one-third of an inning, he allowed three hits, and three runs, all earned, walked two, and did not strike out a batter on just 16 pitches. Not a promising showing in a 10-0 Philadelphia victory.
Lovullo showed a lot of confidence in Mantiply by giving him the ball to start Game 4 after the Diamondbacks were able to cut the series deficit in half with a 2-1 win in Game 3. After his Game 2 outing, his ERA ballooned to 9.00, but his one-inning stint Friday night brought it down to 6.75. He was very effective throwing 11 strikes on 14 pitches and his one inning of work will make him available later in the series that is guaranteed to head back to Philadelphia following Saturday night’s Game 5 in Arizona.