Ketel Marte, the NLCS MVP from Nizao
Ketel Marte helps Diamondbacks return to World Series
Ketel Marte has always embraced the opportunity to shine a light on his hometown of Nizao, Dominican Republic. So naturally, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ veteran second baseman wasted no time giving his hometown a shoutout after becoming the National League Championship Series MVP.
The hero of Game 3 of the NLCS is heading to the World Series for the first time. Marte helped the Diamondbacks beat the Phillies 4-2 in the winner-take-all Game 7 on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The Arizona Diamondbacks won the best-of-seven NLCS 4-3 to earn a spot in the World Series against the Texas Rangers.
“This is amazing,” Marte told the media in Philadelphia afterward. “I think I deserved that. You know I’m feeling great. That was for my mom and for my city back in the Dominican, Lizao.”
Nicknamed El Niño de Nizao, the boy of Nizao, Marte hit .387 (12-for-31) with four doubles, one triple, two runs scored and three RBIs in the NLCS.
Ketel Marte sets record
Combined with the Wild Card and Division Series and four playoff games he played in during the 2017 postseason, Marte is now on a 16-game postseason hitting streak. That is the longest postseason hitting streak to start a career. It is only one game away from tying the longest postseason streak in baseball history.
Only Manny Ramirez, Derek Jeter and Hank Bauer, who had 17-game hitting streaks in the postseason, have had longer postseason hitting streaks. Marte hit his biggest RBI of the NLCS in Game 3. With the score tied at 1, the Diamondbacks were in peril of falling behind 3-0 in the best-of-seven series.
Marte hit a walk-off single to center and then ran wildly toward the outfield as teammates spilled onto the field to celebrate as the sellout crowd of 47,075 went crazy at Chase Field.
MORE FROM OUR ESQUINA
“I think what you’re seeing is we’re having fun, dropping the pressure,” he said after Game 3. This is a game, and we have to have fun.”
Marte and the Diamondbacks are definitely having fun. They’re heading to the Fall Classic for the first time since Luis Gonzalez hit his famous walk-off up the middle against Mariano Rivera to win the 2001 World Series.
The Diamondbacks won four of the last five NLCS games, including the last two on the road at Chase Field. They stunned the Phillies, who were trying to return to the World Series after losing the title last year against the Houston Astros.
Ketel Marte embraces postseason stage
The 2022 World Series participants were both eliminated in the League Championship Series at home. Moreover, the Phillies and Astros each lost their final two LCS games at home.
“Keep winning,” Marte said. “Four more wins and we can be champions.”
Marte, 30, has quietly been one of the best second basemen in baseball since he debuted in the majors in 2015 with the Seattle Mariners.
The career .279 hitter has 41 triples and 107 home runs over his nine-year career. He led the NL in 2018 with 12 triples. The switch-hitter has been a cornerstone of the Diamondbacks’ resurgence from a 110-loss team in 2021 to a Wild Card and NL pennant in 2023.
El Niño de Nizao is the man in Phoenix. Now he’s headed to the World Series.
“I believe in myself,” Marte said. “I believe in my talent. Truly, I’m very grateful for each blessing God has given me this year.”
Stay in the Loop
Get the Our Esquina Email Newsletter
By submitting your email, you are agreeing to receive additional communications and exclusive content from Our Esquina. You can unsubscribe at any time.