Diamondbacks’ Tommy Pham forgoes chance at World Series history to give Jace Peterson first at-bat

Arizona Diamondbacks' Tommy Pham celebrates after hitting a single against the Texas Rangers during the eighth inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Tommy Pham approached Torey Lovullo and asked the Arizona Diamondbacks manager to take him out of the game.

The Diamondbacks had a 4-1 lead over the Texas Rangers going into the eighth inning, and Pham knew he was going to bat second in the ninth inning. The designated hitter wanted teammate Jace Peterson to pinch hit for him.

“Are you sure?” Lovullo asked Pham. “One hundred percent sure?”

Like Pham, Peterson was also playing in his first World Series. In addition to sharing adjacent lockers, both Peterson, 33, and Pham, 35, were brought to Arizona via trades from the Oakland A‘s and the New York Mets, respectively.

But more important than that, Peterson wasn’t a part of the Diamondbacks’ National League Championship Series roster and was added to the World Series roster on Friday.

Pham was more than positive he wanted Peterson to hit for him.

“Me and Jace are cool, man,” Pham said Sunday, a day after Arizona’s 9-1 win. “I had to get my dog in.”

By doing so, Pham gave up an opportunity to become the first player to go 5 for 5 in the World Series. Two players — the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Paul Molitor (1982) and the St. Louis Cardinals‘ Albert Pujols (2011) — have recorded five-hit games in the Fall Classic, but both went 5 for 6.

“I’m not on Twitter; I’m not on social media, but my family will send me things,” Lovullo said. “And I guess I was the idiot in the room that took Tommy Pham out of the game. This was to me a true team moment. Tommy Pham knew — I’m sure he knew, because he’s extremely smart and pays attention to in some things that you wouldn’t expect a Major League Baseball player to pay attention to — I am guaranteeing you he was aware that he had a chance to get five hits.

“This was a moment where it was a teammate loving a teammate to give him an opportunity. He took what mattered most to him personally — No. 1 on the list — and said, it’s more about the team and my teammate at this moment.”

Lovullo told reporters that before he agreed to make the switch, there were certain criteria that had to met.

“I gave [Pham] some contingencies,” Lovullo said. “I said, if it’s 7-1, that’s the only score I’ll allow it to happen. [If it’s] 7-2, lefty-righty, I’m going to reconsider it, and I’ll circle back to you.”

The Diamondbacks scored three runs in the frame, so Pham walked over to Peterson and told his teammate he’d be hitting for him.

“I got you. Ready. Appreciate it. Let’s go!,” Peterson told FOX Sports he said to Pham.

Peterson hit into a force out and stood at first. After a pair of singles from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Emmanuel Rivera, Peterson was eventually brought home and recorded Arizona’s eight run.

The Diamondback and Rangers will be at Chase Field on Monday for Game 3. The series is tied 1-1.

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