Phillies vs. Diamondbacks history: How Curt Schilling connects NLCS foes

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies really don’t have much of a history. This National League Championship Series is the first postseason meeting between the two clubs, which seems about right considering the Diamondbacks had just six playoff seasons in their first 25 years of existence.

This is not to say, however, there haven’t been a few notable games in the past. And, there is one player who ties the franchises together.

The Diamondbacks and Phillies have only made a half-dozen trades, most of them turning out to be mere footnotes. But one helped change destiny in Arizona.

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Ex-Phillies star Curt Schilling helped bring a title to Phoenix

Curt Schilling, who was MVP of the 1993 NLCS with the Phillies, grew tired of losing as the franchise labored through the rest of the decade and requested a trade to a winning team. On July 26, 2000, the Phillies agreed and sent him to the Diamondbacks for Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee and Vincente Padilla.

Schilling, who went to Phoenix Shadow Mountain High School, was home, and the rest is history. Schilling, teamed up with Randy Johnson, led the Diamondbacks to the 2001 World Series championship where he and Johnson were co-MVPs. Schilling pitched a 3-hit shutout in Game 1 of the NLDS against St. Louis and won the deciding Game 5 going the distance again in a 2-1 win. In the NLCS he threw another complete game, again allowing just one run to Atlanta. Against the Yankees in the World Series, he started Game 1 and allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. He started twice more in the series, and his postseason record was 4-0 with a 1.12 ERA.

Who leads the Diamondbacks-Phillies all-time series?

The Diamondbacks and Phillies have played 168 games against each other, and Arizona holds an 85-83 edge in the series, with Philadelphia currently on a 3-game winning streak. The longest streak in the series is 10 by the Diamondbacks during the 1999-2000 seasons. Philadelphia’s longest streak is seven in 2004-05.

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What was the Diamondbacks-Phillies 2023 head-to-head record?

The Phillies won four of the seven games played this season, Arizona winning 2 of 3 in Philadelphia May 22-24, and the Phillies prevailing in 3 of 4 games at Chase Field June 12-15.

Notable games between Diamondbacks and Phillies

The past two seasons have given fans a few fireworks when these two teams have met.

On Aug. 29, 2022, the Diamondbacks found themselves stymied by Phillies starter Ranger Suárez, who didn't allow a single hit for three innings. Meanwhile, the Phillies offense went to town on Madison Bumgarner, scoring seven runs capped by a three-run shot by Kyle Schwarber in the third.

But then, all hell broke loose. The Diamondbacks scored 6 runs in the fourth and 6 more in the fifth. The go-ahead runs came home on a double by Corbin Carroll, who was making his major-league debut. Arizona sent 22 batters to the plate in those two innings. The Diamondbacks won 13-7 and set a franchise record for the largest comeback.

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Aug 29, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks Corbin Carroll during batting practice at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic
Aug 29, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks Corbin Carroll during batting practice at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic

This past season, the most notable game was an incident in the series opener on June 12 in Phoenix, a game the Diamondbacks won 9-8 after trailing 5-1, with Evan Longoria's 3-run homer capping a 4-run rally in the sixth.

Corbin Carroll was hit twice by Phillies left-hander Matt Strahm in the first three innings. After the second HBP, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo decided he needed to interject, ducking under a dugout railing to make his way onto the field. Within moments, Lovullo was ejected by home plate umpire Vic Carapazza and was engaged in an animated debate with Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto, causing both benches to empty.

By far, the wackiest game between these clubs happened a decade ago, in Philadelphia, in what became the longest game in Diamondbacks history.

On Aug. 24, 2013, the next-to-last game of what had been a long road trip, the teams played 18 innings at Citizens Bank Park before the Diamondbacks prevailed. The Phillies scored four times in the eighth to tie the game, and neither team scored through eight extra innings.

With both teams' rosters almost depleted, the Phillies brought in right fielder Casper Wells to start the top of the 18th. This was not Wells' first pitching appearance in the majors; in fact, earlier that season he pitched a scoreless inning for the White Sox, who later waived him.

And Wells retired the first two Diamondbacks in the 18th before the roof fell in on him. The next six batters reached, three via walk, and when it was all over Arizona had scored five runs to win 12-7. The game took 7 hours, 6 minutes to complete.

Playing extra innings was nothing new to that year's Diamondbacks roster. Arizona played 25 extra-inning games in 2013, only six short of the all-time record. Astoundingly, 12 of those games took 12 or more innings to finish. The 18-inning affair in Philadelphia was the third game of 14 or more innings in a 10-game span the Diamondbacks endured. Situations like that were what, eventually, led to the placement of a designated runner starting in 2020.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phillies vs. Diamondbacks history: Curt Schilling connects NLCS foes