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"Evan Longoria Dive Impacts D-backs' Double-Play and Strands Brewers"

Elder statesman of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Evan Longoria, saves team with game-changing defensive play in NL Wild Card matchup.

In a thrilling NL Wild Card matchup between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers, it was the veteran presence of the elder statesman, Evan Longoria, that saved the day for his team. Game 1 saw a crucial moment in the bottom half of the fifth inning when the Brewers loaded the bases with three consecutive singles. The pressure was on D-backs pitcher Ryne Nelson to find a way out of the jam with no outs.

However, a strikeout and a pitching change brought Longoria into the spotlight. The 37-year-old third baseman made a remarkable defensive play that would prove to be the game-changer. With a diving snag of a liner by Tyrone Taylor, Longoria then caught Willy Adames of the Brewers far off second base, securing the third out of the inning.

This incredible play, with an expected batting average of .770 according to Baseball Savant, allowed the D-backs to maintain their slim lead of 4-3 as they entered the sixth inning. It left Taylor in disbelief as he put his hands on his helmet, realizing that the ball had not gotten past the infield.

Longoria's heroics came at a time when the D-backs were relying heavily on their bullpen in Game 1 of the wild card series. Starter Brandon Pfaadt had a tough outing, lasting only 2.2 innings and giving up seven hits and three earned runs before being replaced.

Nelson, who followed relievers Joe Mantiply and Miguel Castro, had a brief appearance of just 0.1 innings on Tuesday. He had been primarily used as a starter but was called upon in relief for the playoffs. Ryan Thompson took over for Nelson and, on the sixth pitch of Taylor's at-bat, induced a crucial double-play, setting the stage for Longoria's game-changing play.

It is worth noting that Longoria will celebrate his 38th birthday on Saturday, making his performance even more impressive. In the following inning, he showcased his defensive skills once again. Although he bobbled an infield single, Longoria quickly recovered and caught Christian Yelich of the Brewers far off second base. This time, he connected with second baseman Ketel Marte to record the out. The play required a replay review to overturn the initial safe call.

Overall, Longoria's contributions on both offense and defense proved to be instrumental in the Diamondbacks' victory in Game 1. His experience and skill set were on full display as he made critical plays to save his team from potential scoring opportunities for the Brewers. As the series continues, it will be exciting to see if Longoria can continue to make a significant impact and lead his team to further success.

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