ARLINGTON, Texas — A night after his home run went to waste, Tommy Pham made sure his impact was felt time and time again.
The former Mets outfielder racked up a four-hit effort — his second of the postseason — to key the Diamondbacks’ 9-1 win over the Rangers in Game 2 of the World Series on Saturday night at Globe Life Field.
“He goes out there and bangs out four base hits today and has a really good approach, but I think the thing he added was some toughness, some focus,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “And his ability to prepare became very contagious.”
Pham’s relentless work ethic was apparent during his time with the Mets, even if he felt like some of their position players were not putting in the same kind of effort. But his hard-nosed style has the Diamondbacks tied 1-1 in the World Series.
“There’s no nonsense about his workday,” Lovullo said. “He’s a great teammate. He’s an unbelievable teammate. And I know we got better because of all the things that he brings to the table that don’t get seen in a box score. It’s nice to get those four hits today. Of course, it set a great tone for us.
“But he’s a very intense competitor with zero room for nonsense. And I think that personifies who we are when we get between the white lines at 7:05 every night.”
Two months ago, on the day he became eligible to buy a six-pack of beer, Evan Carter played his first game at Triple-A.
On Saturday, he was batting third for the American League champion Rangers in Game 2 of the World Series.
If Carter, who went 1-for-3, was feeling any trepidation after his sudden rise that landed him on the biggest stage in the sport, he certainly hasn’t shown it, collecting three hits through his first two World Series games.
“[Double-A], that feels like three years ago at this point,” Carter said Saturday before Game 2. “Time’s flown by. It’s crazy that it’s almost November now. This is the farthest I’ve ever played baseball before. But where else would you rather be?
“This is every ball player’s dream. This is where you want to be at and the stage you want to play on. So, gosh, how fun is this? This is great.”
Carter, a second-round draft pick out of high school in 2020, played just eight games at Triple-A before the Rangers called him up on Sept. 8 when Adolis Garcia landed on the injured list.
He hit .307 with five home runs and a 1.059 OPS in 23 games and has not cooled off in the playoffs, entering Saturday batting .311 with a .992 OPS.
On Friday, Carter became the second-youngest player in MLB history to start and bat third in the first game of a World Series, beaten out only by Mickey Mantle in 1952.
“I’d say more than anything, his poise [has stood out],” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He had great composure up there at the plate, out in left field. His age, and to be on this stage, it’s not a big deal to him. He’s not in awe of anything. We said he plays with no fear. He’s just a special kid, I think, that’s [he’s] going to have a tremendous career.
“He’s only going to get better on all facets of the game but, more importantly, is the makeup of the kid, he’s got that mental toughness you love.
The Diamondbacks’ 16 hits Saturday were the most in a World Series game since the Giants had 16 in Game 4 of the 2014 World Series.