‘He didn’t think I could get the job done’

Tommy Pham had an incredible opportunity in Game 2 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. He had a chance to make history by becoming the first player in Major League Baseball history to go 5-for-5 in a World Series game. However, DBacks manager Torey Lovullo decided to have Jace Peterson pinch hit for Pham instead.

In response to a baseball fan account on Instagram, Pham explained, “I asked Torey if Jace could hit for me. I wanted my friend to get his first World Series at-bat. Please stop this narrative.”

Pham, 35, also took the time to address a contentious meeting he had with Lovullo during the National League Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Pham had been benched for Game 5 due to his turf toe and a hitting slump. Pavin Smith replaced him in the lineup but didn’t perform well.

Reflecting on the conversation with Lovullo, Pham said, “He didn’t think I could get the job done. It’s my responsibility as a player to instill confidence in my manager and coaches. I need to do a better job of that.”

Pham returned to the lineup in Game 6 as designated hitter and hit a solo home run. He continued his strong performance in Game 1 of the World Series with another solo home run.

Pham later stated, “The conversation with Lovullo wasn’t pretty, but it was healthy. We were able to understand each other’s perspectives better. As a competitor, I want to be out there for every at-bat and every inning.”

He admitted that the day off for Game 5 of the NLCS didn’t make a difference in his performance. Pham was acquired by the Diamondbacks from the New York Mets in August and has played for seven teams in 10 years.

Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker praised Pham, saying, “He’s calculated, he’s experienced, he’s polished. I’ve learned a lot from him.”

Pham also discussed his initial conversation with DBacks general manager Mike Hazen, where he was told that he would play every day and bat in the middle of the lineup. Looking back, Pham admitted, “I wish I had their vision because this experience has been amazing.”

Although the recent conversation with Lovullo was different, Pham didn’t hold onto any negative feelings. He simply acknowledged that he needed to improve. Coming into Game 2 against the Rangers, Pham had struggled with a .213 batting average in the postseason.

However, in that game, Pham went 4-for-4, hitting doubles and singles, and scoring twice before stepping aside for Peterson in the ninth inning. Peterson, who was added to the World Series roster, reached base and scored, expanding the DBacks’ lead.

Peterson described Pham as a great teammate and leader, highlighting his work ethic and treatment of others.

Source: DBacks’ Pham on Lovullo: ‘He didn’t think I could get the job done’


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