GAME SIX: After picking up a victory on Saturday night in Phoenix, the Phillies return to Citizens Bank Park tonight with a chance to clinch a second consecutive trip to the World Series…Arizona is looking to stave off elimination with a victory to force a decisive Game 7 tomorrow. Teams trailing 3-2 to win Game 6 in a seven-game series have gone on to win the series 33-of-59 times (55.9%), including 12-of-19 times in the LCS (63.2%). When road teams in that scenario win Game 6, they have won the series 12-of-23 times (52.2%), including four of nine times in the LCS (44.4%).
TRYING TO GO BACK-TO-BACK: The Phillies can punch their ticket to the World Series for a ninth time in franchise history (and a second consecutive season) with a victory tonight. Philadelphia has only reached the World Series in consecutive years one other time in franchise history (2008 and 2009). The Phils are attempting to become the fourth NL team in the Wild Card-era to clinch consecutive National League pennants…the other three are the 2017-18 Dodgers, the 2008-09 Phillies and the 1995-96 Braves. The Fightins are 15-4 in the Postseason in potential clinch games…in clinch games at home they are 9-2 (see chart above), including a 6-1 mark here at Citizens Bank Park since it opened in 2007. Furthermore, they’ve won all five potential clinch games under Rob Thomson (one on the road and four at home). Philadelphia has punched its ticket to the World Series at home in LCS play four times: 1983, 1993, 2009 and last year, exactly one year ago today.
CAN WE SLITHER TO GAME 7?: The D-Backs must win tonight to force a decisive Game 7 tomorrow night. Arizona is 6-5 all-time in potential elimination games and 0-4 in such games when they take place on the road. Tonight marks the D-Backs first Game 6 in a LCS…they won the 2001 LCS in five games and were swept in the 2007 LCS in four games. The Diamondbacks are 2-3 this season in South Philly (including the Postseason)…they took two-of-three here during the regular season from May 22-24 and lost the first two games of this NLCS here.
KEEP THE KETEL ON: Ketel Marte had a hit on Saturday to run his Postseason hitting streak to 14 games to begin his career, the second-longest streak to begin a Postseason career in MLB history. The only player who has a longer streak to start his Postseason career is Atlanta’s Marquis Grissom, who hit safely in his first 15 games from 1995-96. This Postseason, Marte is hitting .372 (16-for-43) with four doubles, two homers, five RBI and six runs scored while sporting a 1.005 OPS. In his 14 career Postseason games, Marte is slashing .383/.403/.667 (1.070 OPS) with nine extra-base hits, seven RBI and 10 runs scored.
CITIZENS BANK SPARK: The Phillies are 28-11 (.718) at this facility since it opened in 2007 during the Postseason, the best winning % in the Postseason of any team at any facility (min. 20 Postseason games). The Phillies are 6-0 this Postseason at CBP with a +31 run differential (39-8)…they have out-homered opponents here 17-2 this Postseason. Over the last two Postseasons, Philly is 12-2 with a +52 run differential (83-31) in this building… they’ve out-homered the opposition 35-9.
THE HOMERS: There were four more homers in Saturday night’s game (three from Philly and one from Arizona). Of the Phillies 23 homers this Postseason, 19 have been solo shots. The Fightins have out-homered their opponents 23-6 (+17)…that would be the highest homer differential in a single Postseason in MLB history. With their homers on Saturday, both Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber now have 11 career Postseason homers as Phillies…that’s tied for most in team history with Jayson Werth
IF THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES WIN:
- At the conclusion of tonight’s game, media with field access credentials will be able to access the field for the on-field trophy presentation once the stage is in place on the field. ALL media will be required to line up and enter the field through the field access tunnel on the home plate side of the visiting dugout.
- Interview Room: In the event of a win by the Phillies, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo will be available in the Interview Room first. After all Phillies players have left the field and returned to the clubhouse, Phillies manager Rob Thomson, the NLCS MVP and other Phillies players will be made available in the Interview Room.
- Phillies Clubhouse: Media with clubhouse badges shall have access to the clubhouse celebration once the last player has cleared the field. Access will be through the service tunnel and not through the dugout.
- NLCS GAME 6 STARTING PITCHERS
- MERILL KELLY RHP
- 2023 REGULAR SEASON: 12-8, 3.29 ERA
- 2023 POSTSEASON: 1-1, 3.00 ERA
- KELLY GREEN: Today’s outing marks Kelly’s third career Postseason start (all coming this Postseason). Kelly started here at CBP in Game 2 of this series last Tuesday night, allowing four runs on three hits (all homers) in 5.2 innings…he struck out six and walked three as he suffered the loss.
- It was the first time all season that Kelly allowed three homers in a game and the first time since September 30, 2022 at San Francisco…overall it was the fourth time in his career (regular and Postseason) that he’s permitted three homers in a game (which are a career-high).
- 2023 CAMPAIGN: Kelly finished his fifth Major League season in 2023, going 12-8 with a 3.29 ERA in 30 regular season starts for Arizona. He pitched much of the season as a 34-year-old (turning 35 three days ago on October 14) and set full season career-bests in ERA (3.29), strikeouts (187) and strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.5). His 3.29 ERA ranked fifth in the National League while his .222 opponent’s average against was sixth-best and his 1.19 WHIP was 10th-best.
- FIRST THINGS FIRST: Kelly has limited opposing hitters to a .193 average and a .611 OPS the first time through the order this year. The second time through, opposing hitters are hitting .222 with a .650 OPS…the third time through they are hitting .246 with a .778 OPS.
- ON THE ROAD AGAIN…: Kelly was 8-4 with a 3.94 ERA (42er, 96.0ip) in 17 road starts this year (incl. Postseason)…his 3.94 ERA, however, was over a run higher than it was in his 15 home starts (2.59). The D-Backs as a team were 10-7 in his 17 road starts.
- AGAINST THE PHILLIES: Is 1-2 with a 3.55 ERA (10er, 25.1ip) in four lifetime starts vs. the Phillies (three regular season and his outing in Game 2). Tonight’s outing is Kelly’s third career start here in Philadelphia where he owns a 2.70 ERA (4er, 13.1ip) over the prior two outings. His only other start in this ballpark besides his outing in Game 2 was June 12, 2019 where he earned the win with 7.2 scoreless innings.
AARON NOLA RHP
2023 REGULAR SEASON: 12-9, 4.46 ERA
2023 POSTSEASON: 3-0, 0.96 ERA
LET’S GEAUX: Today’s outing marks Nola’s ninth career Postseason start and fourth of this Postseason. Nola spun 6.0 shutout innings here in Game 2, allowing three hits, walking none and striking out seven en route to the Phils 10-0 win. The outing was Nola’s second scoreless effort this Postseason after also twirling 7.0 shutout innings in Game 2 of the NLWC series vs. Miami to help send the Phils to the NLDS.
POST UP: All of Nola’s Postseason experience has come here in Philly since the start of last Postseason. In his eight career Postseason starts, Nola is 5-2 with a 3.25 ERA (16er, 44.1ip). He’s pitched in two potential clinch games for Philadelphia in his Postseason career…in those starts, Nola has pitched 13.2 scoreless innings, allowed seven hits struck out nine and walked only two as the Phils won both games (Game 2 of the 2022 and 2023 NLWC series) to advance. The Fightins have gone 6-2 as a team in Nola’s eight career Postseason starts…the only two losses were Game 2 of last year’s NLCS at San Diego and Game 4 of last year’s World Series vs. Houston. Here at home, Nola is 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA (5er, 28.2ip) with 29 strikeouts and just four walks in five career Postseason starts.
2023 CAMPAIGN: Finished his ninth season in a Phillies uniform this year, going 12-9 with a 4.46 ERA in 32 starts…the Phillies were 19-13 as a team in his 32 regular season starts this year including a 10-4 record in Nola’s 14 starts here at home. Nola reached the 200-strikeout plateau for the fifth straight full season (excluding 2020).
BANK’S OPEN: Dating to August 10, the Phillies are 8-0 in Nola’s eight starts here at Citizens Bank Park (5-0 in the regular season and 3-0 in the Postseason). The Phillies last lost a game that Nola started here on August 4 to Kansas City. Nola is 5-0 in this stretch with a 1.85 ERA (10er, 48.2ip) and has fanned 53 batters in 48.2 innings.
AGAINST THE D-BACKS: Has gone 3-2 with a 6.27 ERA (23er, 33.0ip) in five career starts vs. Arizona (regular & Postseason). In his three starts vs. AZ here in South Philly he has a 3.63 ERA (7er, 17.1ip)…Philadelphia is 2-1 in those three games.