GAME FIVE: The home team has carried the day in this series so far with the series even at two games apiece heading into a pivotal Game 5 tonight here in Arizona. In any best-of-seven Postseason series that was tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series 46 out of 65 times (70.7%), including 15-of-19 times in the LCS (78.9%). When the home team wins Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead, they have won the series 23-of-37 times (62.1%), including eight-of-11 times in the LCS (72.7%). When the road team wins Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead, they have won the series 22-of-28 times (78.6%), including seven-of-eight times in the LCS (87.5%)
LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK: The Phillies are seeking a victory tonight before the series shifts back to Citizens Bank Park on Monday where they have gone 6-0 so far this Postseason. This is the second time in the last two Postseasons that the Phillies have dropped consecutive games (also Games 4-6 of last year’s World Series vs. Houston).
Philadelphia is 18-9 in its 27 Postseason games dating to last year…however, on the road during last two Postseasons the Phillies are 6-7 overall and 3-7 in their last 10 Postseason road games. They have lost three of their four road Postseason games this year with their only victory coming in Game 1 of the NLDS vs. Atlanta. Interestingly enough, the Phillies are 6-0 all-time in nine NLCS Game 5s.
SNAKES ALIVE: The Diamondbacks have leveled the series at two games apiece and could take a series lead back to Philadelphia with a victory tonight. Yesterday’s win was Arizona’s fourth come-from-behind victory this Postseason, most of any team…no other team has more than two such wins. It was also the second time this Postseason the D-Backs overcame a three-run deficit to win…they also did so in Game 1 of the NLWC at Milwaukee, falling behind 3-0 before winning 6-3…entering this Postseason they were 0-14 in Postseason games when they’d trailed by 3+ runs. Arizona has only played one other NLCS Game 5 in its history, winning on October 21, 2001 at Atlanta to advance to the 2001 World Series.
FRIENDLY REMINDER: Game 6 on Monday in Philadelphia is currently scheduled for 5:07 p.m. ET / 2:07 p.m. PT…however, if the ALCS wraps up in six games, Game 6 of this NLCS will move to 8:07 p.m. ET / 5:07 p.m. PT.
LOOKING FOR LENGTH: Both teams used eight pitchers in last night’s game…the 16 combined pitchers used were tied for the fourth-most in a 9-inning game in Postseason history.
NLCS GAME 5 STARTING PITCHERS
ZACK WHEELER RHP
2023 REGULAR SEASON: 13-6, 3.61 ERA
2023 POSTSEASON: 2-0, 2.37 ERA
ZACK ATTACK: Today’s outing marks Wheeler’s 10th career Postseason start and fourth this Postseason. Wheeler picked up the victory in Game 1 of this series last Monday, working 6.0 innings and allowing two runs on three hits (one homer) while striking out eight and walking none. The righty has struck out 26 batters in 19.0 Postseason innings in 2023 and walked just one batter.
POST UP: All of Wheeler’s Postseason experience has come in the last two seasons with the Phils…in his nine prior Postseason starts he’s 3-3 with a 2.63 ERA (16er, 54.2ip). Wheeler has averaged 9.7 K/9ip in his nine Postseason starts, whiffing 59 batters in 54.2 innings. His 0.695 WHIP through his first nine Postseason starts is best all-time (min. 30.0 Postseason innings). Six of his nine career Postseason starts have come on the road where he’s posted a 2.75 ERA (11er, 36.0ip). As a team, Philadelphia has gone 5-4 in his nine postseason starts overall but is 2-4 in his six Postseason starts on the road.
WHEELIN’ & DEALIN’: Completed his fourth season in a Phillies uniform in 2023, going 13-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 32 starts. Wheeler eclipsed the 200 strikeout mark in 2023 for the second time in his career, striking out 212 batters…the 212 strikeouts where the second-highest total of his career behind a 247-strikeout season in 2021. His 5.9 fWAR was tops among all MLB pitchers in 2023 while his 4.2 bWAR was fifth-best in the NL.
AGAINST THE D-BACKS: Is 7-3 with a 2.96 ERA (25er, 76.0ip) in 12 career starts vs. Arizona including his start in Game 1 of this series. As a Phillie (since 2020), Wheeler is 3-2 with a 3.52 ERA (12er, 30.2ip) in five starts against the D-Backs. In seven starts here at Chase Field during his career he’s 4-1 with a 3.45 ERA (17er, 44.1ip)…his teams have gone 5-2 in those seven games. Wheeler got the nod here on June 13 earlier this year in Philly’s 15-3 win…he worked 6.0 innings and allowed one run on four hits while whiffing seven
ZAC GALLEN RHP
2023 REGULAR SEASON: 17-9, 3.47 ERA
2023 POSTSEASON: 2-1, 4.96 ERA
ZAC ATTACK: Today’s outing marks Gallen’s fourth career Postseason start, all of which have come this year. Gallen took the loss in Game 1 of this NLCS when matched up against Wheeler last Monday in South Philly…he permitted five runs on eight hits (three homers) with four strikeouts and two walks. Today’s outing marks his first career Postseason start at home…each of his other three starts this Postseason came on the road.
QUITE A CAMPAIGN: Gallen went 17-9 with a 3.47 ERA (81er, 210.0ip) in 34 starts for the Diamondbacks while earning the first All-Star nod of his young career. The 28-year-old set career highs in virtually all categories, including wins (17), starts (34), innings pitched (210.0) and strikeouts (220). Among the qualifying NL leaders, Gallen ranked second in innings pitched, games started and wins, third in strikeouts, sixth in WHIP (1.12) and winning % (.654), seventh in ERA (3.47) and tied for ninth in opponent’s average against (.238). Gallen’s terrific first half of the season earned him the nod to start this year’s All-Star Game for the NL, becoming the youngest D-Backs pitcher to do so in team history.
HOMEBODY: Posted a 2.47 ERA (28er, 102.0ip) in 16 starts at Chase Field this season with Arizona going 12-4 in those 16 outings as a team. Two of the four D-Backs losses in his home starts came in September (including his last home start here on Sept. 29 when he was a tough-luck loser after giving up two runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings in a 2-1 loss to Houston). Entering September, Gallen was 11-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 13 home starts (Arizona as a team was 11-2)…in September, Gallen went 1-2 at home with a 5.94 ERA (11er, 16.2ip).
AGAINST THE PHILLIES: Is 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA (11er, 29.1ip) in six lifetime starts vs. the Phils including Game 1 of this series. He’s made two lifetime starts vs. the Phillies in this ballpark and has thrown 12.0 scoreless innings against them, allowed just three hits, walked four and struck out 13…Arizona won both games. Has not faced Philly here in Phoenix since August 30, 2022 (7.0ip, 2h, bb, 7k).