Monday, March 4, 2024

MLB NLCS | Game 6 Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (3-2) at Arizona Diamondbacks (2-3)

Philadelphia leads the series 3-2

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS NOTES:

EMBRACE THE CHAOS: The D-backs are in the Postseason for the seventh time in franchise history: 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2017 and 2023.
♦ In 50 Postseason games as a franchise, the D-backs are 25-25 (.500), 16-9 @ home, 9-16 on the road.

♦ It is the D-backs’ first National League Championship Series appearance since 2007 (Oct 11-15) when they faced the Rockies and third in
club history (also: 2001 vs. Braves).

♦ It marks the latest the D-backs have played into a calendar year since their 2001 World Series run.

♦ It is the first series the D-backs are facing off with the Phillies in the Postseason and first time since 1995 in which there are 2 Postseason matchups that had never occurred previously.

IN POTENTIAL ELIMINATION: The D-backs are 6-5 in Postseason games (1-0 in Game 6) where they face potential elimination:
Date Rd. GM Opp Result
10/9/2017 NLDS 3 LAD L 1-3
10/4/2017 NLWC 1 COL W 11-8
10/7/2011 NLDS 5 @ MIL L 2-3 (10)
10/5/2011 NLDS 4 MIL W 10-6
10/4/2011 NLDS 3 MIL W 8-1
10/15/2007 NLCS 4 @ COL L 4-6
10/5/2002 NLDS 3 @ STL L 3-6
11/4/2001 WS 7 NYY W 3-2
11/3/2001 WS 6 NYY W 15-2
10/14/2001 NLDS 5 STL W 2-1
10/9/1999 NLDS 4 @ NYM L 3-4 (10)

TEAMS WHO HAVE FORCED AN NLCS GAME 7: Since 1985, when the Championship series format changed to best-of-7, teams who forced an NLCS Game 7 are 7-4 in Game 7 (3-2 on the road):
2020: Dodgers overcame 3-1 defi cit over Braves (WON Game 7 @ Globe Life).
2018: Brewers forced Game 7 with Dodgers (lost Game 7 @ home).
2012: Giants overcame 3-1 defi cit over Cardinals (WON Game 7 @ home).
2006: Mets forced Game 7 with Cardinals (lost Game 7 @ home).
2004: Cardinals forced Game 7 with Astros (WON Game 7 on road).
2003: Marlins overcame 3-1 defi cit over Cubs (WON Game 7 on road).
1996: Braves overcame 3-1 defi cit over Cardinals (WON Game 7 @ home).
1992: Pirates forced Game 7 with Braves (lost Game 7 on road).
1991: Braves forced Game 7 with Pirates (WON Game 7 on road).
1988: Mets forced Game 7 with Dodgers (lost Game 7 on road).
1987: Cardinals forced Game 7 with Giants (WON Game 7 @ home).

TEAMS TO WIN BEST-OF-7 AFTER LOSING FIRST 2 ROAD GAMES:
♦ 2004 ALCS – Red Sox defeat Yankees in 7 games
♦ 1985 NLCS – Cardinals defeat Dodgers in 6 games
♦ 1981 World Series – Dodgers defeat Yankees in 6 games
♦ 1978 World Series – Yankees defeat Dodgers in 6 games
♦ 1971 World Series – Pirates defeat Orioles in 7 games

MARTE PART-AY: Ketel Marte has hit safely in each of his first 14 career Postseason games (.383 AVG/1.070 OPS; 23-for 60, 9 XBH)…he is the first D-backs’ player in franchise history to do so and it marks the second-longest streak in MLB Postseason history, behind Marquis Grissom (15 games – 1995-96).

♦ Marte’s 16 hits this Postseason rank tied for third most hits in a single Postseason in franchise history (also: Luis Gonzalez/2001), behind Steve Finley (19 in 2001) and Tony Womack (17 in 2001).

ALEK KEEPS FLEXING: In Game 5, Alek Thomas homered in a second straight game (solo off Wheeler in Bot 7) to mark the second time this Postseason where he’s homered in consecutive games (also: NLWC Game 2 @ Brewers and NLDS Game 1 @ Dodgers).

♦ Thomas is the first player in franchise history to homer in consecutive games twice in the Postseason and it was the fifth instance of consecutive homers in the Postseason by a D-back…no D-back player has ever done it over 3 consecutive games.

MAKE IT 4 FOR ALEK: Alek Thomas became the first D-back in franchise history to hit 4+ homers in a single Postseason, ahead of Gabriel Moreno (3 in 2023), Chris Young (3 in 2011) and Luis Gonzalez (3 in 2001)…it is also the fi rst time in franchise history where teammates each collected 3+ homers in a single Postseason.

POWER OF YOUTH: The D-backs’ 11 home runs hit by players age 23 or younger are tied for the most in a single Postseason with the 2015 Cubs [courtesy: Sarah Langs]…the D-backs’ players age 23 or younger have collected 11 home runs in a 10-game span while the Cubs and Astros played an average of 13 games in their respective Postseason runs.

♦ With Geraldo Perdomo, Corbin Carroll, Gabriel Moreno and Alek Thomas, the D-backs are the third team in Postseason history with 4 players age 23 or younger with a home run in a single Postseason, joining:2020 Braves (Riley, Pache, Albies, Acuña Jr) and 2015 Cubs (Bryant, Schwarber, Soler, Báez).

♦ Corbin Carroll (age 23-047), Alek Thomas (age 23-162), Gabriel Moreno (23-235) and Geraldo Perdomo (23-354) became the first, second, third and fourth-youngest D-backs players, respectively, in franchise history to hit multiple home runs in a Postseason.

♦ Corbin Carroll also became the third D-backs’ rookie to hit multiple home runs in a Postseason run, joining Mark Reynolds (2007) and Paul
Goldschmidt (2011).

♦ Gabriel Moreno is the first catcher at age 23 or younger to collect 3+ homers in a Postseason.

DINGER POST-SZN: The D-backs (Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Gabriel Moreno, Ketel Marte and Geraldo Perdomo) and Phillies feature 5 players who have hit 2+ home runs, the second most this Postseason, behind the Rangers (6 players).

♦ The D-backs and Rangers are the only teams to have 8 different players hit a home run this Postseason (also: Tommy Pham, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Christian Walker)…the Phillies are behind with 7.

SNAKES IN THE POSTSEASON:
TEAM HR AB TEAM SB ATT
Phillies 23 355 Phillies 15 18
Astros 18 343 D-backs 8 11
Rangers 18 384 Rangers 6 6
D-backs 16 332 Astros 3 3

STEADY BULLPEN: D-backs’ relievers, in their last 33 games since Sept. 5, have a 2.46 ERA (39 ER in 142.2 IP), .207 OPP AVG, 8.26 K/9.0 IP and 0.88 HR/9.0 IP. ♦D-backs’ relievers have allowed 1 or no runs in 11 of their last 16 games… their 2 home runs allowed this Postseason are tied for the fewest allowed among remaining playoff teams (also: Phillies).

SEWALD SAVES: Paul Sewald’s 5 consecutive Postseason saves are tied for the second-longest streak in Postseason history, joining Craig Kimbrel
(BOS/2018), Brad Lidge (PHI/2008-09), Jonathan Papelbon (BOS/2007-08), Mariano Rivera (NYY/1998-99), Mark Wohlers (ATL/1995-96) and Rick Aguilera (MIN/1991)…the most is 6 by Robb Nen (SFG/2002).

♦ Sewald is the first pitcher with 5 consecutive saves in a single Postseason since Craig Kimbrel in 2018 (BOS).

POSTSEASON ANSWER-BACKS: The D-backs’ 4 comeback wins are the most this Postseason (11th overall), ahead of the Phillies (2), Astros (2), Rangers (1) and Braves (1)…Arizona’s 4 comeback wins this Postseason are tied for the most in franchise history (also: 2001).

♦ The D-backs are the first team to win consecutive Postseason games when trailing in the 7th inning or later in each since the 2015 Royals in the World Series (Games 4-5)…it is the 15th time a team has had such a streak in a Postseason…no team has done so in 3 straight games (source: @SlangsOnSports).

♦ Game 4 marked the second time this Postseason (and in franchise history in the Postseason) where Arizona rallied back from a 3-run deficit (also: Wild Card Game 1 @ Brewers).

♦ The D-backs became the fourth team in Postseason history to have multi-run comeback wins in each of their first 2 games of the Postseason (Wild Card @ Brewers), joining the 1956 Dodgers, 2008 Rays and 2009 Yankees…Evan Longoria was a part of 2 of the teams (2008 Rays and 2023 Diamondbacks). In Game 1 @ Brewers, the D-backs collected their first-ever Postseason win after trailing 3+ runs in a game…prior to the game, the D-backs were 0-14 in Postseason games when trailing 3+ runs. In Game 2 @ Brewers, the D-backs overcame a 2-run deficit after plating 1 run in the fifth and 4 in the sixth.

PINCH-HIT POWER: In Game 4, Alek Thomas became the fourth D-back in franchise history to hit a pinch-hit homer in a Postseason game (also:
Turner Ward in Game 3 of the 1999 NLDS @ NYM, Erubiel Durazo in Game 5 of the 2001 NLCS @ Atlanta) and Brandon Drury in Game 2 of the 2017 NLDS @ Los Angeles-NL).

♦ Thomas became the ninth player in MLB history with a game-tying, pinch-hit HR in the 8th inning or later of a playoff game and, at 23 years old, he’s the youngest player to do it (source: ESPN Stats & Info).

♦ Thomas (23 years-175 days) became the fourth-youngest player ever in Postseason history to hit a pinch-hit homer, behind Gavin Lux in 2019 NLDS-GM 1 (21-314), Oscar Taveras in 2014 NLCS-GM 2 (22-115) and Yogi Berra in 1947 World Series-GM 3 (22-143) [Sarah Langs].

PARADE OF ARMS: In Game 4, Arizona and Philadelphia combined to use 16 pitchers, which tied for the fourth-most in a 9-inning Postseason game also: Game 1 of the 2021 ALCS between Boston and Houston).

♦ There have been 3 total 9-inning Postseason games where the 2 teams have combined to use 17 pitchers: Game 3 of the 2020 AL Wild Card Series between Oakland and the White Sox, Game 2 of the 2020 NL Wild Card Series between St. Louis and San Diego and Game 3 of the 2020 NLDS between San Diego and Los Angeles-NL.

♦ The 8 pitchers used in Game 4 by the D-backs were the most they’ve used in any Postseason game in franchise history.

STARTING PITCHER – RHP MERRILL KELLY ♦ #29
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Making his third career Postseason start (all on the road).

  • In 2 Postseason starts, is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA (4 ER in 12.0 IP).
  • Before moving to the Chicago area, spent part of his childhood living of Philadelphia…gifted his brother, Reid, Game 3 World Series tickets last fall.

LAST START: Started Game 2 of the NLCS @ Phillies on Oct. 17 (4 ER in 5.2 IP, 6 K).

VS. PHILLIES: Made 1 regular season start against the Phillies in 2023 on June 14 (ND; 3 ER in 6.0 IP).

  • Won his lone start @ Citizens Bank Park on June 12, 2019 after tossing 7.2 shutout \innings (3 H, 0 BB, 5 K).

NLDS RECAP: Earned the win in his Postseason debut in Game 1 of the NLDS @ Dodgers on Oct. 7 (0 ER in 6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K).

  • Became the fourth D-backs starting pitcher (fifth time) in a Postseason start to not allow a run (also: Miguel Batista/Nov. 1, 2001; Randy Johnson/Oct. 16 and 28, 2001; Curt Schilling/Oct. 9, 2001).

2023 REGULAR SEASON HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Went 12-8 with a 3.29 ERA (65 ER in 177.2 IP) in his fifth season with the D-backs.
  • Set a career high in strikeouts (187) [previous: 177 in 2022].
  • Made his 100th career start with the D-backs on April 11 and finished the season with 127 starts, the 6th most starts all-time among D-backs starters.
  • On April 6, struck out David Peralta in the fourth inning for his 500th career strikeout.
  • Is 1 of 11 pitchers to toss 4 seasons of 150.0+ innings since 2019.
  • Went 7-3 with a 4.07 ERA (38 ER in 84.0 IP) in 15 road starts.
  • Finished seventh with a 3.9 bWAR and tied for 12th with a 3.2 fWAR.

NL RANKINGS: Ranked among NL leaders in ERA (5th, 3.29), opponent average (6th, .222), win percentage (9th, .600) and WHIP (10th, 1.19).

FRANCHISE RANKINGS: Ranked among D-backs starters in franchise history (min. 50 starts) in wins (T-5th, 48), starts (6th, 127), WHIP (7th, 1.22), innings pitched (7th, 750.2), strikeouts (8th, 681) and ERA (9th, 3.80).

STEE-RIKE!: On Sept. 4 vs. Rockies, tied a season high and career-high 12 strikeouts (4 H, 1 BB).

  • Also recorded 12 strikeouts on August 24 vs. Reds and May 20, 2021 @ Dodgers.

600 K’S: On July 30 vs. Mariners, struck out J.P. Crawford in the fourth inning, to become the ninth pitcher in franchise history to record 600 strikeouts, joining Randy Johnson (2,077), Brandon Webb (1,065), Robbie Ray (998), Patrick Corbin (897), Curt Schilling (875), Ian Kennedy (705), Zac Gallen (686) and Zack Greinke (683).

MADE YOU LOOK: Collected a career-high 6 strikeouts “looking” on May 28 vs. Red Sox (previous: 5, Sept. 20, 2019 @ Padres), 1 shy of tying the franchise record (7, Wade Miley/2014 & Dan Haren/2009) and most by a starting pitcher this season (7, Zach Eflin/TB). (Source: Sportradar)

VS. LEFT AND RIGHT: From May 5-June 2, held lefties to a .162 average (11-for-68) with 24 strikeouts, while righties batted .191(13-for-68) with 23 strikeouts.

SHOW ‘EM WHAT YOU GOT : In the first time through the lineup, limited hitters to a .190 average (45-for-237) with 70 strikeouts.

IL REPORT: Was placed on the 15-day injured list (right calf inflammation) on June 27… reinstated on July 25.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES NOTES:

GAME 5 RECAP: The Phillies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-1, in Game 5 of the 2023 NLCS in Phoenix … Starter Zack Wheeler picked up the win and tossed 7.0 innings of 1-run ball with 6 hits, 1 walk and 8 strikeouts … Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto homered for the Phillies and Jeff Hoffman, Seranthony Dominguez and Matt Strahm made scoreless appearances in relief of Wheeler.

BEDLAM AT THE BANK: The Phillies are 28-11 all time in the postseason at Citizens Bank Park with a .718 winning percentage that is the best in MLB history for any club to play 30+ postseason games at their home venue (Elias) … NYM (.667) at Shea Stadium (1969-2006) ranks 2nd, STL (.660 win %) at Busch Memorial Stadium (1967-2005) ranks 3rd, BAL (.633 win %) at Memorial Stadium (1966-83) ranks 4th and NYY (.627 win %) at Yankee Stadium I (1923-2007) ranks 5th … After losing their first 2 postseason games at CBP, Game 1 & 2 of the 2007 NLDS vs COL, the Phillies are 28-9 in the postseason at CBP since 2008 with a .757 winning percentage that ranks 1st among all 11 MLB teams at home since 2008 (min. 20 G), in front of SF (.643), HOU (.608), LAD (.603) and NYY (.595) … The Phils reached 25 postseason wins at CBP in only 36 games which is tied for the fastest to 25 wins in MLB history at a home venue during the postseason with the Mets at Shea Stadium (also 25-11) … The Phillies have won 11 straight postseason games against the National League at home which is the longest such streak by either an NL or AL club against its own league in MLB history.

REMEMBER THE FIGHTINS: With a win tonight or tomorrow, the Phillies can clinch their 9th National League pennant and do so in consecutive seasons for just the second time in franchise history (other: 2008 & 2009) and become the 19th NL team all time to win two straight pennants … The Phillies have won 5 straight postseason clinchers (2022 WCS, 2022 NLDS, 2022 NLCS, 2023 WCS, 2023 NLDS) … All time, they are 15-4 in games they can clinch a postseason series and their .789 winning percentage in such games is the best in MLB history (min. 15 G) – BOS ranks 2nd at 24-13 (.649), LAD ranks 3rd at 26-17 (.605), SF ranks 4th at 19-13 (.594) and NYY ranks 5th at 55-39 (.585) … At home, the Phillies are 9-2 all time in clinching games (.818 win %) and they are 6-1 in clinching games at CBP (.857 win %).

GO NOLES: In the last four games he could either clinch a postseason spot, or a postseason series (10/3/22 at HOU, 10/8/22 at STL, 9/26/23 vs PIT and 10/4/23 vs MIA), Aaron Nola is 3-0 with a 0.33 ERA (1 ER, 27.0 IP), 0.56 WHIP and has 26 strikeouts to 2 walks … The Phillies are 4-0 in those 4 games … Over his last 5 starts (regular and postseason combined) since Sept. 20 at Atlanta, Nola is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA (5 ER, 31.1 IP) with 35 strikeouts to 2 walks … The Phillies are 22-13 in Nola’s 35 total starts this season (.629 win %) and they have won 7 straight (since 9/9) and 11 of his last 12 (since 8/10).

FLAGS FLY FOREVER: The Phillies are back in the National League Championship Series for the second consecutive year after winning their 8th pennant in franchise history last season, a 4-1 series win over the San Diego Padres … This marks the 11th NLCS in franchise history (1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2022, 2023) … Since 1980, the Phillies are 27-14 in the NLCS with a .659 winning percentage that ranks 1st among all 8 MLB clubs who have played at least 40 LCS games (HOU .523, NYY .513, ATL .486, STL. 469, BOS .446, LAD .435, TOR .400) … Since 1980 at home in the NLCS, the Phillies are 16-4 (.800 win %) which includes an 11-2 record at Citizens Bank Park (.846 win %).

RUNNIN’ DOWN A DREAM: Through 11 games this postseason, the Phillies have outscored the opposition 58-22 for a +36 run differential which is best in MLB this October (TEX +19, HOU +8, ARI +4) … In MLB history, Philadelphia’s current +36 run differential would rank 3rd all time for a single postseason, behind only the Red Sox in 2007 (+53) and the Braves in 1996 (+39) … Philadelphia’s +3.27 run differential per game would rank 1st in postseason history among National League clubs and 8th all-time among MLB clubs, behind only the 1932 Yankees (+4.50), 1928 Yankees (+4.25), 1960 Yankees (+4.00), 1910 Athletics (+4.00), 2007 Red Sox (+3.79), 1970 Orioles (+3.75) and 1936 Yankees (+3.33).

HOW’S THIS FOR STARTERS: Through 11 postseason games, the Phillies starting rotation has combined to go 7-0 with a 1.48 ERA (10 ER, 61.0 IP), a 9.57 SO/BB ratio (67 SO, 7 BB) while holding the 228 batters they have faced to a .461 OPS and posting a 0.74 WHIP (38 H) … Among the 235 starting rotations in MLB postseason history to toss at least 40.0 innings in a single postseason, Philadelphia’s 1.48 ERA would rank 12th and would be the best since the 1965 Dodgers posted a 1.27 ERA (7 ER, 49.2 IP) … Their 9.57 SO/BB ratio would rank 2nd all time among that group of 235 behind only the 1986 Astros (15.00 SO/BB ratio, 45 SO, 3 BB) – their .461 opponents OPS would rank 3rd all time behind only the 1905 New York Giants (.378 OPS) and the 1986 Astros (.431 OPS) and their 0.74 WHIP would rank 3rd behind the 1905 Giants (0.64 WHIP) and 1986 Astros (0.70 WHIP).

LEGEND OF THE FALL: Two-time MVP (2015 & 2021) and 2022 NLCS MVP Bryce Harper has played 28 postseason games for the Phillies – in 118 plate appearances, Harper is slashing .347/.453/.755 with a 1.208 OPS, 26 runs, 7 doubles, 11 home runs (T-1st in franchise history with Schwarber & Werth), 21 RBI, 18 walks and 4 stolen bases … The Phillies are 17-3 in the postseason when Harper scores a run (.850), 10-0 when he homers and 11-0 when he knocks in a run … Harper had a 1.232 OPS through his first 25 postseason games with the Phillies which ranked 2nd in MLB history for any player’s first 25 postseason games with a club – he trailed only Lou Gehrig who posted a 1.323 OPS in his first 25 games with the Yankees from 1926-36 … In 47 career postseason games, Harper’s 1.031 OPS in 207 plate appearances ranks 3rd all time (min. 150 PA), behind only Babe Ruth (1.211) and Gehrig (1.208) … Per FanGraphs, Harper is up to 2.56 Win Probability Added in the postseason which ranks 6th all time – he trails David Ortiz (3.22), Carlos Correa (3.09), Albert Pujols (2.73), Pete Rose (2.70) and Lance Berkman (2.70).

LEADING MAN: Kyle Schwarber ranks 2nd all-time in League Championship history with 12 home runs, trailing only Manny Ramirez (13) … Schwarber has played 10 NLCS games for the Phillies since last year – he is slashing .406/.558/1.188 with a 1.746 OPS in 43 plate appearances – he has 14 runs, 8 home runs, 9 RBI and 11 walks to 7 strikeouts in the NLCS for Philadelphia … Schwarber has hit 20 home runs in his career in the postseason which is the most by any left-handed hitter in MLB history (next: Reggie Jackson, 18 HR) … He ranks T-4th all-time in the postseason (with Derek Jeter) and trails Ramirez (29), Jose Altuve (26) and Bernie Williams (22) … Schwarber owns the record for most leadoff home runs in the postseason with 4.

OCTOBER’S VERY OWN: In his first 10 career postseason starts, Zack Wheeler has posted a 2.48 ERA (17 ER, 61.2 IP), a 0.73 WHIP (9 BB, 36 H) and held opponents to a .164/.211/.256 slash line (232 batters faced, .467 OPS) … Wheeler has allowed 3 ER or fewer in nine of 10 starts, 2 ER or fewer in eight of 10 and 1 ER or none in four of 10 – he has also allowed 1 walk or none in nine of 10 … Wheeler’s 0.73 WHIP and .211 opponents OBP both rank 1st among the 84 pitchers in MLB history who have thrown at least 60.0 IP in the postseason … His .467 opponents OPS ranks 2nd among that same group of 84 pitchers, behind only Mariano Rivera (.440) … His 2.48 ERA in the postseason ranks 14th all-time (min. 60 IP) and he is tied with STL’s Bob Gibson for 31st all-time in Win Probability Added among pitchers in the postseason at 1.68 … In 4 postseason starts this year, Wheeler has a 2.08 ERA (6 ER, 26.0 IP), 0.73 WHIP and 34 strikeouts to 2 walks.

HATS OFF TO YOU, THOMS: Phils’ skipper Rob Thomson is only the 3rd manager in MLB history to win 18 of the first 25 postseason games to begin a managerial career … He is joined by two Hall-of-Famers: Joe McCarthy went 18-7 with the Cubs and Yankees from 1929-39 and Casey Stengel went 18-7 with the Yankees from 1949-53 … Thomson is only the second manger in MLB history to reach the League Championship Series in their first two years as manager – he joined Mike Matheny, who guided the St. Louis Cardinals to the NLCS in his first two seasons from 2012-13 … Thomson, the 56th manager in Phillies history, is the only one of those 56 to reach the postseason in their first two seasons as manager of the Phillies … Per Baseball Reference, there have been 838 managers in MLB history – of those 838, Thomson is one of only 13 to reach the postseason in their first two seasons as a manager (per Elias) … In chronological order, he is joined by John Schneider (2022-23), Rocco Baldelli (2019-20), Aaron Boone (2018-19), Jeff Banister (2015-16), Matheny (2012-13), Ron Gardenhire (2002- 03), Bob Brenly (2001-02), Larry Dierker (1997-98), Ralph Houk (1961-62), Mickey Cochrane (1934-35), Bucky Harris (1924-25) and Hughie Jennings (1907-08) … Since Thomson took over on June 3, 2022, the Phillies are 155-118 with a .568 winning percentage that ranks T-6th in MLB.

YOU’RE SO GOLDEN: The Phillies have four finalists for the Gold Glove Award at their respective positions … Second baseman Bryson Stott, catcher J.T. Realmuto and pitchers Taijuan Walker and Zack Wheeler … Walker and Wheeler ranked in the top four among all pitchers in Defensive Runs Saved (Walker ranked T-2nd with 5 and Wheeler ranked T-4th with 4) … Stott ranked T-4th among all players in Major League Baseball with 17 Outs Above Average … Realmuto led all catchers again with an average 1.83 pop time to second base.

NLDS RECAP: The Phillies defeated the Atlanta Braves, 3-1, in the 2023 National League Division Series … It marked Philadelphia’s second consecutive NLDS win over Atlanta … The Phillies won Games 1, 3 and 4 as they were led offensively by five players who posted OPS’ over 1.200: Nick Castellanos (1.796), Bryce Harper (1.765), Trea Turner (1.441) and Brandon Marsh (1.212) … Phillies’ starters combined to post a 2.18 ERA
(5 ER, 20.2 IP) in 4 starts and Philadelphia’s relievers combined for a 1.26 ERA (2 ER, 14.1 IP

SEASON RECAP: The Phillies woke up on June 3 (the one-year anniversary of Rob Thomson’s first game as manager) seven games under .500 at 25-32 and from that point on, went 65-40 with a .619 winning percentage that ranked T-3rd among all clubs in MLB (with BAL), behind only ATL (.676) and LAD (.625) … On Sept. 26, the Phillies clinched the top wildcard spot and their second consecutive postseason appearance with a walk-off win over the Pirates … The Phillies slugged 220 home runs this season which ranked 2nd in club history (224 in 2009) but they set a franchise record with 121 home runs after the All-Star break … The Phillies had six different players with 20+ home runs which set a franchise record … Zack Wheeler led all pitchers in MLB in fWAR (5.9) as Philadelphia’s pitching combined for 24.4 fWAR which led MLB and was 6.3 wins in front of SD who ranked 2nd in the NL at 18.1 fWAR.

CITIZENS BANK SPARK: The Phillies went 49-32 at CBP this season with a +83 run differential (418-335) that was their best mark at home since they were +114 at home in 2011 (367-253) … Of their 26 home series this season, the Phillies won 17 of them … Philadelphia’s 49 wins and .605 winning percentage were both tied for 3rd-best in CBP history (since 2004), behind only the 2010 club (54-30, .643) and the 2011 team (52 39, .642) … The Phillies reached 3,000,000 in attendance for the 9th time in the history of CBP and for the first time since 2013 … Philadelphia
saw their attendance increase by over 9,500 per game from a season ago which was the most of any club in MLB.

IN COMPANY WITH COOPERSTOWN: On Sept. 12, Bryce Harper became only the 18th player in Major League Baseball history to reach 1,500 career hits and 300 home runs before turning 31 years old … He is joined by Hall-of-Famers Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Mell Ott, Duke Snider, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Jr. and Vladimir Gurrero … Of the 18 players in MLB history with 1,500 hits and 300 home runs before turning 31, the only ones currently not in the Hall of Fame are Harper, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Andruw Jones, Alex Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez … Of those 18 players with 1,500 hits and 300 home runs before turning 31, only four had 900+ walks at the time: Mantle (973), Harper (947), Mathews (910) and Gehrig (909).

GET ME TO THE PLATE BOYS: In “Close & Late” situations (7th inning or later with the batting team ahead by one run, tied, or with the tying run on base, at bat or on deck), Bryce Harper had 91 plate appearances this season and slashed .387/.495/.667 with a 1.161 OPS that was the best in MLB – he reached base safely in 45 of those 91 plate appearances … Per FanGraphs, Harper ranked 2nd in MLB this year in Win Probability Added at 5.77 – he trailed only Ronald Acuna Jr. (6.87) – Mookie Betts ranked 3rd behind Harper at 5.21.

LEADING MAN: Leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber had a career-high 126 walks this season which is T-4th in Phillies franchise history for a single year with HOF Billy Hamilton who had 126 in 1894 … Bobby Abreu ranks 3rd with 127 in 2004 and HOF Mike Schmidt ranks 2nd with 128 in 1983 … The franchise record for walks in a season is 129, set by Lenny Dykstra in 1993 … Schwarber ranked 2nd in MLB this year in both walks and walk rate (17.5%), trailing only Juan Soto in both (132, 18.6%) … After he was moved back to the leadoff spot on 6/2, the Phillies went 65-41 (.613 win %) – In that span, they went 46-16 when Schwarber scored a run (.742) and 24-7 in the 31 games he homered (.774) … Schwarber hit a franchise record 11 leadoff home runs this season which eclipsed Jimmy Rollins’ previous record of 9 in 2007.

120 WALKS, 100 RUNS, 100 RBI, 45 HOMERS: Kyle Schwarber (126 BB, 108 R, 104 RBI, 47 HR) is one of only 13 MLB players since 1920 (when RBI became official) with a 120 walk/100 R/100 RBI/45 HR season … Babe Ruth did so eight times, Barry Bonds four times, Mark McGwire two times, and Lou Gehrig, Chipper Jones, Aaron Judge, Harmon Killebrew, Ralph Kiner, Mickey Mantle, Willie McCovey, Mike Schmidt & Jim Thome all did so once.

SCHWARBER, McGWIRE, RUTH: In his first two seasons in Philadelphia (since 2022), Kyle Schwarber hit 93 home runs which ranks 2nd in MLB behind only Aaron Judge (99 HR) and he walked 212 times which also ranks 2nd in MLB behind only Juan Soto (267 BB) … Schwarber is only the 3rd player in MLB history with 90+ home runs and 200+ walks through any player’s first two seasons with a club: Mark McGwire with St. Louis from 1997-98 (94 HR, 205 BB) and Babe Ruth with the Yankees from 1920-21 (113 HR, 294 BB).

TREA DAY: Shortstop Trea Turner had a career-high 66 extra-base hits in his first season in Philadelphia … He also hit 26 home runs, scored 102 runs and was a perfect 30-for-30 in stolen base attempts … Dating back to last season, Turner is 35-for-35 in stolen base attempts – his 100.0% success rate this season is the highest since 1951 among all MLB players who attempted at least 30 stolen bases in one season (previous: Brady Anderson in 1994 & Carlos Beltran in 2001, both 31-for-32/96.9%) … From Aug. 4 through the end of the season, (48 G), Turner slashed .337/.389/.668 with a 1.057 OPS (211 PA) that ranked 4th out of 143 qualified players in MLB.

ARMS RACE: The Phillies starting rotation led the National League with 899.0 innings pitched this year which ranked 3rd in MLB, behind only SEA (901.1) and HOU (900.0) … Philadelphia’s rotation put up 17.7 fWAR as a staff which ranked 1st among all MLB rotations (next: MIN, 16.5) and was 3.2 wins in front of the next closest NL club (SD, 14.5) … Consequently, Philadelphia’s bullpen threw the fewest innings of any relief corps in MLB this year with 543.1, yet Philadelphia’s relief pitchers combined for 6.7 fWAR which was 3rd in MLB behind LAD (7.6) and BAL (7.5) … Combined (SP & RP), Phillies pitching put up 24.4 fWAR this year which was the best in MLB (next: TB, 20.6) and was 6.3 wins in front of SD who ranked 2nd in the NL with 18.1 fWAR.

NLCS GAME 6 STARTER – AARON NOLA • RHP #27
Height: 6-2 Weight: 200 Age: 30 (born: 6/4/93)
2023: 12-9, 4.46 ERA Career: 90-71, 3.72 ERA

LAST START: 10/17 vs ARI (NLCS G2): W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 SO … Nola vs Kelly … The Phillies shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks, 10-0, in Game 2 of the 2023 NLCS at Citizens Bank Park … Trea Turner put the Phils up 1-0 with a solo homer in the 1st inning before Kyle Schwarber hit the first of his 2 home runs on the night in the 3rd inning to put the Phils up 2-0 … The Phillies scored 4 runs in both the 6th and 7th innings – Schwarber, Bryson Stott and J.T. Realmuto each had multi-hit games

TONIGHT’S START:

  • Clutch in the Clinch: In the last four games he could either clinch a postseason spot or a postseason series (10/3/22 at HOU, 10/8/22 at STL, 9/26/23 vs PIT and 10/4/23 vs MIA), Aaron Nola is 3-0 with a 0.33 ERA (1 ER, 27.0 IP), 0.56 WHIP and has 26 strikeouts to 2 walks … The Phillies are 4-0 in those 4 games
  • No Place Like Home … Nola has made 5 career postseason starts at home and all 3 of his appearances this fall have been at CBP … In his postseason career, he is 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA (5 ER, 28.2 IP) at home … Nola has the best postseason home ERA in franchise history (min. 20.0 IP) … In the modern era (since 1901), only 11 pitchers have begun their postseason career with a home ERA of 1.60 or lower in their first 5 starts … He is the first to do so since Ian Anderson had a 1.14 ERA in his first 5 home starts (10/1/20- 10/23/21) … In the regular season this year, Nola had a 3.29 ERA (32 ER, 87.2 IP) when pitching at home … His home ERA was the 9th best among qualified NL pitchers … His career 3.20 ERA at home is the 7th best home ERA by a Phillies pitcher (min. 75 starts) since ER became official in 1912 (best: Grover Alexander, 2.04) … On 8/27, Nola earned the 50th home win of his career and became the 8th Phillies pitcher to earn 50 home wins and joined Cole Hamels as the only other Phillie to do so at CBP
  • oKtober: In NLDS Game 3, Nola struck out 9 batters, which was a new postseason career-high … It is tied for the 2nd-most strikeouts by any pitcher in the postseason this year (most: Wheeler, 10) … It was the 12th time in franchise history a Phillies pitcher has struck out at least 9 batters in a postseason game … Nola currently has the 4th most postseason strikeouts in franchise history with 46 and trails Cole Hamels (77), Steve Carlton (76) and Zack Wheeler (67)
  • Postseason Machine: Nola has the 5th most IP in franchise history with 44.1 and trails Cliff Lee by 2.0 IP for 4th … The Phillies are 6-2 in postseason games that Nola starts and he has allowed 3 or fewer runs in 6 of his appearances
  • Phils Postseason Ranks: 3rd in wins (5), 4th in games started (8), strikeouts (46) and ERA (3.25, min. 40.0 IP) and 5th in IP (44.1)
  • Pitch Usage: Curveball (31.6%), 4-Seam Fastball (29.4%), Sinker (18.9%), Changeup (12.6%), Cutter (7.5%)
  • vs NL West (reg & postseason): 14-12, 4.68 ERA (124 ER, 238.1 IP) in 40 starts

Home:

  • 2023: 6-3, 3.29 ERA (32 ER, 87.2 IP) in 14 starts
  • Career: 50-27, 3.20 ERA (254 ER, 715.1 IP) in 115 starts
  • Postseason: 4-1, 1.57 ERA (5 ER, 28.2 IP)

NOLA – POSTSEASON
W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2023: 3-0 0.96 3 3 18.2 12 2 2 2 19
Career: 5-2 3.25 8 8 44.1 41 17 16 7 46

2023 SEASON:

  • Strike ‘Em Out: Nola struck out 200 batters for the fifth time in his career and has done it in five straight seasons (not including 2020) … He is the only Phillies pitcher to post 5+ straight 200 strikeout seasons and he is only the 22nd pitcher in MLB history … His 5, 200+ strikeout seasons are the 2nd most in franchise history, trailing only Steve Carlton (7) … Nola is 5th on the Phillies all-time strikeout list with 1,582 and trails Chris Short by 3 for 4th place … On 9/2, Nola surpassed Curt Schilling and moved into 5th place on the Phillies all-time strikeout list … Coming into the season, Nola was 7th on the alltime Phillies list and passed Grover Cleveland Alexander on 5/3 to move into 6th … Nola trails Steve Carlton (3,031), Robin Roberts (1,871), Cole Hamels (1,844) and Chris Short (1,585)
  • Had a 2.09 BB/9.0 IP, which ranked 6th in the NL … Had 18 starts with 1 or no walks, which was T-7th in the NL
  • WARlord: Nola now has 33.9 fWAR on his career … He is now in 6th place on the Phillies all time fWAR list among pitchers … He now trails Steve Carlton (75.0), Robin Roberts (62.6), Grover Alexander (50.8), Cole Hamels (40.5) and Curt Schilling (38.6)
  • His 1.15 WHIP was 7th in the NL … Nola’s 1.13 career WHIP is T-8th best in Phillies history (min. 500.0 IP)
  • Nola recorded his 5th, 10-win season of his career and he became 1 of 19 Phillies pitchers to earn at least 5, 10-win seasons in their career … The only Phillies with more 10+ win seasons are Steve Carlton (13), Robin Roberts (12), Grover Alexander (7), Cole Hamels (6), Kyle Kendrick (6), Curt Simmons (6), Bill Duggleby (6) and Al Orth (6)
  • Philly Value: Since 2018, Nola is one of two pitchers in baseball to accrue more than 20.0 fWAR (25.5) and pitch for only one team (other: Shane Bieber, 20.7) … In that span, he ranks 5th overall in fWAR behind only Gerrit Cole (28.5), Zack Wheeler (27.9), Max Scherzer (28.1), and Jacob deGrom (27.2) … Since the start of 2022, Nola leads NL pitchers in fWAR with 10.2
  • Nola now holds sole possession for the 7th most starts in Phillies history (235) … Nola trails Steve Carlton (499), Robin Roberts (472), Chris Short (301), Cole Hamels (294), Grover Alexander (280) and Curt Simmons (263)
  • Recorded the 30th double-digit SO game of his career on 7/4 at TB … Is now in sole possession of 3rd place in club history (Curt Schilling is 2nd with 48)
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