The Philadelphia Phillies were one of 19 MLB teams that did not select anyone in…
All it took was one pitch from Zac Gallen last night at Citizens Bank Park to set the tone for Game 1 of the NLCS between the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kyle Schwarber crushed a first-pitch fastball to right field field, sending Citizens Bank Park into an absolute frenzy and giving the Phillies an early 1-0 lead over the D-Backs.
Kyle Schwarber’s Historic Leadoff Home Run vs D-Backs
Schwarber has now hit the most leadoff home runs in Major League Baseball postseason history. It was the also his fourth leadoff home run of the postseason, passing Derek Jeter and Phillies’ legend Jimmy Rollins for the most in MLB history.
His blast had an exit velocity of 117.1 mph, the fourth hardest hit home run in the postseason by any player since Statcast started tracking in 2015. The hardest? Schwarber’s 119.7 mph blast off San Diego Padres’ You Darvish in Game 1 of the NLCS last year at Petco Park.
The home run was MASSIVE for Schwarbs, who went just 4-for-25 with one extra-base hit in the Wild Card and NLDS.
Schwarber, for whatever reason, tends to turn things on once the Phillies arrive in the NLCS. Just like last season after going 1-for-20 in the Wild Card and NLDS, Schwarber mashed three home runs in five games against the Padres in the NLCS.
Two batters later, Bryce Harper induced Bedlam at the Bank yet again, with the crowd 111 decibels as he destroyed a baseball to right-center, extending The Fightins lead to 2-0.
Bedlam at the Bank: Bryce Harper Solo Home Run
In the very next inning, Nick Castellanos stepped up to the plate and hit home run No. 5 of the postseason, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead. Casty joined only Reggie Jackson as the two players with five home runs in a 3-game span during the postseason.
Nick Castellanos Solo Home Run
Bryce Harper, celebrating his 31st birthday, finished the night 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, a walk, HR, and two runs scored, adding another RBI in the bottom of the third to extend the Phillies lead to 4-0.
Bryce Harper RBI
The Phillies scored two runs in the first inning, one in the second, one in the third, and one in the fifth last night of D-Backs’ ace Zac Gallen. JT Realmuto added an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to make push the Phillies lead to five runs.
JT Realmuto RBI Double
On the mound, Zack Wheeler was dominant yet again.
Wheeler coughed up a broken bat single to D-Backs’ Corbin Carroll in the top of the first inning and then went on to retire 15 STRAIGHT, including eight strikeouts. The only trouble Wheeler faced was in the top of the sixth inning, when he allowed a rare 2-run home run to Geraldo Perdomo.
Zack Wheeler has been nothing short of incredible in the postseason.
Through three starts this year, he has 26 strikeouts while walking just one batter, posting a 2.37 ERA over 19 innings of work. Wheeler’s 26 K’s are the most in any three-game span in Phillies’ postseason history, passing 25 K’s shared by Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee.
Over nine total postseason starts with the Phillies, Wheeler has posted a 2.63 ERA, allowing 30 hits and eight walks over 54.2 innings. That’s good for a 0.70 WHIP – the best by any pitcher in Major League Baseball postseason history (min. 3 starts).
Bend, Don’t Break Phillies Bullpen
The Phillies bullpen is absolutely insane. It’s almost like they want to put every single fan through the stress test night in and night out. Last night was no different but in the end, they got the job done and secured a much needed Game 1 victory over the D-Backs.
Up Next for the Phillies
The great thing about the MLB postseason is that we’re back at it tonight. Bad news for your liver, but we have Aaron Nola on the mound facing Merrill Kelly for the D-Backs. The Phillies will be looking to pack their bags to Arizona with a 2-0 series lead.
Worth noting, after Merrill Kelly goes tonight, the D-Backs starting pitching is absolutely horrible. Arizona sent rookie Brandon Pfaadt to the mound in Game 1 of the NL Wild Series against the Brewers and he coughed up three runs on seven hits in just 2.2 innings of work. The D-Backs rookie carried a 5.72 ERA in the regular season, with opponents hitting .282 with a .862 OPS.