MLB Winter Meetings: Phillies content without making a splash, Rob Thomson didn’t watch the World Series, and MLB Rule 5 Draft update
MLB Winter Meetings are underway in Nashville, Tennessee and I have a few updates for…
The Philadelphia Phillies are back home for Game 6 of the NLCS against the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight at 5:07PM looking to punch their tickets to the World Series for the second straight season.
Aaron Nola will be on the mound in yet another series-clinching situation for the Philadelphia Phillies. Nola dominated the D-Backs in Game 2 of the NLCS, tossing six shutout innings, allowing just three hits while striking out seven in a 10-0 route of Arizona.
The Phillies second ace hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in an outing dating back to September 9th. Nola has pitched in four “clinching games” since last year (2 WC and 2 Regular Season). He’s allowed just one run in 27 innings, good for a 0.33 ERA.
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Opposing Nola, will be D-Backs No. 2 starter Merrill Kelly. In Game 2, Kelly pitched 5.2 innings and allowed four runs on three hits, all of which were home runs while walking three.
Before Kelly’s Game 2 start at Citizens Bank Park, he said he would be shocked if Phillies fans were as loud as games he played during the World Baseball Classic.
Trea Turner caught wind of those comments and told reporters to ask Kelly what he thought after the game. He then smashed a towering solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the eventual 10-0 demolition of the D-Backs.
Schwarber has smashed five home runs in the 2023 NLCS, two of which came in Game 2 against Merrill Kelly. He delivered his first blow in the bottom of the third inning, giving the Phillies a 2-0 run lead on a solo shot to right centerfield. Schwarber struck again in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the eventual 10-0 route of the D-Backs.
Schwarber’s five homers in the NLCS ties Chase Utley (2009 World Series) for the most home runs in a postseason series in Phillies’ franchise history. Along with Schwarber, Bryce Harper hit a towering home run in Game 5 on Saturday night, which was his second homer of the series and his fifth of the 2023 postseason.
Schwarber and Bryce Harper continue to power the Phillies’ lineup and have both moved into a tie for first place with Jayson Werth with 11 home runs hit in postseason franchise history.
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Nick Castellanos also has five home runs this postseason, making the Phillies just the third team to have three players with at least five homers in a single postseason. Harper, Schwarber, and Rhys Hoskins were one of the other teams that reached that mark last year, with the Houston Astros* being the third back in 2017 when Altuve (Cheater), Correa (Cheater), and Springer (Cheater) accomplishing the same feat.
As a team, the Phillies have hit 23 home runs in the first 11 games of the postseason, trailing only the Houston Astros who launched 24 homers in 2004.
Safe to say we will NOT be seeing Craig Kimbrel in any type of high-leverage situation tonight at Citizens Bank Park. I highly doubt Orion Kerkering will be featured in that role either. Rob Thomson will likely stick with Jose Alvarado, Jeff Hoffman, Seranthony Dominguez, and Matt Strahm to handle any innings in relief from here on out.
|Arizona Diamondbacks||+1.5 (-134)||+152||O 8 (-104)|
|Philadelphia Phillies||-1.5 (+112)||-180||U 8 (-118)|
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Listen. Aaron Nola is going to close this out tonight. Expect a route of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Take the Phillies money line, spread -1.5 (+112) and over at 8 runs.
This Phillies team thrives under pressure and now the series is back home at Citizens Bank Park in front of a sold out crowd with a trip to the World Series on the line.
Tonight, the Phillies will clinch their second consecutive National League Pennant and there will be parties on Broad Street ranging from The Bank to Olney Ave.
THANK YOU to the hundreds of thousands who read all my nonsense about the Phillies. It’s been a rollercoaster ride this season but I have loved battling the massive highs and the crushing lows with every single one of you over the past five months.
NOT DONE YET. 5 MORE TOPPER!!