The Keys to a Phillies NLCS Victory

Yong Kim / Inquirer Staff Photographer

The Philadelphia Phillies have clinched the NLDS and are moving on to the NLCS. This is the team’s first NLCS since 2010. The Phillies beat the defending World Champions, Atlanta Braves to move on to the next round the 2022 MLB Postseason, they will face the San Diego Padres in the NLCS. Below are the 5 keys that will help the Phillies clinch the National League Pennant.

1. Starting Pitching

Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola have been outstanding for Philadelphia in the postseason. Wheeler is the game one and game 5 starter in the NLCS. Wheeler is 0-1 in two starts for the Phillies in the 2022 postseason. Phillies will look for at least 7 quality innings from Wheeler. However, Aaron Nola has yet to give up a run in the month of October. He is 2-0 in two starts with a 0.00 ERA this postseason. Nola is set to pitch in game two and six. Both Wheeler and Nola will have to eat up big innings for the club while only allowing a few hits and hope to take at least one game in San Diego before heading home Friday for 3 games that weekend.

2. Offense

The offense got to a shaky start in the Wild Card round against the St. Louis Cardinals. In the wild card round the first 5 batters in the Phillies lineup was a combined 3-36 (0.08 AVG). The NLDS is where the first 5 batters started to lit a match, going a combined 24-80 (0.300 AVG). The Padres have a really good pitching staff and the top of the lineup for the Phillies have to set the example with quality at bats and seeing lot of pitches while driving in runs.

3. Bullpen

The Philadelphia Phillies’ Bullpen has been one of the best in the postseason. With a 7 game series at hand and 5 games in 5 days the Phillies are going to have to look to the guys who have yet to pitch in this year’s postseason. Earlier this year was a bullpen that was notorious, that had a 70% save rate for the 2022 season. Game 4 of this series is most likely going to be a bullpen game with either Bailey Falter or Noah Syndergaard starting that game if the other games goes according to plan.

4. Defense

Defense is the reason the Phillies lost game two in the NLDS to the Atlanta Braves. On a misplayed ground ball by first baseman Rhys Hoskins. Defense was a worrisome for the Phillies this year causing a New York Met Broadcaster to say that the Phillies team is not a fundamentally sound team. Which at the time he was not wrong. However, during this run in the late of the season into the postseason the Phillies have played a fairly fundamentally sound game. Beside the error, that was ruled a hit, costed them the game. Phillies play a good defensive series and not give the Padres any extra base runners will help provide the best possibility to win this series.

5. Staying Patience/ Discipline

The Phillies team has been very discipline in their at bats which have helped get them where they are now. Not swinging at balls not in the strike zone was the reason why Philadelphia was able to make comeback in game one of the Wild Card series. Being Patience is the reason why Brandon Marsh was able to work a walk and then go first to third on an overthrown pick off attempt in game three of the NLDS series. Being patience and discipline is going to be on of the biggest factors in the NLCS series. With the Padres having a good starting pitching and a good bullpen the Phillies are going to have to see pitches and not swing at balls outside of the zone to draw their opposing pitcher’s pitch count up.

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