Diamondbacks to face Phillies in NLCS starting Monday
Oct 12, 2023, 8:17 PM | Updated: Oct 13, 2023, 10:12 am
After a 3-1 win for the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday over the Atlanta Braves, the Arizona Diamondbacks will head to Philadelphia for the start of the National League Championship Series, with Game 1 set for Monday.
This will be the second straight season in which two wild card teams have reached the NLCS after the Phillies and San Diego Padres did so last year. The Phillies are the higher seed, and it is a 2-3-2 format in regards to home games.
The D-backs swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series, beating their rivals 4-2 in Game 3 on Wednesday at Chase Field. Arizona is 5-0 this postseason after sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers in the wild card round.
The Phillies closed out the top-seeded Braves at home in Game 4 and swept the Miami Marlins in the opening round.
“Two really good teams, two teams that we saw a decent amount this year,” D-backs ace Zac Gallen said of the Phillies and Braves. “Two teams I feel like we played pretty tough. I’m excited to see what comes out of that. I mean, it doesn’t get easier, that’s for sure.”
Arizona and Philadelphia narrowly missed a matchup to open the postseason. Arizona finished behind the Marlins for the second wild card via the tiebreaker, while the Phillies clinched the top wild card spot.
Philadelphia won the season series against Arizona 4-3 with a pair of extra-inning victories. Five of the seven games were decided by one run. They have not matched up since June, before the trade deadline and key call-ups.
The Phillies finished the regular season hot with an 11-5 record down the stretch, including seven straight wins leading to their clinch.
They have an ace in Zack Wheeler (3.61 ERA, 3.15 FIP), a capable bullpen and one of the most star-studded lineups in baseball. Bryce Harper hit two home runs in a 10-2 victory in Game 3 and Trea Turner turned it on over the final two months after a slow start.
The Diamondbacks scored the most runs in the NL through the first three NLDS games with contributions up and down the batting order. Their pitchers allowed 11 runs in five games.
Both teams will get time to rest to reset their pitching staffs.
Game 2 will be Tuesday, and the series ventures to Chase Field for Games 3-5 (if necessary) Thursday through Saturday.
The American League Championship Series begins Sunday in a battle between the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.