Phillies Game 1 Wild Card
Zack Wheeler will be on the mound on Friday afternoon as the Phillies begin their first postseason run in 11 years with a Wild Card series in Saint Louis. 

The last time the Phillies and Cardinals met in the postseason was 2011 in a National League Division Series that still stings, ultimately acting as the catalyst that shut the window of opportunity on arguably the best stint in franchise history. 

The Cardinals have a talented roster, led by future Hall of Famers Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina. The club also has outstanding talent and depth, highlighted by Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Dylan Carlson, and Tyler O'Neill. 

Game Times
Game 1: Phillies at Cardinals, Friday at 2:07 p.m. ET, ABC Probable starters: Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82) vs. Jose Quintana (6-7, 2.93) 

Game 2: Phillies at Cardinals, Saturday at 8:37 p.m. ET, ESPN2 Probable starters: Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25) vs. Miles Mikolas (12-13, 3.29) 

Game 3: Phillies at Cardinals, Sunday at 8:37 p.m. ET, ESPN (if necessary) Probable starters: Ranger Suarez (10-7, 3.65) vs. TBD 

Starting Pitching 
The Phillies have an advantage with Wheeler, but that isn't to say Jose Quintana isn't still a quality starting pitcher. The 33-year-old lefty has solid career numbers against Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber (1-for-12) but has averaged a little more than five innings per start since joining the Cardinals from the Pirates at the trade deadline. Cardinals manager Oli Marmol will have some options before digging deep into the bullpen, especially if Quintana stumbles early. He'll have starters Adam Wainwright, Jordan Montgomery, and Jack Flaherty available in relief. 

Friday's outing will mark Wheeler's first postseason start. He threw 14 scoreless innings over two starts against the Cardinals earlier this season and is carrying a 2.75 ERA since July 1. 

The Bullpen 
Zach Eflin recorded his first save earlier this week when the Phillies clinched their Wild Card berth. While David Robertson, Seranthony Dominguez, and Connor Brogdon have each struggled in the backend of the bullpen, Eflin has a 1.17 ERA over seven relief appearances while holding opponents to a .148 batting average. 

Rob Thomson 
Thomson took over a Phillies club that was in a tailspin and turned things around quickly. His presence and attitude stabilized the clubhouse and sparked an outstanding run that saw the club go 65-46 over the final 111 games. Given his success and the consistent praise of his approach by the players, it's unlikely he doesn't return next year with a multiyear deal in hand as manager. 

Where to Watch
First pitch is scheduled for 2:07 p.m. ET at Busch Stadium. The game will air on ABC, with Alex Rodriguez serving as the color analyst for the series and Michael Kay handling play-by-play duties. 

Phillies Starting Lineup
1. Kyle Schwarber, LF 
2. Rhys Hoskins, 1B 
3. J.T. Realmuto, C 
4. Bryce Harper, DH 
5. Nick Castellanos, RF 
6. Alec Bohm, 3B 
7. Jean Segura, 2B 
8. Bryson Stott, SS 
9. Matt Vierling, CF

Clear skies with winds blowing right at about 10mph. Temps will hover around 65-degrees. 

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