Wheeler and the Phillies
There have been several intriguing storylines this postseason, but only one city's fanbase is making headlines. 

The Diamondbacks will be in South Philadelphia tonight to face the Phillies in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park. Torey Lovullo's club knows it'll be loud, and they've done their best to prepare, piping in crowd noise during a scrimmage at Chase Field prior to coming to Philadelphia. 

"We went into a pretty hostile Milwaukee Brewer stadium," Lovullo said. "I know it's a scaled-down version of what we're going to expect [Monday], but we didn't blink. Then going into L.A., which traditionally can be a very hectic venue for us, we came out and excelled. 

"Now, I don't want to compare and contrast the teams and the fans. I've played here and I've been in this stadium when it's rocking as a staff member. So if the Phillies are a 10, the Dodgers and the Brewers are a very close 8, 9-ish, so we're prepared for the noise." 

The Phillies enter the NLCS with a .702 postseason winning percentage (26-11) at Citizens Bank Park. It's the best winning percentage in MLB history for any franchise that has played 30 or more games in their home venue.

Zac Gallen will start Game 1 for Arizona. The righty is a Jersey guy, born in Somderdale, about a half-hour drive from Citizens Bank Park. 

He expects plenty of family to be on hand for his third career postseason start. He's 2-0 in the playoffs this year and surrendered just four runs over 11 1/3 innings. This after an All-Star season, posting a 3.47 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP over 34 starts. 

"I think it's interesting for sure to start Game 1 in the NLCS at the field, stadium you grew up coming to as a kid, you know, coming to see teams play," Gallen said. "But, I mean, this is about the NLCS. That's really where my emotions are. Still going to go through my routine. I'm playing for free here with all the tickets compared to anywhere else, but yeah, it's about the NLCS. The external factors, I'll block them out as best I can." 

Wheels Up 
Right-hander Zack Wheeler will take the mound for the Phils in the series opener. He's been outstanding this postseason, surrendering just three earned runs on eight hits over 13 innings. He's posted 2.59 ERA over eight career postseason starts; it's the second-best postseason ERA in franchise history behind only Cliff Lee and his 2.33. 

"It's an honor to take the ball Game 1, and you take a lot of pride in that, setting the tone that first game," Wheeler said. "That's a big deal for me, so you have to set the tone the first game, and try to get that win." 
Season Series 
The Phillies took the regular season series from the D-Backs, 4-3. Philly won three-of-four at Chase Field in Arizona in June, while Arizona won two-of-three in Philly in May. The Phillies carried a +10 run differential in the series. 

Starting Lineup 
Schwarber DH 
Turner 6 
Harper 3 
Bohm 5 
Stott 4 
Realmuto 2 
Castellanos 9 
Marsh 7 
Rojas 8 
Wheeler RHP

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post