Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Wheeler NLCS Phillies
Zack Wheeler pieced together another outstanding performance on Saturday in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series at Chase Field, adding to his persona as one of the best postseason hurlers in baseball history. 
Wheeler tossed seven frames, his lone blemish coming in via a solo homer in the seventh. He walked one and whiffed eight. It was exactly the performance the Phillies needed, given the precarious position of the bullpen following Friday's meltdown in Game 4. 
"I think he just has all the confidence in his ability to throw any pitch in any count," Bryce Harper said of Wheeler. "He's not scared. He goes out there and does his job. As a baseball player watching that, you're watching just an incredible moment every time he goes out there. 
"When he gives the team a chance to win each night he is out there, it's incredible. That's why he is here. That's why he has the opportunity to do this every fifth day. I just love seeing him do it." 
The 6-1 win on Saturday gives the Phillies a 3-2 lead in the NLCS. The series shifts back to Philadelphia for Game 6 on Monday. 
Harper also had an outstanding effort in Game 5, starting the opening frame with a single off Arizona starter Zac Gallen. Bryson Stott followed with a single to put the Phillies ahead 1-0 while moving Harper to third. Stott then attempted to steal second base and froze as catcher Gabriel Moreno made a throw trying to make the play. Stott's delay, coupled with a poor return throw, allowed Harper to score on a steal of home. It was the first steal of home in Phillies playoff history. 
"We're going to be aggressive in this spot," Harper said. "Knowing how good Zac is on the bump and trying to take advantage of that moment, being able to score. You know, baseball play, big collision at the plate, I was making sure he was okay. Kind of the way he went down, I was making sure he was good and stable. Never want those moments or anybody to get hurt. But just a good position to put us in and be able to get up in that situation." 
Harper later crushed a solo shot in the sixth that traveled 444 feet. Kyle Schwarber also hit a solo blast, and J.T. Realmuto chipped in with a two-run shot to carry the offense. 
Schwarber's homer in the sixth was historic, not because it traveled an astounding 461 feet, but because it was the 20th postseason homer of his career. That's the most of any left-handed hitter in postseason history. He's only the fifth player in history to swat at least 20 homers in the postseason. 
“The thing about Harper and Schwarber is, those guys are so intelligent,” Diamondbacks hurler Zac Gallen said afterward. “They’ve been around. You’ve got to hope you’re one step ahead of them. It’s hard. And them being able to leave the yard at any point is what makes it even harder." 
Gallen surrendered four runs over six frames for Arizona. He walked a pair and whiffed just one. 
The victory dropped Wheeler's postseason ERA this year to 2.08 over four starts. He's collected 34 strikeouts over 26 innings while carrying a 0.73 WHIP. 
The Phillies return to Philadelphia Monday with an opportunity to close out the Diamondbacks and earn three days of rest before the World Series opens on Friday. 
"Going home with a chance to clinch, it's a good position to be in," Realmuto said.

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis