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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fightin’ to the NLCS


Analyzing one of the most memorable playoff runs in recent baseball history

Sometimes, all you need is one break to get the ball rolling. 

In Game One of their National League Wild Card Series (NLWCS), the Philadelphia Phillies were the beneficiaries of one of the worst managing decisions in recent postseason memory.

With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol put relief pitcher Ryan Helsley into the game in an attempt to get a five-out save out of the 2022 National League All-Star. Helsley struck out the first Phillies hitter in the 9th and seemed well on his way to earning the save and putting the Cardinals in prime position to advance to the National League Division Series (NLDS). After allowing a J.T. Realmuto single and walking Bryce Harper, it seemed as if Helsley was out of gas and should have been pulled from the game by Marmol. 

Marmol left Helsley in the game and proceeded to watch his decision snowball into a six-run Phillies inning, leading to a 6-3 Phillies win. It was that meltdown that has helped the Phils catch fire.

The Phillies swept the Cardinals 2-0 in the NLWCS and took three of four from the division rival Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.

Star outfielder Bryce Harper has been, perhaps, the biggest spark plug for Philadelphia’s offense during their playoff run. Through the first two series, Harper hit .435 with three home runs and six RBIs. Harper’s slugging percentage is also through the roof at .957

Despite the severe offensive struggles of outfielder Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins, hitting .050 and .154 respectively, the Phillies had the most RBIs in the postseason through the NLDS and were tied for the third most hits at 45. However, where the Phillies have really shined is on the mound.

Starting pitchers Aaron Nola, and Zach Wheeler in particular, were sensational in the two starts they each made in the first two rounds. Wheeler threw 12.1 combined innings in his two starts, allowed three runs and just six hits. Nola threw 12.2 innings and allowed nine hits without surrendering a single run. The duo has struck out a combined 21 hitters.

Entering the National League Championship Series (NLCS), the Phillies dodged the bullet of having to take on the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers. Instead of the Dodgers, Philadelphia face the team that upset the Dodgers, the San Diego Padres. Much like the Phillies, the Padres benefitted from timely hitting and fantastic pitching.

Both teams had a remarkably similar journey to get to the NLCS, and given that the Padres are the lowest seed Philadelphia has played so far, the Phils have a real chance to win their first National League Pennant since 2009.

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