Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

The Philadelphia Phillies are one win away from winning back-to-back National League pennants. 

On Saturday, the Phillies bounced back after consecutive losses, taking Game 5 of the NL Championship Series, 6-1, over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Philly used the long ball and a stellar starting pitching performance to gain a 3-2 series lead. Here are three takeaways from the Phillies win:  

Phillies home-run swagger returns: After homering only once over the first two games in Arizona, the Phillies bats woke up in Game 5. Designated hitter Kyle Schwarber, first baseman Bryce Harper and catcher J.T. Realmuto all went deep, knocking in four of the Phillies’ six runs. In total, the Phillies have gone yard 23 times in the postseason and following a short slump, they may be regaining that home-run swagger at the right time. 

Schwarber and Harper joined teammate outfielder Nick Castellanos with five homers this postseason. The Phillies are only the third team in playoff history to have a trio of batters hit five long balls apiece, joining the 2022 Phillies (Harper, Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins) and the 2017 Houston Astros (Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer), per Sarah Langs of MLB.com. 

Zach Wheeler gets the better of Zac Gallen again: In their second head-to-head meeting of the NLCS, Wheeler got the better of Gallen again. Wheeler was a rock on the mound when the Phillies needed it most, allowing an earned run off six hits with eight strikeouts over seven innings. Meanwhile, Gallen battled through six innings but gave up four earned runs off six hits, including two home runs, while posting only one strikeout. 

The Phillies bats may grab the headlines after Saturday night, but Wheeler’s calm and cool demeanor set the stage for the massive win. 

Wheeler out-dueled Gallen in Game 1 of the NLCS before repeating the performance in Game 5. On Monday, for Game 6 in Philadelphia, Aaron Nola will take the hill for the Phillies, hoping to do the same in a rematch of his Game 2 showdown with Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly. 

Corbin Carroll’s struggles should be cause for concern: Carroll’s offense has disappeared in the NLCS after he was nearly unstoppable at the plate to start the postseason. Following a 1-of-4 night with a strikeout in Game 5, Carroll is only 2-of-19 against the Phillies this series, with more strikeouts than walks (2 K’s, 1 BB). Batting at the top of the Diamondbacks lineup, his recent slump has strained the rest of the lineup, which managed only one run on Saturday.

During the NL wild card and NL divisional series against the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers, Carroll was one of the most challenging outs in baseball. Through five games, the young star had two homers, four RBI and six walks, slashing .412/.565/824 with a 1.389 OPS. If the Diamondbacks are to pull off a miracle and win Game 6 and Game 7 at Citizens Bank Park, they’ll need that version of Carroll to return in a hurry.

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The post Phillies HR swagger returns in NLCS Game 5 win over Diamondbacks appeared first on WorldNewsEra.


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