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Padres vs Phillies: NLCS Game 1 Stars Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler

Padres vs Phillies NLCS Game 1 Stars

Padres vs Phillies NLCS Game 1 Stars

The Philadelphia Phillies jumped out to an early lead in the 2022 National League Championship Series defeating the San Diego Padres by a score of 2-0 in Game 1. The Phillies’ bullpen got some much-needed rest thanks to Zack Wheeler who threw seven scoreless innings of a one-hit ball.

As for the offense, Bryce Harper hit his third home run in as many games, while Kyle Schwarber hit a monster shot that may have been the longest in recent postseason history. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, the Padres made things interesting against reliever José Alvarado.

Alec Bohm, the Phillies’ third baseman, made an error with a throw, allowing Jurickson Profar to reach on a fielder’s choice and putting the tying run on base for Juan Soto. However, Alvarado recovered to get the final out of the game by getting Manny Machado to fly out and Josh Bell to strike out.

The Phillies have taken a one-game lead in the best-of-seven NLCS over the Dodgers, who will now face the winner of the ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros.

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Now, a look back at what we learned from the first game.

Wheeler Continued His Dominance with an 83-pitch Performance

Wheeler had a 2.19 ERA with nine strikeouts and two walks in 12 1/3 innings through his first two postseason starts. Wheeler the Phillies’ Game 2 starter along with Aaron Nola was even better against the Padres on Tuesday night going 7 innings while allowing just one hit and zero runs and striking out eight batters while walking just one.

With one out in the fifth Wil Myers managed to get on base by singling off of him but other than that he allowed no more hits and struck out 58 batters on 83 pitches. After Wheeler’s velocity dropped in the seventh inning, he did not return for the eighth.

Wheeler’s success at getting batters to chase pitches outside the strike zone is highlighted by the fact that 42% of his total strikeouts came from outside the strike zone. Wheeler now has a playoff ERA of 1.40 after three outings thanks to his stellar performance. He’ll be ready to go for Game 5 this coming Sunday after getting plenty of rest.

Yu Darvish, the Padres’ ace and Wheeler’s opponent, had a solid outing in comparison: 7 innings pitched, 3 hits, 2 runs allowed, 7 strikeouts, 1 walk. Darvish gave up two home runs, but otherwise pitched well enough to win, but the San Diego offense couldn’t back him up. Darvish used his standard repertoire of six pitches, all of which he dominated. Darvish took the loss, but the Padres’ offense was ultimately to blame.

Harper Stayed Hot

Harper Stayed Hot

It’s no secret that Bryce Harper is the Phillies’ biggest draw, and he’s delivered as such in the playoffs. Harper hit.286/.375/.714 with one home run in the Wild Card Series and then went on to hit.500/.529/1.063 with two home runs in the National League Division Series upset of the Braves.

So, he had a slash line of.435/.480/.957 entering 2022 Postseason Game 1 versus the Padres. After that, he did this to Darvish in the fourth inning of game one of the NLCS:

Harper did a great job of avoiding the inside fastball and getting to the opposite field when it was thrown high and outside. It wasn’t the longest or most impressive home run of his career (just 368 feet), but it counts for something. Additionally, Harper became the first Phillie since Gary Matthews in the 1983 NLCS to hit a home run in three consecutive games during the playoffs.

Harper hasn’t played in the playoffs since 2017, so he’s making the most of his opportunity in 2022.

A Pitch was Completely Demolished by Schwarber

Let’s not waste time clearing our throats and start rolling tape:

All things considered, the Phillies are in a Decent Place

A team that takes the first game of a best-of-seven MLB playoff series has won the series 64.3% of the time. When a team like the Phillies wins Game 1 on the road, they increase their odds of winning the series by 59.5 percent. That’s fantastic news for Philly. Good news for the Padres: only 37.2% of the time does the club that wins Game 1 on the road (in this case, the Phillies) go on to win Game 2.

With that in mind, the second game of the series will be played on Wednesday at 4:35 p.m. ET in San Diego. The Padres’ Blake Snell will face off against the Phillies’ Aaron Nola.

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