The Phillies’ improbable run through the postseason continues on Friday, as the World Series begins with game one in Houston. Philly fans all over are anxiously awaiting their most exciting week in sports since the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018.
But as this excitement brews, there are still a few common questions looming around the Phillies. Here are some of those answers:
Where and when will these games be played?
Given that it’s a best-of-four series, there is no guarantee that all seven games will be played. Though the odds of this are slim, only four games may be necessary to crown a champion. Regardless of these potential circumstances, the first pitch of each game will be at 8:03pm ET.
Games three, four, and five will be hosted by the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, and the Astros will host the four other games that serve as the bookends of the series. An off day will separate the trips from Houston to Philly between games two and three and Philly to Houston between games five and six.
How can I watch/listen to the games?
All seven games will be on FOX and FOX Deportes. If you’re interested in streaming the series, games can be found on Hulu, MLB TV, Vidgo, Fubo TV, Sling TV, and DirecTV.
Radio-goers can find the games on ESPN radio and your team’s local station. Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen will be broadcasting all seven games on 94.1 WIP for fans that live in the Delaware Valley.
It’s unclear if this will continue, but MLB Network has replayed some 2022 postseason games the morning after they were played, so that is another thing to keep an eye out for.
How do I get tickets?
Unfortunately, it’s quite a complicated process. The Phillies ticket office is using an e-mail lottery system where randomly selected fans are e-mailed with the opportunity to purchase tickets. If one does not respond to the message within a few hours of when it’s received, another random person is messaged.
The selection process started on Wednesday and is expected to continue until the seats at the Bank are full for the three home games.
So what does this mean for the 950,000+ people who didn’t win the opportunity for a seat? Third-party vendors!
SeatGeek, StubHub, and other reliable third-party ticket sources are selling tickets for all seven games of the series. These are being sold at a much higher price than the ones directly off the Phillies’ website or the MLB Ballpark app, but nonetheless, they’ll still get you admission to the ballpark.
How’d the Phillies even get to the biggest stage in baseball?
If you’re asking this question out of surprise, don’t worry—you’re not the only one. There aren’t many baseball fans that expected the 87-win Phillies to rise atop the National League and make their way to the World Series.
Most people know how stars Zack Wheeler and Bryce Harper carried the Phillies through shocking victories over the Cardinals, Braves, and Padres in the Wild-Card Series, Division Series, and Championship Series, respectively, but few know how the Phillies got to the playoffs in the first place.
So for the fans that jumped on the bandwagon when the playoffs began, here’s the story of how everything started for the Team of Destiny:
The first landmark of the season came on June 2, when the Phillies relieved Joe Girardi of his managerial duties and promoted Rob Thomson to Interim Skipper. At the time of the switch, the underperforming Phillies were a pathetic 22-29 through the first two months of the season.
Needless to say, the players reacted well to the change in managers.
In the regular season, the squad went 65-46 under Thomson, and his popularity in Philly grew by the day.
Brandon Marsh, Noah Syndergaard, and David Robertson were picked up by the Phillies at the trade deadline and filled various team holes offensively and defensively. The real reinforcements, though, came when Jean Segura and Bryce Harper returned to the Phillies in August. They had been sidelined with hand injuries that were sustained earlier in the season.
After a rocky September, the Phillies finally clinched a playoff berth with a 3-0 win over the Astros on October 3.
Some other highlights from the season include Alec Bohm making massive defensive improvements and re-earning his spot in the lineup, Aaron Nola re-finding his Cy-Yong caliber performance from 2018, and Kyle Schwarber’s 46 long balls earning him the home run title for the National League.
Who’s expected to win the series?
Sure, the Phillies have knocked off talented ballclubs like the NL East-champion Braves, but the Astros are a whole different story. Right now, they are the favorites to win and have one of the most well-rounded teams of the last decade.
Houston has a deep starting rotation and a dominant backend of their bullpen, but they also boast a consistent lineup that is a significant threat no matter the part of the order. Justin Verlander is as close to locking the Cy Young award as someone can get before actually earning it, and Yordan Alvarez posted his second straight MVP-like regular season.
The Astros rotation is much more straightforward than the Phillies, but Rob Thomson has already announced how he plans to line up his starting pitching for the series.
Firstly, we know that Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler will be swapping spots in the rotation, allowing Wheeler to get extra rest and Nola to pitch in Philadelphia, where he’s had much more success.
Behind these two, Ranger Suarez and Noah Syndergaard will fill the final two spots in the rotation.
As for the Astros, they’ll undoubtedly have Justin Verlander going in game one, but they have not officially filled the rest of their rotation. However, we do know that Framber Valdez, Christian Javier, and Lance McCullers, Jr. will take the final spots in the rotation, as Jose Urquidy and Luis Garcia are expected to stay in the bullpen.
Could there be any surprises on the Phillies’ roster?
Considering the Phillies are fully healthy and have been sticking with the same 10-12 players offensively, we should not expect too many roster changes for the World Series. Rob Thomson, though, did indicate that the roster will not be the same as the NLCS.
The one addition that seems to be getting likelier is Darick Hall, who matches up well with the Astros’ righty-heavy bullpen.
Nick Nelson has been on and off of the roster throughout the postseason, but with Brad Hand and David Robertson healthy, it’s looking like he won’t make the roster for the final hurrah of 2022.