December 2, 2023

Now or Nevah’—Diamondbacks at Phillies NLCS Game 7 Preview


Bill Streicher/USA TODAY

For the first time in the Phillies’ storied history, they are playing a game seven. The stakes have never been higher, the lights will never be brighter, and the fans will be well-heard. The time is now for Philadelphia baseball, and tonight is the Phillies’ last opportunity of 2023 to take advantage of that.

Here is how the Phillies will line up for game seven:

  1. DH Kyle Schwarber
  2. SS Trea Turner
  3. 1B Bryce Harper
  4. 3B Alec Bohm
  5. 2B Bryson Stott
  6. C J.T. Realmuto
  7. RF Nick Castellanos
  8. LF Brandon Marsh
  9. CF Johan Rojas

The Phillies will face young righty Brandon Pfaadt, who—despite struggling mightily in the regular season and Wild Card series—shut the Phillies out in game three over 5.2 innings of work. Trea Turner and Brandon Marsh were the only two Phillies to record a hit, and nine batters were punched out against Pfaadt. While Pfaadt had great stuff, the Phillies also missed a lot of hittable pitches, so it’s not like Pfaadt’s stuff is completely unhittable.

With a team that has a strong balance of rookies and veterans, the Phillies, fortunately, have some experience in elimination games. In these situations, Bryce Harper has seven hits in 19 at-bats along with five extra-base hits, two of which are home runs. Kyle Schwarber, the Phillies’ leadoff hitter, has a .310 average and three home runs in elimination games.

Also to their advantage, the Phillies have beloved broadcaster and former first baseman, John Kruk, throwing out the first pitch; possibly, doing so in overalls.

Here is the Diamondbacks’ starting lineup for game seven:

  1. 2B Ketel Marte
  2. CF Corbin Carroll
  3. C Gabriel Moreno
  4. 1B Christian Walker
  5. RF Tommy Pham
  6. LF Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.
  7. DH Evan Longoria
  8. 3B Emmanuel Rivera
  9. SS Geraldo Perdomo

Arizona will be faced with tough lefty Ranger Suarez, who dominated the DBacks’ lineup in game three, shutting them out across 5.1 innings. Suarez, despite some inconsistencies during the regular season, has been exceptional in three postseason appearances. In 14 total innings, Suarez has struck out 13, walked just two baters and allowed only seven hits, all while surrendering just one run across all three appearances.

With all hands being on deck, the Phillies will also have Zack Wheeler available in the bullpen. At this point, his postseason dominance has been established, so having a weapon of that caliber is series-changing in a do-or-die game.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: