The Stage is Set: Phillies to Host Marlins in National League Wild Card Showdown

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Phillies Brandon marsh
Philadelphia Phillies’ Brandon Marsh, top, beats the throw to Miami Marlins’ Luis Arraez, bottom, for a double during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 10, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Ah, October! A beautiful month of the year when the leaves fall, temperatures drop, and everything in Philadelphia becomes drenched in shades of Phillies postseason red.

With their 9-1 trouncing of the New York Mets, the Philadelphia Phillies secured their first 90-win season since 2011 and are set to make their return to the postseason. As the dust settles on the regular season, the Phillies’ opponent in the National League Wild Card round has been revealed: the Miami Marlins.

The Marlins Flopped Their Way Into the Five-Seed

On the final day of the regular season, the Marlins looked like fish out of water as the Buccos from Pittsburgh defeated them 3-0. With an 84-77 record (with one game against the New York Mets suspended and deemed irrelevant), the Marlins have a 0.5-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks for the fifth-seed. Following their loss against the Houston Astros, the Diamondbacks (84-78) will face the Milwaukee Brewers in their half of the NL Wild Card schedule.

With a season record of 4-2 against the Diamondbacks, the Marlins would have won the tiebreaker against the Diamondbacks regardless of the results of their suspended contest against the Mets.

Phillies fans jeer at Sandy Alcantara after he was pulled during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Phillies Fans wave to Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara after he was pulled during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

How the National League Bracket Panned Out

With the top Wild Card slot secured, the No. 4 Phillies will host the No. 5 Marlins in the best-of-three Wild Card series. The victor will then move on to face the reigning NL East Champion Atlanta Braves in the best-of-five National League Division Series, with the victor moving on to the National League Championship Series.

On the other side of the bracket, the Brewers, victors of the NL Central, will host the No. 6 Diamondbacks. The victor will, in turn, go on to the NLDS where they will face the NL West Champions Los Angeles Dodgers.

Phillies Marlins
Miami Marlins’ Miguel Rojas, right, comes in to score on his home run as Philadelphia Phillies catcher Garrett Stubbs, left, looks on during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

When Will the Phillies’ Postseason Push Begin?

The 2023 World Series race will begin on Tuesday, October 3rd. Game two for the Phillies will then be on Wednesday, October 4th with Game Three (if necessary) taking place on Thursday, October 5th. All three contests are scheduled for 8:08 PM start times and will be broadcast by ESPN.

The Phillies will need to dispatch one of the biggest thorns in their side in order to advance to the NLDS and will need to do so in prime time. In recent years, the Phillies have struggled against the Marlins and 2023 has been no exception as they lost the season series against the Fish 6-7.

No doubt that the Phillies Phaithful will descend upon Citizens Bank Park in droves to give the Phillies their competitive edge, but the Phillies can’t afford to give any ground to the Marlins if they want to return to the World Series for a second consecutive year.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke