NLCS Game 1 Recap: Phillies strike first after an explosive start

Diamondbacks vs Phillies vs braves
Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper hits a three run home run during the third inning of Game 3 of a baseball NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Citizens Bank Park was rocking as the Phillies hosted Game One of the National League Championship Series.

Playing in the NLCS for the second straight season, the Phillies have a chance to win back-to-back pennants for the first time since 2008-2009 and the second time in franchise history.

The Phillies jumped out to a 5-0 lead in this game. Arizona did not go down quietly, however, working their way back later in the game.

Six innings from Wheeler and three solid innings from the bullpen gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the NLCS.

Getting Hot in Here

You just knew at some point Kyle Schwarber would get the bat going in these playoffs.

It only took him one pitch in the first inning to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the NLCS.

With one out in the first, the birthday boy Bryce Harper joined in on the fun with one of his own.

The Phillies would take a 2-0 lead in the first inning. In the bottom of the second, Nick Castellanos would tell his teammates “Do not forget about me,” as he added his 5th post-season home run to mix. Giving the Phillies a 3-0 on three solo home runs.

Wheels Up

Zack Wheeler was once again brilliant for the Phillies in Game One of the NLCS.

Wheeler has become one of the most clutch Phillies in post-season play over the last couple of seasons. He has put himself in the ranks of Cole Hamels, Steve Carlton, and 2010 Roy Halladay.

While Wheeler still needs to deliver a ring to keep his name in the conversation, I think his performances in 2022 and so far in 2023 have gotten him a seat at the table.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) aims a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Friday, July 7, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Zack did run into some trouble in the top of the 6th inning. A double and home run by the 8 and 9 hitters put the Diamondbacks on the board, making it a 5-2 game.

Wheeler’s final stat line in Game 1 of the NLCS: 6 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 8 K, and the win.

Stress in the NLCS:

Things started to get a little tense late in the game.

Seranthony Dominguez hit the leadoff batter, Christian Walker, with a pitch to start the 7th.

The next batter would ground a ball right back to Seranthony, who sailed the ball into center field as he tried for a double play.

That run would come around to score a few batters later, but Jose Alvarado came into the game to end the threat. The Phillies would carry a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the 7th inning.

8th Inning Vibe Check

In the 8th, Jose Alvarado would bring the Philly faithful back off the ledge.

Jose would get through the 8th inning with relative ease, keeping the lead at 5-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th.

Welcome to the Jungle

Craig Kimbrel entered the game in the 9th inning for the Phils.

Looking for another playoff save, Craig would strike out Christian Walker to start the frame.

Kimbrel would then walk the next batter, Gabe Moreno, bringing Gurriel to the plate as the tying run.

With a 3-1 count, Gurriel would ground into a double play, ending the game.

Moving Forward

The Phillies are three wins away from reaching the World Series once again.

Aaron Nola takes the ball in Game Two Tuesday night, as he goes against Merrill Kelly for Arizona.

The Phillies are looking to take a 2-0 lead into the desert on Thursday night.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum