2022 NLCS: Key Pieces for the Phillies to Win

2022 NLCS

The 2022 NLCS will feature Philadelphia Phillies and the San Diego Padres. The Phillies will play in their first NLCS since 2010. Now, Philadelphia continues to make a push for the World Series. They dismantled the St. Louis Cardinals and the reigning champions, the Atlanta Braves. 

What has gotten Philadelphia this far has been their starting pitching and certain hitters putting in heroic efforts at the plate. With the team so close to reaching the pennant, some key players are pushing the Phillies toward the title.

2022 NLCS: Phillies Watch

Bryce Harper

Following an MVP season in 2021, fans were uncertain if Bryce Harper could repeat a performance like that. After a hot start to the season, Harper went down with a thumb injury missing significant time. Before the injury on June 25, the 30-year-old hit .318/.386/.599 with 18 home runs and 48 RBI. Harper returned to the roster in late August, helping the Phillies secure the last Wild Card spot.

Even though Harper was not as dominant as he was in his first half, he ended the season on a strong note. Since the playoffs started, the Phillies should be pleased to see he’s returned to the MVP performance of a year ago. In addition, Harper is currently leading the majors in hits, batting average, doubles, and home runs this postseason. In the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, Harper was batting .500/.529/1.063 with two homers and five RBI. If the Phillies want to win the pennant, they should count on the seven-time All-Star.

 Aaron Nola

Aaron Nola has been a workhorse for the Phillies all season long. In 205 innings pitched, he had an ERA of 3.25, 235 strikeouts, and a 125 ERA +. Nola also led the National League in walks per 9 with 1.3 and 8.1 strikeouts per walk. In his two starts this postseason, Nola has unleashed another gear, throwing 12 strikeouts for a clean 0.00 ERA as hitters are averaging .188 against him in October. The Phillies will give the ball to Nola for Game 2 Wednesday night in San Diego. His brother Austin is the starting catcher for the Padres, becoming the first set of brothers to face off in a Championship Series since 1997.


Zack Wheeler

 Although Zack Wheeler missed time due to injuries, he still did put up a great campaign. Wheeler threw 153 innings with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.093 WHIP. He’s appeared in two starts this postseason and has risen to the occasion both times. He has nine strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings pitched with a 2.19 ERA. While Wheeler has looked good this postseason, the Phillies will look to him to start this series on the right foot.

 Jean Segura

After 11 seasons, Jean Segura finally has a taste of postseason baseball. In his six games, Segura has been dominant, hitting .389/.476/.500 with seven hits and three RBI. The middle infielder from the Dominican Republic has yet to deliver a home run, but Phillies fans hope he will deliver some clutch hits against the Padres. His career against San Diego is .282/.338/.421 with 59 hits, three home runs, and 23 RBI.

Rob Thomson

A year ago, Rob Thompson was just a bench coach under Joe Girardi. Now the native of Sarnia, Ontario, is leading the Phillies to the 2022 NLCS. After taking over managing duties on June 3, the team went 65-46 despite absences from injuries to Harper and Wheeler. Thomson has found the confidence to lead this team despite being a rookie manager. Thomson’s team has won five of their six postseason games and looks to continue their dominance into the World Series. His judgments, such as the lineup and bullpen, could be the difference in this series. If they were to advance, Thomson would be the first rookie manager since Alex Cora to accomplish this feat.

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Players/managers mentioned:

Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, Zack WheelerJean Segura, Rob Thomson, Joe Girardi, Alex Cora