Phillies take Game 1 of NLCS with dominant pitching and power hitting


The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 in the opening game of the National League Championship Series on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies, who are seeking their first World Series title since 2008, rode on the stellar performance of their ace Zack Wheeler and the home runs of Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos.


Wheeler shuts down D-backs offense

Zack Wheeler, who finished second in the NL Cy Young voting this season, was in complete control of the game from the start. He pitched eight innings, allowing only one run on four hits and striking out 10 batters. He retired the first 11 hitters he faced and did not allow a runner to reach second base until the seventh inning.

Wheeler’s only mistake came in the top of the eighth, when he gave up a solo homer to Ketel Marte, who had three of the D-backs’ four hits. Wheeler bounced back by striking out the next three batters to end his night. He threw 108 pitches, 76 for strikes, and lowered his postseason ERA to 1.29.

Harper and Castellanos provide power boost

The Phillies’ offense was led by their two star outfielders, Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos, who both hit two-run homers off D-backs starter Zac Gallen. Harper broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth with a towering blast to right-center field, his third homer of the postseason. Castellanos followed with another two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth, his second of the playoffs, to make it 4-0.

The Phillies added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, when J.T. Realmuto doubled and scored on a single by Alec Bohm. The Phillies had nine hits in total, with Harper, Castellanos, Realmuto and Bohm each having two.

Gallen struggles with command

Zac Gallen, who was the D-backs’ best pitcher this season with a 17-9 record and a 3.47 ERA, had a rough outing in his first career NLCS start. He lasted only five and a third innings, giving up four runs on six hits and four walks. He also hit two batters and threw a wild pitch. He struck out six batters, but also threw 103 pitches, 60 for strikes.

Gallen had trouble locating his fastball and his curveball, which led to some hard contact by the Phillies’ hitters. He also did not get much help from his defense, which committed two errors behind him. Gallen took the loss and saw his postseason ERA rise to 4.50.

What’s next?

The Phillies will try to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series on Tuesday night, when they send Aaron Nola (12-7, 3.75 ERA) to the mound. Nola has been solid in his two postseason starts, going 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 13 innings.

The D-backs will hope to bounce back and even the series with Merrill Kelly (14-10, 3.92 ERA) on the hill. Kelly has been inconsistent in his two playoff outings, going 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA and nine strikeouts in 11 innings.

The game will start at 8:07 p.m. ET and will be televised on TBS.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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