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All the pressure is on the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 7 of the NLCS. The Phillies were up 3-2 heading back home, but they lost Game 6 on Monday. This loss evened the series, and now we have a do-or-die Game 7 to decide who represents the National League in the World Series.
The Phillies at-bats on Monday weren’t very pretty. It seemed like the entire roster was pressing, and this isn’t a recipe for success when it comes to baseball. However, the one player who looked very comfortable at the plate was Kyle Schwarber.
Schwarber has hit four homers in the past five games. He was hitless on Sunday but drew two walks, so he was productive at the plate. Brandon Pfaadt will pitch for Arizona, and he was very good at maneuvering Schwarber in his first start.
Yet, the batter is good enough to take advantage of any mistake. Schwarber is the current favorite to win the NLCS MVP, and a big swing on Tuesday would solidify his case.
Trea Turner has been very quiet the past two days, and this must change for the Phillies to have a chance in Game 6. He is 0-8 with two strikeouts and no walks in his past two at-bats. Turner has been the most reliable hitter for the Phillies in the playoffs.
In the three games prior, he was 3-9 with three runs, a homer, and two RBI. He also walked twice in these plate appearances. He is now a batter that Diamondbacks pitchers are trying to throw to because of his lack of production.
Turner has expanded the zone to a point that hurt his production. We expect him to drop this short slump in Game 7 and continue to deliver as he has for most of the postseason.
Ketel Marte is the primary reason the Diamondbacks are alive in the NLCS at this point. The whole team has delivered, but Marte has dropped the hammer in high-leverage situations.
In Game 6, he hit an RBI triple, which was the dagger for the Diamondbacks. He has continued to string together clutch hits, which shouldn’t stop heading into Game 7. He has recorded a hit in every game of the NLCS, including four multi-hit nights.
He is batting .375 with a .400 OBP and a 1.025 OPS in the postseason. In the last game that Ranger Suarez pitched, he was 3-5 with two doubles. He can clear his total bases prop with a single swing in this contest.
Bryce Harper hasn’t been the most consistent hitter for the Phillies in this series, but he is the engine for this team. Bryce Harper defines everything Philadelphia is about, and we should see him deliver in Game 7.
Harper has two home runs in this series and five throughout the playoffs. His last big swing came on Saturday in Arizona when Philadelphia extended their series lead to 3-2. He was 2-3 with three runs, a home run, and an RBI.
This performance will propel the Phillies to the World Series, and if anyone can bounce back from a tough night, it’s Bryce Harper. Look for him to take advantage of a Pfaadt mistake in this game and put one over the fence.
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Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.More info on Bryan Zarpentine
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