Does anyone else still think firing a manager midseason doesn’t shake things up? Yeah, me neither.
Philadelphia was 22-29 on June 2 when they fired Joe Girardi. (The White Sox were 23-26 at the time.) The Phillies are now headed to the World Series after defeating the San Diego Padres, four games to one, in the NLCS.
The Phillies sent Zack Wheeler to the mound to eliminate the Padres from the playoffs. So far, Wheeler has had an electric postseason. He’s pitched 25 1⁄3 innings over four games, with a 1-1 record giving up only five runs on 10 hits, three walks, and 25 strikeouts. Although he was strong today, he earned a no-decision pitching six innings, surrendering two runs on three hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts.
Wheeler’s 87-pitch outing looked like this:
The Padres were hoping for another strong start from Yu Darvish and avoid elimination from the playoffs. Darvish pitched well, but it wasn’t enough to save them from the end of their season. Darvish should be proud of his postseason performance, going 25 innings over four games with a 2-1 record with a 2.88 ERA, giving up eight runs on 20 hits, six walks, and 23 strikeouts. In today’s game, he earned a no-decision pitching six innings, yielding two runs on four hits, three walks, and five strikeouts.
Darvish’s 91-pitch outing looked like this:
Today’s pressure play goes to Austin Nola. He flew out to right in the top of the ninth inning with runners on second and third to squash the Padres’ World Series hopes. The play had a 6.86 LI.
Phillies pitcher Ranger Suárez felt the heat when he came out in the top of the ninth inning with one out and runners on first and second. He took the two-out save and earned the highest pLI, at 6.49.
Bryce Harper’s no-doubter two-run home run in the bottom eighth inning had a .467 WPA.
It’s no surprise that two-time MVP Bryce Harper walks away as today’s top performer. He brought fire to the stadium today with a .467 WPA.
Hardest hit: Josh Bell doubled on a sharp line drive to right field in the top of the seventh, scoring Jake Cronenworth. The double had an exit velocity of 112.9 mph.
Weakest contact: Jake Cronenworth’s soft line out to third baseman Alec Bohm in the top of the second inning dribbled out at 55.6 mph.
Luckiest hit: It’s a rare game without any cheap hits, as Brandon Drury’s single to left field in the top of the fifth had the lowest xBA of all safeties today, at .410.
Toughest out: Bryce Harper proved to be a challenge with his third-inning line out. The play had an .890 xBA.
Longest hit: Juan Soto’s home run blast off Zack Wheeler in the fourth inning went 439 feet to center field.
Magic Number: 4
Hard-hit is any ball off the bat at 95 mph or more
LI measures pressure per play
pLI measures total pressure faced in-game
Whiff a swing-and-miss
WPA win probability added measures contributions to the win
xBA expected batting average
Who was the Phillies MVP today?
This poll is closed
Bryce Harper: 2-for-4, HR, WPA .467
Rhys Hoskins: 1-for-3, HR, WPA .049
Ranger Suárez: 2⁄3 IP, 0 H, WPA .281
Who was the NLCS Game 5 Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Robert Suárez: 2 IP, 2 ER, WPA -.294
Austin Nola: 0-for-4, 1 SO, WPA -.269
Seranthony Domínguez: 1 IP, 1 ER, WPA -.265