No team at this moment is as hot as the Phillies have been, and the Diamondbacks face a must-win game three if they are holding out any hopes of making it to the World Series.
Pfaadt allowed three earned runs over seven innings during his postseason outings against Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers, appearing much sharper during his second appearance against the Dodgers.
After returning from Triple-A after initial issues in his debut, he pitched 70 1/3 innings with an ERA of 4.22 while only walking 6.2% of batters overall this regular season. Since his call-up in July, he has posted an allowed xwOBA of.297 and OBP of.303; proof that his turnaround wasn’t accidental.
The Snakes have hit well throughout their playoff run despite an outright failure on Tuesday. Five hitters in their starting lineup scored over 100 wRC+ during August 1 – October end regular season play; their combined OPS off of lefties stood at 89 and they posted an overall 89 WRC+.
However, during the regular season and postseason, they boast seven batters with an xwOBA above.320.
Arizona D-Backs relievers have demonstrated who they are through their performance this postseason. Their 3.51 ERA and 4.26 xFIP in relief pitched close to Phillies expectations while Arizona managed to strand 74% of runners from its bullpen.
Ranger Suarez was an influential contributor when called upon by the Phillies this season, posting a 4.18 ERA against 4.39 xERA with a 7.5% barrel rate, an 87.8 average exit velocity and a 36.1% hard-hit rate.
He generates weak contact, keeping the ball on the ground 48.8% of the time. Across his two playoff starts this year, he has allowed just one earned run over 8 1/3 innings pitched.
The Phils have been on an offensive tear this postseason. Six batters have registered an OPS above 822 from August 1 to the end of regular season play, totalling 119 WRC+, with six above that mark for righties batting solo homers alone.
Since then, including in the playoffs, they have six batters with an xwOBA above 320 among their starting lineup. Brandon Pfaadt and other relievers on the Diamondbacks will need to find ways to counterbalance that strength.
Phils relief pitching has been outstanding during this playoff run with a 1.09 ERA against 4.61 x FIP; therefore, regression may occur in any of their subsequent games. Their 10.8% walk rate entering this game and their LOB% over 90% are indicators of potential regression in later innings.
Arizona will get back in this series with this one. I think the Phillies will still win the series in the end, but I look for this to be Arizona’s night.
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