Phillies-Padres NLCS Game 1 FAQ (Tonight, 8 ET, FS1)

After scoring upset victories over divisional foes in the National League Division Series, the Phillies and the Padres are surprisingly set to meet in the NL Championship Series that begins on Tuesday at Petco Park.

• NLCS Game 1, presented by loanDepot: Tonight, 8 p.m. ET/5 PT on FS1

The 87-win Phillies took down the 101-win Braves in four games, while the 89-win Padres slayed the 111-win Dodgers in four games, as well. It’s the first trip to the NLCS for Philadelphia since 2010 and the first for San Diego since 1998. And it’s the first LCS matchup between two clubs with fewer than 90 wins.

• Postseason ticket information: Phillies | Padres

“They’re another Wild Card team that’s really caught fire late in the year,” said Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove. “They’re very similar to us right now. They’re riding on energy, riding on that high, feeding off each other and the city. It’s a good thing we start at home.”

Padres win the NLDS
There are plenty of storylines for this NLCS, including superstars and former Nationals teammates Bryce Harper and Juan Soto matching up against each other. Harper and Soto were teammates in Washington in 2018 before Harper signed with the Phillies, while Soto was traded to the Padres in a blockbuster deal on Aug. 2. It’s also a matchup between Harper, who signed with Philadelphia for 13 years and $330 million before the ’19 season, and Manny Machado, who inked a 10-year deal worth $300 million with San Diego that same offseason.

• Phillies-Padres position-by-position breakdown

And, fittingly, for a series that features a team from the City of Brotherly Love, it’s also set to feature a pair of siblings in Phillies ace Aaron Nola and Padres catcher Austin Nola. Austin has six career plate appearances against his brother, going 1-for-5 with a single and a walk, and he said he’s excited to face his brother’s team.

“We always imagined facing each other in the big leagues,” Nola said. “I don’t think we ever imagined it in the CS.”

Phillies are headed to the NLCS
When is the game and how can I watch it?

Game 1 will take place on Tuesday in San Diego at 8 p.m. ET on FS1. All games are available in the U.S. on MLB.TV (authentication to a participating Pay TV provider is required). Live games are also available in select countries outside the U.S. For full details click here.

Who are the starting pitchers?

Phillies: Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA), who likely would have pitched on short rest had the Phils gone to a winner-take-all Game 5 in the NLDS on Sunday in Atlanta, will instead have the benefit of an extra day of rest when he takes the hill for Game 1 of the NLCS. He hasn’t skipped a beat since making his return from a month-long stint on the IL (right forearm tendinitis) on Sept. 21, posting a 1.32 ERA in five outings, including a 2.19 ERA in two postseason starts.

Zack Wheeler’s Game 2 outing
Padres: Yu Darvish will start Game 1 after he’d been lined up to pitch Game 5 on Sunday at Dodger Stadium on short rest. (Huge for the Padres that they managed to dispatch the Dodgers and can now align their rotation as they wish.) Darvish was their most consistent starter all season, posting a 3.10 ERA across 30 starts — all but two of them lasting at least six innings.

Yu Darvish fans seven Dodgers
Oct 13, 2022 · 1:05
Yu Darvish fans seven Dodgers
What are the starting lineups?

Phillies: Manager Rob Thomson has not tinkered with his lineup much this season, so what you saw in the NLDS clincher is probably what you will see in Game 1 of the NLCS.

  1. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  2. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  3. J.T. Realmuto, C
  4. Bryce Harper, DH
  5. Nick Castellanos, RF
  6. Alec Bohm, 3B
  7. Jean Segura, 2B
  8. Bryson Stott, SS
  9. Brandon Marsh, CF

Padres: San Diego has largely stuck with the same lineup against right-handers this postseason, but manager Bob Melvin noted the possibility that he might elevate the red-hot Trent Grisham. If so, here’s what it might look like:

  1. Jurickson Profar, LF
  2. Juan Soto, RF
  3. Manny Machado, 3B
  4. Jake Cronenworth, 2B
  5. Josh Bell, DH
  6. Trent Grisham, CF
  7. Wil Myers, 1B
  8. Ha-Seong Kim, SS
  9. Austin Nola, C

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?

Phillies: With two days off entering the NLCS, everyone will be available out of the bullpen for the Phils. Thomson has emphasized that the club does not have a traditional closer at this point, so he will continue using his high-leverage guys in whatever spot makes the most sense. Seranthony Domínguez has allowed just one hit while striking out eight over 3 2/3 scoreless innings this postseason, while José Alvarado has a 1.61 ERA over his past 30 appearances, dating to the regular season. He has 44 strikeouts to just eight walks over 30 innings during that span.

Domínguez K’s 2 to end jam
Padres: San Diego’s relief corps is fresh — and, honestly, fairly straightforward. Josh Hader will get the ball in save situations, sometimes for more than one inning. Robert Suarez is the team’s primary setup weapon, and he’s been dominant this postseason. From there, the Padres have righties Nick Martínez and former-Phillie Luis García to cover high-leverage spots, with Tim Hill as the primary lefty setup weapon.

Said Melvin: “It’s been pretty easy to figure out where guys go.”

Any injuries of note?

Phillies: Right-hander David Robertson was left off the Phils’ NLDS roster after he injured his right calf jumping to celebrate Harper’s home run in Game 2 of the NL Wild Card Series on Oct. 8 in St. Louis. He received a PRP injection following the injury and continues to receive treatment. Robertson threw in the bullpen and participated in fielding drills on Monday. He could be added to the NLCS roster on Tuesday.

“I am doing everything they tell me to,” Robertson said. “When I leave the field [following BP], I’ve got devices on me, trying to keep me going. I want to be active. I didn’t play all these games this year to sit out and only get one appearance.”

Padres: Profar is battling a nagging toe injury, but it hasn’t sidelined him. Still, Melvin twice opted to use José Azocar as a late-game replacement for Profar during the Dodgers series.

Who is hot and who is not?

Phillies: Harper is 10-for-23 (.435) with six extra-base hits (three doubles, three homers) and a 1.437 OPS in six games this postseason. Though Hoskins and Schwarber started slowly in the playoffs, each has shown signs of turning it around. Hoskins, who was 1-for-18 through the first four games, went 3-for-8 over the final two games of the NLDS, including a momentum-changing three-run homer in Game 3. Schwarber reached base six times over those final two games against the Braves after going 0-for-16 with eight strikeouts in the first four postseason games.

Rhys Hoskins’ three-run homer
Padres: Grisham is tied with Harper for the postseason lead in home runs. He has three of them — and they’ve all come in critical moments. After struggling during the regular season, Grisham is hitting .381/.519/.810 in the playoffs. Nola has also helped carry the team from the bottom of the lineup, and Machado has been his usual MVP-caliber self at the plate. In the meantime, the Padres haven’t gotten much production from their first-base/designated-hitter platoon of Myers, Brandon Drury and Bell.

Trent Grisham’s solo homer
Anything else fans might want to know?

• There’s an argument to be made that the most impactful Padres acquisition over the past 12 months has been Melvin in the manager’s chair. This marks Melvin’s first trip to the LCS since 2007 with Arizona. He’s never managed in a World Series.

• The Padres and Phillies met seven times during the season, with Philadelphia winning four of those contests. But the most memorable of that bunch was a 1-0 San Diego victory — in which Nola recorded the game-winning single against his brother.

• Tuesday will be the first day in MLB postseason history where two rounds overlap, as Game 5 of the ALDS between the Guardians and Yankees is slated for 4 p.m. ET.