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October 24, 2023

Kyle Schwarber has the Game 7 experience the Phillies need

The Phillies lack Game 7 experience on their roster. Kyle Schwarber, however, has come up clutch in that spot in the past during his elite postseason career.

For the first time in the Phillies' 141-year history, the team is playing a Game 7, a winner-take-all affair with the Diamondbacks for the National League pennant on Tuesday night. Philadelphians are obviously unfamiliar with a baseball Game 7 and that inexperience trickles down to the Fightins themselves.

Just two players on the Phillies' NLCS roster have played in a Game 7: Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber with both appearances coming in Game 7 of the World Series. Turner suited up for the Nationals in Game 7 in 2019 against the Dodgers. Though Turner went hitless in four at-bats (he also drew a walk), Washington prevailed for the franchise's first championship.

Schwarber, who has a .928 OPS in 64 career postseason games with 20 home runs, has the clutch gene the Phillies will need to make the World Series for the second consecutive year. Schwarber had that on display back in Game 7 of the World Series with the Cubs against Cleveland. Schwarber went three for five at the plate in Chicago's 10-inning win for the team's first title in 108 years.

• In the first inning of that game, Schwarber, then in his age-23 season, beat out an infield single and proceeded to steal second base. 

• Schwarber ripped a single to right field in the third inning, but foolishly tried to turn that into a double and was thrown out at second. I have the confidence that Phillies first base coach Paco Figureoa won't make that mistake on Tuesday.

• While leading off the top of the 10th, Schwarber hit another single to right field. Chicago then used a pinch runner for Schwarber, Albert Amora. Amora would score to make things 7-6 in the Cubs' eventual 8-7 victory. Huge.

That big-time performance gave Schwarber his first, but maybe not last, championship parade.

The Phillies will need this version of Schwarber if they want to get back to the Fall Classic. I'm optimistic they will.

Just saying... Schwarber is +850 to hit a homer in his first plate appearance in Game 7. 

MORE: Watch wild Phillies fans ready for a Game 7 win

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