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October 01, 2023

Phillies to face Marlins in NL Wild Card series

The Miami Marlins will be coming to Citizens Bank Park for the three-game postseason battle against the Phillies.

The Phillies now have their NL Wild Card opponent locked in, and it will be from within the division.

They'll be facing the Miami Marlins in the three-game postseason series, all at Citizens Bank Park, beginning Tuesday. 

The Phillies, after clinching the top Wild Card spot Tuesday night, secured their playoff spot with room to spare along with ever-valuable home-field advantage for the opening round. 

The Marlins, meanwhile, jumped into the playoff picture late off the back of the Chicago Cubs' collapse and then just barely eeked out the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second Wild Card seed after both teams lost their final games on Sunday to avoid the tiebreaker scenario – Miami finished 84-77 and a 0.5-game up over Arizona's 84-78.

Phillies manager Rob Thomson already confirmed that Zack Wheeler will get the start for Game 1 and Aaron Nola the nod for Game 2. They'll make a decision on Game 3 later if it proves necessary.

Here's the Wild Card round schedule and how the immediate expected pitching matchups look for it:

Game Time Phillies Probables Marlins Probables 
G1 - Tue. 8:08 p.m RH Zack Wheeler
(13-6, 3.61) 
LH Jesús Luzardo
(10-9, 3.63)
G2 - Wed. 8:08 p.m. RH Aaron Nola
(12-9, 4.46)
LH Braxton Garrett
(9-7, 3.66) 
*G3 - Thu. 8:08 p.m. TBD TBD 

*If necessary

The Marlins have been a thorn in the side of this iteration of the Phillies, having gone 7-6 against them this season and 12-7 for the season series last year, back before they were a true playoff hopeful. They can't be easily dismissed. 

That said, the bright lights of the postseason are a far different beast from the routine series in the middle of June, and so is South Philadelphia when it's in full playoff mode. 

Another surge through the summer powered the Phillies to their second straight postseason appearance – marked by Bryce Harper recapturing his power swing after an incredibly fast return from Tommy John Surgery, Trea Turner's late-season rally, Johan Rojas' emergence in the outfield, and Kyle Schwarber's many, many moonshots, among numerous other highlights and milestones – but after falling just shy of a World Series title during last season's miracle run, the goal this time is crystal clear: Get back there, and go win it.

"It's just different," Bryce Harper said during the Wild Card clinching celebration Tuesday night. "We have such a different group, I know there's the same guys and we're all looking forward to getting in there and understanding that we have to win these games. We're going to play some really good teams. Having a different group of guys but also the same guys who contributed last year in the postseason will help us so much more."

And so will what's going to be an absolutely electric Citizens Bank Park ready to party all the way through October.

The Marlins stand in the way first.

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