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NLCS Game 6 Preview: A Must-Win Game

The Diamondbacks are one loss away from elimination and are heading back to Philly. They must win both games here, but it all starts with this. On the mounds will be Aaron Nola and Merrill Kelly. This matchup did not go well for the D-backs in game 2, as Kelly commented about the Citizen Bank Park atmosphere and got the entire city of Philadelphia on his case. It’s not going to be an easy win. It’s almost an impossible win, but if anyone can do it. It’s the D-backs. Here is a preview for tonight’s game.

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Pitching Matchup: Nola vs Kelly Part 2

The last time these two faced off, Arizona got blown out in one of the most lopsided games in NLCS history. The Phillies put up ten runs, four off Kelly, and the rest of the bullpen could not get outs. While the D-backs offense only mustered three hits off Aaron Nola.

Aaron Nola sent down nine in a row last time and generated too many swings and misses. If the D-backs have any hope, they will need to get to Nola early, but they haven’t been able to do that once this series. Nola has only allowed two runs in 18.2 innings. He’s struck out 19 on the way. He doesn’t walk anyone, and the D-backs couldn’t fix that in Game 2. This also has a chance to be Nola’s last game in a Phillies uniform, so he will be playing his heart out.

As for Merrill Kelly, This is only his third postseason start. He allowed zero runs in his first, but Philly got to him in the second. Again, it was because of the fastball. Two of his three homers allowed were off the fastball. The other was off his changeup. However, the main issue for Kelly was his walks. He walked three batters. All his ERs came off the homer, but he only allowed three hits. That means that all three hits were home runs. So, Kelly has got to keep people off base because he can limit hits. Most of his outs in the last game came off the fastball, so the Phillies were sitting on it, but we will see if that remains the case this game.

Lineup Changes: No More Pavin Smith

That’s right, Pavin Smith is again out of the lineup, as the D-backs will revert to their normal lineup with Pham at DH and Longoria playing third. Pham has had a rough NLCS, so this move is interesting, but we will see if he can turn it on when it matters most. I would’ve kept Pavin Smith in the lineup. I think he’s provided more life than Pham in this series.

This is the D’back’s last chance. They must be aggressive and get on base in an incredibly brutal atmosphere. Can they do it? Or will our post tomorrow be about offseason changes?

The Diamondbacks are hoping to bring back the aggressiveness with their season on the line


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