Phillies vs Padres NLCS Game 4 starting lineups and pitching matchup

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies hadn’t hosted a National League Championship Series game since 2009, and they made sure they took full advantage of it in a crucial Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park on Friday with a 4-2 win.

In all best-of-seven postseason series with a 1-1 draw, the Game 3 winner has won the series 67 of 97 times (69%). In series with the current 2-3-2 format, teams that broke a 1-1 draw by winning Game 3 at their home stadium have won the series 28 out of 46 times (61%).

Over three games, the NLCS found which team has the better starting pitch and who delivers the timely hits. But in Game 4 on Saturday, where both teams are expected to use their versions of a bullpen game, it will be a fight where the pitching staff will do best.

“We have a big one tomorrow,” said Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins. “It’s obviously great to take the lead on the show, even better to do it at home in front of this crowd. But we have a big one tomorrow, let’s see if we can put ourselves in a better position.”

When is the game and how can I see it?

Game 4, which will air on FOX, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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Who are the starting pitchers?

Father: Right-hander Mike Clevinger (7-7, 4.33 ERA) will make his second start this postseason. He allowed five runs (four earned) over just 2 2/3 innings in Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Dodgers on October 11. Despite serving well in stints this season, Clevinger put down a 6.52 ERA in his Finals in six regular season starts ahead of his NLDS struggles.

Phillies: Left-hander Bailey Falter (6-4, 3.86 ERA) will make his postseason debut in what will essentially be a bullpen game for the Phils. Falter has not pitched since the regular season finale in Houston on Oct. 5, when he threw just 11 pitches in an inning. Manager Rob Thomson said he hopes Falter can last three innings, although experienced right-hander Noah Syndergaard could also be called up to close the gap on the regulars.

What could the starting line-ups look like?

Father: Perhaps the most intriguing Padres lineup decision of the postseason. If the Phillies try to sneak a trip or two through the order for moths, San Diego will no doubt try to put some right-handed bats at the top of the order. That includes switch-hitting Bell, who is 4-for-5 with two homers and a double against Falter. The Padres will also have to decide if they want to potentially start Nola five times in five days – with Game 4 being the only realistic option to start backup Jorge Alfaro, according to manager Bob Melvin.

Phillies: With the Padres starting another right-hander in Clevinger, Thomson will likely stick with the same lineup he used in Game 3 against Joe Musgrove.

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?

Father: Josh Hader gets the ball in safe situations — sometimes for more than an inning. Robert Suarez is the team’s primary setup weapon and he has been dominant this postseason. From there, the Padres have right-hander Nick Martínez and former Philly relief Luis García to cover the high-leverage spots, with Tim Hill being the primary left setup man.

Phillies: Thomson said at the start of a stretch that may see the Phillies and Padres play five games in five days that he expects to use his bullpen as needed. But it will be interesting to see how he handles Game 4 after Seranthony Domínguez threw 34 pitches to make a six-out save in Game 3. Thomson said he plans to see how Domínguez is feeling when he arrives at the stadium on Saturday before making a decision on his availability. Everyone else should be available for Philadelphia, including Jose Alvarado (27 pitches in an inning with a plus in Game 3) and Zach Eflin (17 pitches in an inning). David Robertson and Andrew Bellatti are potential high-leverage options if Thomson decides to stay away from Domínguez, while left-hander Brad Hand could be used against a left-handed part of the lineup.

Father: Profar is struggling with a nagging toe injury but he’s played through the entire postseason. Despite this, Melvin has at times opted to use José Azocar as a late-game replacement for Profar in the playoffs.

Phillies: The Phillies are healthy.

Who is hot and who isn’t?

Father: Drury has rotated in back-to-back two-hit games and now faces a left-hander in Falter. Drury hit .299 with .955 OPS against righties during the regular season (compared to .248 with .757 OPS against righties). …Meanwhile, Soto is only 2-for-11 (.182) in three games against the Phillies and has hit .185 (5-27) since the NLDS started.

Phillies: Schwarber heats up. In Game 1, he hit a record-breaking 488-foot home run. He also hit a 405-foot leadoff home run in Game 3, only the fourth leadoff home run in Phillies postseason history. … Harper has an eight-game winning streak, hitting .438 (14 to 32) with four homers, four doubles and seven RBIs.

Is there anything else fans would like to know?

Ryan Howard will pitch first before Game 4. He was the 2009 NLCS MVP and sent the Phillies to their second straight World Series.