The John Kincade Show – Weekdays 6am – 10am

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ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 08: Rob Thomson #59 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with his team in the locker room after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in game two to win the National League Wild Card Series at Busch Stadium on October 08, 2022 in St Louis, Missouri. The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the St. Louis Cardinals with a score of 2 to 0.

Many see the key to the Phillies playoff series against the Braves, which begins Tuesday, was to win one of the first two games in Atlanta. To that I say, no doubt. And the majority of fans believe that win most probably would come when Zack Wheeler takes the mound on Wednesday before the series switches to Philadelphia on Friday and Saturday.

While the confidence level in Wheeler is sky-high among most of us right now, especially after his spectacular performance against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 when he went six and one-third innings allowing just two hits and no runs while striking out four.

Now do I have a strong feeling that the Phillies are going to win this series? Not really. I just think the Braves are too solid a team up and down the lineup. But that could all change with a win in Game 1. Really? Well, hear me out.

I believe newly-signed manager Rob Thomson has to manage Monday’s game as a must-win contest. Early pinch-hitters? Yes. If Rhys Hoskins continues to struggle, go with a hotter bat. Fall behind early? Keep using pitchers to get yourself back in the game, no matter how many you need to do it. If the Phillies can somehow take this first game and then get Wheeler and Aaron Nola to toe the mound in the next two games, then the possibility of a major upset is real. It all begins today, and it all begins with the managing of Rob Thomson.