Sánchez and Kerkering could be two key arms for Phillies in playoffs
The Philadelphia Phillies pitching has been a big key to their success this year, and with all eyes set towards an October run, that pitching will be under the microscope again.
While Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola will be key starters, the Phillies will need another starting pitcher to step into the No. 3 role in the postseason.
Ranger Suárez and Taijuan Walker get much of the consideration, but Cristopher Sánchez is giving the team every reason to consider him for a playoff start. Sánchez was outstanding on Sunday night, notching 10 strikeouts in seven innings in a win over the Mets.
Sánchez has been excellent this season posting a 3.48 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and has 95 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 98.1 innings this season.
So what more can Sánchez do to convince the Phillies brass that he deserves the opportunity to start a playoff game? His numbers are by far the best of the group of starters under consideration for the role in the playoffs.
He will make his final start of the season on Saturday against the Mets in New York, if he pitches well he will certainly give the Phillies something to think about when the team needs a third starter in the playoffs.
One other story to watch over the final week of the season is what kind of role can the team expect from 22-year-old Orion Kerkering in the playoffs. Kerkering got the call to the majors after posting a 1.51 ERA and raking up 79 strikeouts in 53.2 innings between four different levels.
Can he become one of Philadelphia's go-to bullpen arms in the postseason? With a 100 MPH fastball and a nasty slider, he could be a key for the Phillies in the playoffs.
With Craig Kimbrel, Seranthony Dominguez, Jeff Hoffman, and Michael Lorenzen serving as right-handed options in the bullpen, Kerkering could find himself with an important role in the playoffs.
Kimbrel has had a solid season but has had his hiccups as of late. Dominguez was a key arm during last season's playoff run but has struggled with consistency this season. Hoffman has not been used in many high-leverage situations this season and Lorenzen has been mostly a starter this season, which means Kerkering could be called on to have a big role in the playoffs as a right-handed power arm in late-inning situations.
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