The Philadelphia Phillies made their rotation plans for the early portion of the 2022 World Series official on Wednesday morning, just two days before they will take the field against the Houston Astros to determine this season's champion. In a departure from the Phillies' other series this month, Aaron Nola will receive the Game 1 nod. Zack Wheeler will be handed the ball to begin Game 2.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson suggested earlier this week that Nola and Wheeler would pitch in those games, in that order, as a means of giving Wheeler an additional day of rest.
"I think the common sense way to go about it is to have Nola go Game 1 and give Wheeler the extra day rest and have him go Game 2," Thomson said on Tuesday during a radio appearance with 94WIP's Midday Show. "But I'll talk to those guys a little bit tomorrow and we'll come up with it."
Nola, 29, had pitched in the second or third game of the Phillies' previous three postseason series. In his first two starts this October, he threw a combined 12 2/3 scoreless innings. His last start out, on Oct. 19, didn't go as smoothly: he surrendered six runs over the course of 4 2/3 innings versus the San Diego Padres.
Nola is expected to face off against Justin Verlander in Game 1.
Wheeler, 32, started the first game of the Phillies' Wild Card and National League Championship Series and Game 2 of the Division Series. In four starts overall, he's compiled a 1.78 ERA and a 25-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 25 1/3 innings. It's worth noting that Wheeler missed time late in the year because of forearm tendinitis. The Phillies didn't allow him to throw more than 80 pitches in his final three regular-season starts, and have held him to an average of 86 pitches in the playoffs. Giving him an extra day of rest, then, fits in with the Phillies' overall conservative approach.