3 Phillies X factors to watch in the NLCS

The Phillies have been clicking on all cylinders this postseason, and these three players could be difference-makers as the series gets underway.
Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves - NLDS Game 1
Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves - NLDS Game 1 / Elsa/GettyImages
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Alec Bohm

Through the first two series, it has been a postseason to forget for third baseman Alec Bohm.

Across six games, the 27-year-old is hitting .191 with four hits, four walks and two RBI in 25 plate appearances.

If Thomson keeps the lineup the same for the NLCS, Bohm will need to figure things out so Arizona doesn't resort to intentionally walking or pitching around Bryce Harper. The day after Harper torched the Atlanta Braves for two home runs, it was clear they were being careful with how they pitched to the first baseman.

In Game 4, Bohm went 0-for-3 with one walk. With Turner in scoring position in the bottom of the first, Atlanta intentionally walked Harper, bringing Bohm to the plate with the opportunity to drive in a run. Instead, he struck out. In the bottom of the third, he again went to the plate with two on — including a runner at third — and only one out. Swinging first pitch, he popped it up, failing to bring in the go-ahead run. In the fifth, he again came up with a runner on after Harper walked following Turner's home run. Squashing the possible rally, he hit into an inning-ending double play, showing frustration by slamming his helmet down by first base.

All of that aside, there's a reason Thomson had Bohm fourth in the lineup. He was one of the most clutch hitters for the Phillies during the regular season when he came to the plate with runners in scoring position, and he flashed that ability earlier in the series with Atlanta:

In the regular season, Bohm was a key cog in the Phillies offense, finishing with 20 home runs and 97 RBI, third-most on the team. He proved time and time again that he has the ability to bat cleanup and do damage. Oh, and in six games against Arizona this season, he went 9-for-26 with eight RBI.

If he can get things going offensively against the Diamondbacks, that will keep the pressure on the opposing pitchers and make them think twice before pitching around anyone else in the lineup to get to Bohm.