Here's Why Phillies Game 4 Starter Will NOT Go More Than 9 Batters

It's been a minute. The Philadelphia Phillies are going with Bailey Falter as their starter for Game 4 Saturday night against the San Diego Padres in the NLCS. But Falter hasn't started a game for the Phils since the end of September.

He'll now be tasked with starting his first-ever playoff game—his first-ever postseason appearance, in fact. He does come off a nice late-season run in the Phillies' rotation: His last six starts featured a 4-1 mark, and a 3.07 ERA (which was ballooned by one horrid start against the Atlanta Braves). 

But he definitely won't be seeing any Padres' batter for a second time in this game, and with good reason.

Manager Rob Thomson is just hoping for one time through the order from the left-hander, and that's due to some remarkable splits for Falter this season. 

He features a nice 2.25 ERA in 1st innings, and an equally-impressive 1.80 ERA in 2nd innings. But as that opponent batting order starts to turn over for the first time in the 3rd, his ERA jumps to 6.00 in that inning and 7.24 in the 4th inning. 

Batters' averages facing Falter a first time in a game are .205, but jump to .309 in their second at-bat. The OPS for a batter goes from .558 to 1.011. And this has been going on all season, to the point where he was bounced in and out of the  rotation through the season.

All very good reasons why he will not be seeing the Padres' lineup for a second time tonight.

Mike Clevinger goes for the Padres. 

Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports