The Ultimate Guide to the Phillies World Series (for Fans and Bandwagon Jumpers Alike)
Where to watch, how to watch, and everything you need to catch up on what’s been happening, so you can talk Fightins.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated following the postponement of World Series Game 3 due to rain. The updated schedule is reflected below.
This is really happening, people! The Phillies are in the World Series for the first time since 2009, and Red October is soon becoming Red November (is that a thing?), and the city is freaking out. Between our NLCS champs, the undefeated Eagles, and of course our Finals-bound … blue-collar workers, it’s an amazing time to be a Philly sports fan — or to buy some sweet Phillies gear and jump on the bandwagon. What else are you gonna do, root for the Astros? Come on.
So consider this your cheat sheet. We’ll tell you where to watch, how to watch, and everything you need to catch up on what’s been happening, so you can talk about the Phillies with your fellow fans at the bar without embarrassing yourself.
World Series Schedule
Let’s start with the “when.” The series starts on Friday night in Houston. The Phils will play two games there and then come home for Games 3, 4 and (if necessary) 5 at Citizens Bank Park. If necessary, they’ll return to Houston to finish up the series starting on Saturday, November 5th.
MLB has made this really easy on you, because all seven (should it take that many) games begin at the same time: 8:03 p.m. Let’s make this nice and pretty with some bullet points:
- Friday, October 28th: 8:03 p.m. @ Houston
- Saturday, October 29th: 8:03 p.m. @ Houston
- Tuesday, November 1st: 8:03 p.m. @ Philly
- Wednesday, November 2nd: 8:03 p.m. @ Philly
- Thursday, November 3rd: 8:03 p.m. @ Philly
- Saturday, November 5th: 8:03 p.m. @ Houston (if necessary)
- Sunday, November 6th: 8:03 p.m. @ Houston (if necessary)
Where and How to Watch the World Series
I mean … good luck with that! If you don’t already have tickets or an obscene amount of disposable income, your chances aren’t great. Whenever we make the playoffs, I inevitably see social media posts asking for tips or “deals” on how to get tickets. Is someone who could sell a ticket for $2,500 going to give it to you at face value because you asked on Facebook? Nope.
Let’s assume efficient markets here. Go with resellers — sites like StubHub are your best bet, since they’re secure and verified. Right now, tickets are averaging $3,200. The Phillies had a form you could fill out for a chance to buy tickets, but as with the actual lottery, you couldn’t exactly count on being selected. You’re not gonna find a deal, so please, don’t answer DMs, pay cash, or hang around shadowy alleys waiting for a $200 ticket.
And if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some tickets, for the love of God, don’t post a picture of them online. Not only will your friends hate you, but someone can use that barcode to steal your tickets.
All games will be broadcast on Fox — so if you have cable or a digital antenna, you’re set. As for streaming, MLB.tv is blacked out due to exclusive rights, so you basically have to authenticate that you’re a paid cable customer to be able to stream via MLB.tv. But you can also stream the World Series on Fubo TV, which even has a free trial, so do that.
If you want to watch the game somewhere other than your couch, Foobooz has some great bar recommendations here.
You can also listen on the radio at 94.1 WIP, where Phillies announcers Scott Franzke, Larry Andersen and Tom McCarthy will be calling the game. Fox’s national TV broadcast will feature Joe Davis and John Smoltz as announcers.
So you’ve somehow gotten tickets. I’m not gonna ask how — I don’t want to know whom you had to betray, how much you spent, or your plan for getting your future newborn back from Rumpelstiltskin in 2030 — but I am sickeningly happy for you. You knew how to get tickets but not how to navigate your 14-karat gold unicorn to Citizens Bank Park? What’s wrong with you?
Of course, you can drive to the game, but keep in mind that if you do, you’ll also have to drive home. None of that traffic is fun, and if there’s some kind of epic rain delay (I was at Game 3 in ’08; I remember), you’re not going to want to drive.
The subway takes you right there — buy a Key Card, ride the Broad Street Line southbound to the end, follow all the Harper hoodies up the stairs, and you can’t go wrong. If you’re coming from the ‘burbs or Jersey, Regional Rail and PATCO connect to the BSL underground, and you’ll have lots of company in folks who likewise know better than to drive to a World Series game. And if the NLCS is any indication, SEPTA will likely add extra trains to make your trip even easier.
Can I Bring … ?
You bought tickets and you still have belongings? Mr. Moneybags over here. Speaking of which, you can’t actually bring your moneybags — or any other bags larger than 12 inches by 12 inches, for that matter. CBP will reject your backpack without hesitation, so save yourself time (and the $10 locker fee) and bring a small bag. Diaper bags and clear tote bags get a little more leeway at 16 x 16 x eight inches.
As for drinks, you can bring sealed plastic water bottles as well as baby bottles, but no alcohol, obviously. Also, feel free to bring a clever sign to delight the crowd — just make sure it’s made of paper or cloth, it’s smaller than four by eight feet, and it isn’t, y’know, vulgar.
If you have to ask about weapons or drones, I don’t know what to say to you. No.
How Did We Get Here? Or, a Cheat Sheet for the Bandwagon
Let’s start at the beginning. You may remember (or not, if you just started paying attention) that the season began late due to the lockout. That’s why the series is going into November, but it’s also arguably why the Phillies made it into the World Series in the first place. Two major changes that came out of the collective bargaining agreement were: 1) The National League got to use a designated hitter, matching the American League; and 2) There’s now an expanded 12-team postseason with three division winners and three wild-card winners per league.
The Phillies filled that new third, final wild-card slot. And a big part of getting there was having Bryce Harper hit in the DH spot after his elbow injury in April limited his ability to play the outfield.
Following the Phillies’ dismal 22-29 start to the season, manager Joe Girardi was fired, and Rob Thomson was installed as interim manager. A 10-0 win over the Angels in his debut was the first crack in that “interim” designation — Thomson is now signed as skipper through 2024.
The Phillies were 38-35 in late June when Harper was hit by a 97-mph pitch, breaking his thumb and taking him out of the lineup for two months — that’s right, he had two injuries this season. Far from spelling the team’s demise, it led to a run that vaulted them into position for the postseason. They finished the season 87-75, good enough for the third NL wild-card spot.
They entered the postseason as underdogs against the St. Louis Cardinals in a best-of-three series. That underdog designation seemed warranted going into the ninth inning of the first game, as they trailed 2-0. But they put up a six-run inning, winning that game and the next to advance to the NLDS, where they would face the 101-win NL East-champion Atlanta Braves.
In the NLDS, the Phillies and Braves split the first two games in Atlanta. When the series moved to Philly, the Phillies took control — they have yet to lose a postseason game at home this year, reminiscent of their 2008 postseason (and we all know how that ended).
That brings us to last week, when the Phillies vanquished the San Diego Padres with a similar formula, splitting the first two games on the road, then coming home to dominate. It seemed they might lose Game 5, but in the bottom of the eighth inning, Harper mashed a two-run homer to left field, giving them a lead they’d keep to win the pennant. Philly rejoiced.
Whom to Watch
By now, you’re well acquainted with the $330 million man, Bryce Harper. Signed in 2019, he arrived from the Nationals with crazy expectations that he has somehow met. Side note: The year Harper left D.C., his former team won the World Series (beating the Astros as huge underdogs) without him, so he’s surely hungry to experience that for himself. Harper will continue his role as DH in the World Series, and hopefully more fireworks will ensue.
But the Phillies have a series of sluggers throughout the lineup. Kyle Schwarber led the National League in home runs, racking up 46 “Schwarbombs” in the regular season. Rhys Hoskins hit 30 and has been red-hot in the playoffs. J.T Realmuto is possibly the best-hitting catcher in the league — and he’s not bad at catching, either.
What’s given the Phillies an advantage in the postseason? Their top two starting pitchers, Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. They’ll pitch the first two games, in Houston on Friday and Saturday. The pair will likely face off against Cy Young hopeful Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez, respectively.
Speaking of the Astros, what sets them apart is their depth, with hitters like Jose Altuve, Yordan Álvarez, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker. There are few holes in their lineup. Meanwhile, the back of their starting rotation and their bullpen are as formidable as any in the league.
Why Can’t Us? Or, the Phillies’ World Series Chances vs. the Astros
Nola and Wheeler, the Phillies’ pair of aces, are among the best in the league, arguably as strong as the Astros’ one-two punch of Verlander and Valdez — so the Phillies’ best hope is to win at least one of the first two games in Houston before returning home with weaker matchups. The Phillies have won all five home games in the playoffs so far, but they haven’t played a team as good as the Astros.
Let’s take emotion out of this: Vegas solidly favors the Astros. According to Caesars Sportsbook, the Astros are -190 to win, and the Phillies are +170 to win. If you’re not familiar with betting formats, that translates to a roughly 36 percent chance of a parade down Broad Street. But the Phils weren’t favored in any of these other series, so screw the probabilities! Besides, the Astros have lost the World Series in two of the past three years despite similarly favorable odds.
Trash Talk, Inside Jokes and More
Why are the Phillies singing a Robyn song from 2010? What the heck is Schwarberfest? Why do we care about the Astros’ trash cans? These questions are what separate those who can hang from those who can’t, so study up.
“Dancing on My Own”
You may have noticed the recent resurgence of a certain 2010 club hit about heartbreak and voyeurism. You may even have been serenaded by the song while walking home from work through Rittenhouse Square — they’ve been playing it every day at 5:30 p.m. (and 12:30 p.m., for good measure). That would be Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own,” or, more accurately, the Tiësto remix of Calum Scott’s cover. The Phillies like to listen to it in the locker room, and it has soundtracked their celebrations — it’s no deeper than that.
Two more pieces of trivia to know: The Red Sox favored the same song last year; and Scott has commented that he’s “down” to perform it at the World Series, so stay tuned. Philly’s favorite band, Snacktime, just did a cover of it to get in the spirit.
What do Wawa hoagies and Kyle Schwarber have in common? I’m still not totally sure, but I can tell you about the correlation between cheap hoagies and Schwarbombs. The Phillies began their summer breakout just as Wawa began its annual Hoagiefest promotion. But Schwarber was slipping in the postseason, going 1-for-20 with no home runs. Enter Wawa, which reinstated its hoagie deals — this time with the name “Schwarberfest” — on October 18th. The rest is history. We busted into the World Series, and Wawa isn’t taking any chances. Schwarberfest continues through the series with $5 Shortis and $6 Classics.
“I guess I’ll thank Wawa for Schwarberfest.”
Bryce gets it 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/q77Rxs3o4X
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 23, 2022
Cheating With Trash Cans
Okay, this goes back a ways, but it’s good to know about. In 2017, the Astros won the World Series against the Dodgers. It later came out that the team had a complicated system of sign-stealing involving an illegal video feed from center field into the clubhouse. Someone watching the feed would audibly bang a trash can loudly enough for the hitter to hear if the opposing team’s catcher signaled certain pitches. For many fans, this puts an asterisk on that championship year. It should be noted that the Astros’ then-manager and GM were both fired, but none of the players were disciplined.
Bonus Round: Does Alec Bohm “Fucking Hate” Philadelphia?
Short answer: no! But he did give us all a Best of Philly lip-reading moment when he was caught on camera saying “I fucking hate this place” to then-shortstop Didi Gregorius during a particularly sloppy game. After winning the pennant to advance to the World Series, a shirtless, beer-soaked Bohm changed his tune, telling NBCSports, “I love this place.”