It felt inevitable from the beginning.
A convincing Game 1 win behind Zack Wheeler.
Home field advantage in the madhouse that is Citizens Bank Park.
A hungry, almost ravenous, Phillies ball club that looked ready to run over anyone or anything that stood in their way following last year's World Series disappointment.
With everything going their way heading into Game 2, the Phillies put together a resounding 7-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. They easily secured a two-game sweep in the NL Wild Card Series, passing their first postseason test with flying colors and punching their ticket to the NL Division Series.
Aaron Nola took the ball for this one and did what he had to do, and then some. He went seven shutout innings, giving up only three hits and striking out three on 88 pitches. He induced a couple of timely double plays and erased a base runner at second with a clutch pickoff in the third inning after Cristian Pache had a ball go off his glove in left field.
Kyle Schwarber got things started for the Phillies offense in the bottom of the third, driving in Pache from first with a double down the first base line. Turner promptly followed with an RBI single of his own. Realmuto added a solo home run in the fourth to make it 3-0.
Then came the big blast.
Stepping to the plate with the bases loaded in the sixth, Bryson Stott unloaded a 412-foot grand slam to deep right to make it 7-0, breaking the game wide open and sending the Philly crowd into a frenzy of unbridled jubilation.
Super rookie Orion Kerkering worked a clean eighth in his postseason debut, recording his first October strikeout. Gregory Soto surrendered a run in the ninth but got the job done, sending Philly fans home happy as the champagne bottles popped.
After a couple of days off to enjoy the win, the Phillies will head to Atlanta on Saturday for a rematch of last year's NLDS. They beat the Braves 3-1 in that best-of-five matchup, but this year will be an entirely different test when they face an Atlanta team that ran roughshod over the majors en route to a 104-win season.