Arizona Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly didn’t think it would be loud at Citizens Bank Park for Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. He found out in a hurry how loud Philly fans can get.
Just like in Game 1, it was all Philadelphia Phillies all the time on Tuesday night, as they pummeled the Arizona Diamondbacks with a convincing 10-0 win to take a 2-0 stranglehold in the NLCS.
Trea Turner got the scoring started early. After missing out on Monday's first-inning home run party, he got in on the act with a 421-foot blast to left, and the crowd let Kelly know it. Two innings later, Kyle Schwarber made it a 2-0 lead with a third-inning solo lined shot that just cleared the right-field wall.
Besides those two solo home runs, Kelly gave up some hard contact early but kept it close. Alec Bohm took him to the center field wall, and Bryce Harper hit the ball about as far as he could to left without hitting it out, but both balls went for outs. After Schwarber's third-inning homer, Kelly settled in, retiring seven straight, including striking out the side in the fifth. His streak ended when the suddenly hot Schwarber took him deep for a second time to lead off the sixth and extend the lead to 3-0.
Nola with another brilliant postseason start
Phillies starter Aaron Nola had another stellar postseason outing. After a Turner fielding error allowed Corbin Carroll to reach to lead off the game, Nola shut the Diamondbacks down until Ketel Marte led off the fourth with a single. The righty had his curve on a string, and his sinker fooled Arizona hitters all night with an extra two inches of horizontal movement than in the regular season.
The veteran righty went six strong innings of shutout ball, only giving up three hits and striking out seven en route to picking up his third win of the playoffs.
Phillies blow it open late, demolish Arizona's bullpen
While the game stayed close until the sixth, things got out of hand quickly. Kelly didn't make it out of the frame, after giving up the second Schwarbomb. He ended up going 5 2/3 with six strikeouts and three walks. He only gave up three hits, all solo home runs, and was charged with a fourth run when his bullpen couldn't keep the Phillies down.
The home team opened things up as soon as the Arizona relievers got involved. Lefty Joe Mantiply didn't have it on Tuesday, giving up a single to Bryson Stott before J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run double to the left field gap. The Diamondbacks intentionally walked the hot-hitting Nick Castellanos only to have Brandon Marsh hook an RBI double down the third base line and put the Phillies up 6-0.
The Fightins piled on with four more in the seventh to push the advantage to 10-0. Bohm finally got one to drop with a two-run double. After the Diamondbacks infield inexplicably let an easy pop-up fall, Realmuto added an RBI single followed by a Castellanos sacrifice fly.
With a more-than-comfortable lead, the late-inning tension of the night before became a distant memory. The combination of Jeff Hoffman, Matt Strahm and Orion Kerkering closed out the win with fans at The Bank standing the entire time, reveling in the laugher of a victory over the overmatched Diamondbacks.
With the Phillies up 2-0 after taking care of business on their home turf, the NLCS now shifts to Chase Field in Arizona for three straight games beginning on Thursday.