Aaron Nola was again brilliant at home in the postseason and the long ball propelled the early lead as the Philadelphia Phillies won Game 2 in dominant fashion, a 10-0 drubbing of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It was Nola’s eighth career postseason start and fifth at home. In those five games, Nola is 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 28.2 IP.
Aaron Nola, 93mph Fastball and 80mph Knuckle Curve, Overlay pic.twitter.com/KP911WXilJ— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 18, 2023
Merrill Kelly made his second career postseason start after handling the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS.
After losing another bat on his first swing, Trea Turner kept the first inning scoring trend going with an 0-1 solo shot to deep left center to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
Rob Thomson has trusted Alec Bohm with a big role in the lineup that hasn’t yet paid off (keep reading) but it hasn’t affected his defense.
Insane play by Alec Bohm. Wow! pic.twitter.com/6jZEVjy0bL— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) October 18, 2023
With two outs in the bottom of the third, Kyle Schwarber hit a line drive that for most other humans would have dropped for a single or an out but carried over the right field wall for another solo homer, the Phillies’ twelfth such in a row.
Kelly settled down in the middle innings, getting the Phillies’ bats to go down in order in the fourth and fifth innings with four strikeouts.
Nola allowed a one-out double to Ketel Marte in the top of the sixth inning that prompted Rob Thomson to get some action going in the bullpen. But after another good play by Bohm on a grounder by Tommy Pham, Nola worked a six-pitch strikeout to Christian Walker to end the inning and end his night on a high note.
After beating Kelly on a fastball for his homerun in the third inning, Schwarber led off the bottom of the sixth and was fed a steady diet of changeups, the fourth straight of which he banished for a 2-1 homer to right center, his second of the game and third since last night.
Schwarber’s home run set a major league record for most consecutive solo home runs hit by a team in postseason play at 13, topping the ‘72-’73 Reds.
With Schwarber’s second HR tonight, the #Phillies have now hit 15 in their last 4 games.— schmenkman (@tgpschmenk) October 18, 2023
Until now no team had ever hit more than 13 in any 4-game span in the postseason.
Kelly would walk Turner and then come back to strike out Bryce Harper and get Bohm to pop out to short, when Diamondbacks’ manager, Torey Lovullo, opted to play the lefty-lefty matchup with Joe Mantiply against Bryson Stott. Stott sent a 1-0 sinker through the gap between second base and the baseman to put runners on the corners for JT Realmuto. Down 0-2, the BCIB worked the count back to 3-2 before lacing a two-run double to center.
Lovullo opted to stay away from the mismatch against red-hot Nick Castellanos with an intentional walk with a base open. Mantiply was again a victim of lefty on lefty crime as Brandon Marsh sent a first pitch sinker to left for an RBI double. 6-0 Phils.
Brandon Marsh knocks in another and the Phillies have put up four in the sixth! pic.twitter.com/TuNtYuP7dK— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) October 18, 2023
Jeff Hoffman came in to relieve Nola and pitched a 1-2-3 top of the seventh with two swinging strikeouts.
Mantiply stayed in for the bottom of the seventh, walking Schwarber on five pitches before giving way to right hander, Ryne Nelson. Nelson would get Turner to line out to short before the wheels fell off.
Harper worked a seven pitch AB that ended with a single to put runners on the corners. After some good ABs the past two nights that ended disappointingly, Alec Bohm finally found some relief with a deep two-RBI double to the left-center gap to extend the lead to eight.
Alec Bohm makes it 8-0— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 18, 2023
Then this happened and I almost felt bad.
After a Realmuto single, a Castellanos sac fly, and another pitching change, the dust settled with a 10-0 Phillies lead heading into the eighth inning.
Matt Strahm held down the eighth and the Phillies had the luxury to bring in rookie, Orion Kerkering, to close out the game (and Garrett Stubbs to catch him!). Kerkering faced four batters, allowing one to single and striking out the rest.
The Phillies will travel to Phoenix tomorrow to prepare for Game 3 on Thursday. Arizona has already announced rookie righthander, Brandon Pfaadt, as their starter, while the Phillies’ will go to Ranger Suarez to keep the train rolling.