NLDS: Phillies CRUSH Atlanta 9-1 to take a 2-1 Series Lead

The Philadelphia Phillies exploded for 6-runs in the 3rd inning and rode another stellar start by Aaron Nola to a dominant 9-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves in NLDS Game 3. The win gives the Phillies an improbable 2-1 series lead going into Saturday’s NLDS Game 4. 

It was the first MLB postseason game at Citizens Bank Park in 11-years and seven days and the atmosphere didn’t disappoint.  South Philadelphia was a madhouse of red and the Phillies gave them every reason to celebrate.  

At first glance, NLDS Game 3 looked like it was going to be another pitchers duel.  Braves’ starter Spencer Strider, a Rookie of the Year candidate, came out throwing gas.  Phillies’ starter Aaron Nola was matching him pitch for pitch through the first two innings.  And then some South Philadelphia magic happened. 

Brandon Marsh worked a four pitch walk to start the 3rd inning and some kinks started to show in Strider’s armor.  Strider was able to get Jean Segura swinging for the first out to calm the Phillies fans a bit.  And then disaster struck for the Braves.  

Strider threw a bouncer on a pickoff attempt allowing Marsh to advance to third and Citizens Bank Park to turn into a red sea of chaos.  Bryson Stott followed with a nine-pitch at-bat –reminiscent of Brett Meyer’s at-bat in the 2008 NLDS– that ended with a double ripped into the right field corner to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. 

The similarities didn’t stop there.  

After an intentional walk to Kyle Schwarber, Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins channeled his inner Shane Victorino –who threw out the first pitch– and blasted a no doubt about it homerun deep into the left field seats to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead.  J.T. Realmuto followed with a one-out  single to shockingly end Strider’s night in the 3rd.  

Strider was done but the Phillies weren’t.  

Bryce Harper welcomed Braves’ pitcher Dylan Lee to the ballgame by crushing his first pitch deep into the right-center field seats to extend the Phillies lead to 6-0 and the crowd at Citizens Bank Park into a frenzy.  

Welcome back to Red October.  

Nola took the 6-run lead and ran with it, allowing one unearned run in the 6th before being lifted after allowing a leadoff single in the 7th.  Jose Alverado picked up Nola and struck out two of the three batters he faced to keep the Phillies lead 6-1 after the 7th.  

Nola’s line on the night, 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB,s 6 Ks to earn the “W.”  Through two starts, Nola has yet to allow an earned run this postseason.  

The Phillies added two more insurance runs in the 7th inning.  Harper doubled home Matt Vierling for his another RBI on the night.  Not to be outdone, Nick Castellanos drove in J.T. Realmuto and Harper to extend the Phillies lead to 9-1.  

Brad Hand and Connor Brogdon held the Braves scoreless in the 8th and 9th to give the Phillies their first home postseason win since game 1 of the 2011 NLDS.  The Phillies will have an opportunity to advance to their first NLCS in 12-years tomorrow in South Philadelphia. First pitch of NLDS Game 4 is set for 2:07 PM/Eastern.

WP: Aaron Nola (2-0, 0.00 ERA) | LP: Spencer Strider (0-1, 19.29 ERA) 

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