The Philadelphia Phillies pounded the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-0 in game two of the 2023 National League Championship Series on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Like game one, the Phils jumped out early with the long ball while their starting pitcher – Aaron Nola – continued to be sensational. Including tonight, the Phillies are 8-0 in Nola’s last eight home starts (5-0 in the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs), while Nola is 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 48.2 innings. In this outing, he pitched six innings, allowing just three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. The Philadelphia Phillies just dominated the Dbacks in this matchup.
Phillies Dominate the DBacks in Game 2
The Phils waited one batter before jumping on D’Backs starting pitcher Merrill Kelly deep. With one in the first, Trea Turner took Kelly deep. In the third, it was a two-out homer for Kyle Schwarber. In the sixth, the first of back-to-back innings in which the Phils batted around, Schwarber got things going with a round-tripper – his third in two nights. After a walk to Turner, two outs, and a pitching change, Bryson Stott got his first hit of the series. He and Turner came around on J.T. Realmuto’s double to center field while the Phils catcher was plated on a double by Brandon Marsh.
Up 6-0, the Phillies poured it on in the seventh inning with four more runs. The key hit was a two-run double by Alec Bohm, not so much for the runs as for helping Bohm, who was 4-for-27 in the postseason to the point.
The bullpen was very good as well. Jeff Hoffman, Matt Strahm, and Orion Kerkering combined for three innings with just two base runners and six punch outs.
Excitement In the Locker Room
“We have a really good lineup,” said Thomson, whose team is 20-for-64 with six home runs in the NLCS, “and it’s a long lineup. We’re swinging bats really well right now. I thought Merrill Kelly did a really nice job, and we finally got to him in the sixth. We hit a couple of solo home runs, but he kept us off balance for the most part up until the sixth, and we started to string some hits together and put up some crooked numbers, so that was good. Offense comes and goes. We have to stay on it.”
“Well, they made a little mechanical change with his stride direction,” said Thomson, referring to Nola and pitching coach Caleb Cotham. “Once he did that, he started getting the ball to his glove side, and the breaking ball became better. The changeup became better. He started using his changeup a little bit more, and he has dialed it up ever since.
“Tonight, he was fantastic. I thought he did a great job. If the bottom of the sixth hadn’t gone so long, he probably would have gone out.”
“You can’t draw it up any better than the last two games have gone for us,” said Realmuto. “We’ve pitched the ball well. We’ve played phenomenal defense. There’s been a ton of plays made in the infield and outfield that weren’t easy plays, and we’ve turned them all into outs.
“We’ve hit the ball well also. With that being said, this series is a long way from being over. That’s a really good ball club over there that we’ve got to go into their stadium and play now.
“We just have to try to keep the momentum on our side, continue to play good baseball, continue to put together good at-bats and attack the strike zone. If we keep playing this brand of baseball, we feel pretty good about our chances. But it’s far from over.”
Rock Hoffman has been covering sports in the Philadelphia region for over 30 years. He’s been the co-host of a radio show – SportsPage – on the Delaware Valley Radio Network (WRDV.org) in the time. He’s reported on games involving all the Philadelphia teams at the profession and collegiate levels. During his career he’s provided coverage for a Super Bowl, an All-Star Game, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games as well NFL, MLB and NHL playoff games. Additionally, he’s the College Football Editor for Football Stories Magazine (FootballStories.com).