Game 3 Recap: Harper Homers, Phils Plunge Braves 10-2

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Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper is congratulated after hitting a three run home run during the third inning of Game 3 of a baseball NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

What an amazing response by the Philadelphia Phillies.

After trailing early in the game the fireworks were unleashed in Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies could not be contained and rode their bats all the way to a 10-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. They are now one win away from going back to the National League Championship Series.

Bryce Harper led the charge with two home runs and two epic staredowns to Braves’ shortstop Orlando Arcia.

Amazing Aaron

Bryce Harper is not the only main takeaway from Game 3 of the NLDS. Aaron Nola deserves his flowers after another impressive post-season outing.

The Phillies needed Aaron Nola to beat Aaron Nola on Wednesday night, and the former first-round pick delivered.

After his dominant performance in the Wild Card round against the Marlins, it really has felt like Nola has refound his groove as a top-tier starting pitcher. A slight adjustment in his mechanics has seemingly flipped the switch for Nols and he has looked like an ace for a little over a month now.

Game 3 Performance

Things were a little shaky early in this game, but after two men reached in the first inning, Aaron escaped the jam unscathed. He battled with the likes of Acuna, Albies, Riley, and Olson and he came out on top.

A 1-2-3 second inning was the perfect response from the Phillies’ ace and through two innings he was dialed in. Nola’s command was where it needed to be and his delivery looked free and easy.

Then in the third inning, the top offense in all of baseball reared its ugly head. Ozzie Albies would drive in Ronald Acuna Jr to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola tips his hat after being relieved during the sixth inning of Game 3 of a baseball NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

This however would be the last time the Braves would hold a lead in this game.

Thanks to a lot of run support (something Aaron Nola never seems to get), he really settled into this game.

Nola tossed a scoreless fourth and fifth, before exiting the game with runners on in the 6th.

One of those runners would come in to score, but Nola finished his outing with 5.2 IP, 9 strikeouts, 2 earned runs, and 6 hits allowed.

He got a standing ovation as he walked off the field and gave a tip of the cap to the Philly faithful as he exited.

Harper is a Philly Hero

The Phillies offense was firing on all cylinders.

Bryce Harper was to thank for fueling such a legendary performance. The former 2x MVP hit two homeruns during Game 3. The first was in the bottom of the third, which gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead.

The second came in the bottom of the 5th, this time a solo shot off the bat of the Phillies’ leader.

Harper has now passed Ryan Howard on the Phillies playoff home run list and now has the most home runs in the NLDS in Major League Baseball History.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper hits a three run home run during the third inning of Game 3 of a baseball NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

After Game 2, Braves’ shortstop Orlando Arcia allegedly made a comment about Bryce being thrown out to end the game. These comments circulated around social media and made their way into the Phillies’ locker room.

Bryce certainly heard the noise and responded only like he knew how.

Setting the Tone

There were plenty of hits to go around the lineup in Game 3, as the Phillies notched 11 hits as a unit.

Trea Turner, Nick Castellanos, Brandon Marsh, and Bryce Harper all had multi-hit games, and each went deep at various points throughout the ballgame.

Castellanos and Harper homered twice and Castellanos and Marsh went back to back in the 8th inning.

The Phillies tied a record with 6 home runs in a single post-season game, matching a record by the Chicago Cubs in 2015.

After stranding 11 runners on base in Game 2, the offense needed to come away with a cleaner game. They did so tonight, chasing starter Bryce Elder out of the game in the 3rd inning.

The Braves did not have to go deep into their bullpen however, so they will be fresh and ready to go in Game 4 Thursday night.

One More Win

The Phillies have taken a 2-1 series lead here in the National League Divisional Series.

They will get two cracks at eliminating the Atlanta Braves for the second straight season. Hopefully, they can take care of business in Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night.

It will take another great performance by Bryce Harper and the crew if they want to knock off the best team in baseball. I have faith that the Phillies can win this thing at home and we will be dancing on our own into the NLCS.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)