Bedlam at the Bank is becoming somewhat of a norm for the Philadelphia Phillies. After bursting out of the gate against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 1, the Phils exploded to a 10-0 rout of their NLCS opponents in game 2 on a historic Tuesday night.
A dominant day at the office
Kyle Schwarber was responsible for two of the 3 home runs the Phillies blasted last night, while Trea Turner added a third. The two have been a huge catalyst in the rapid growth of the offense. Turner’s resurgence needs no introduction, but an abundance of ‘Schwarbombs’ have sent Kyle into the history books.
With 18 career homers in the postseason, Kyle Schwarber has officially tied Reggie Jackson for the most by a left-handed batsman.
As for the Phillies, their 15 home runs over their last 4 games are the most in that span in playoff history. They’re now 6-0 at home during the 2023 playoffs thanks in large part to an endless barrage of home runs and scoring opportunities.
In terms of how they stack up against 2023 postseason teams, they sit second in team batting average (2.84) and lead the field in Home Runs (19), runs (46) and hits (74). To say that the vibes in Philadelphia are electric right now would be an understatement, and with Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner enjoying well-timed breakouts to lead the charge alongside the likes of Bryce Harper, there’s going to be no shortage of big-time plays anytime soon.
What about the pitching?
However, the pitching has been just as impressive. Aaron Nola rode into the postseason with some qualms over his ability. He’d been very hit and miss during the regular season, but had a tendency to turn it on when the lights were at their brightest. Tuesday night was no exception.
Nola allowed just 3 hits in Game 2 against an offense averaging 8 hits per matchup. Striking out 7, Nola’s shutout means his 2023 postseason ERA sits at a dominant 0.96 through 3 outings. He’s struck out 19 in that time and is yet to allow a Home Run.
It’s a lot easier for the Phils to be aggressive when they have a rotation that’s cleaning house. Zack Wheeler has been just as, if not more impressive, and it’s pushed Nola to elevate his game.
“I just try to follow up Wheels as best as possible,” Nola told Todd Zolecki “He sets the tone for us every time he takes the ball out there. He gives us a chance every time he steps on the mound.”Aaron Nola via MLB.com
On deck for the Phillies
The Phillies are now halfway to reaching their second Word Series in a row and a shot at their first World Championship since 2008. Game 3 will take place in Arizona on Thursday. A win would see Philadelphia have a chance to sweep the D-Backs on Saturday night and cement their spot in the 2023 World Series.
In terms of who the Phils might play, it could well be the Texas Rangers, who currently hold a 2-0 lead over the defending Champion Houston Astros.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum