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NLCS Game 2 Open Thread

The defending NL champs powered their way to a win in Game 1. Now they’ll look to go up 2-0 against the D’Backs.

Syndication: Arizona Republic Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Orioles won’t be marking the 40th anniversary of the 1983 World Series with the return to the Fall Classic, but the Phillies just might. After taking down baseball’s best team in the Braves, they went yard three times in Game 1 of the NLCS to go up on the Phillies. Now the Phils look to take a commanding lead of the Diamondbacks and get one step closer to their second-straight NL pennant.

NLCS Game 2, 8:07pm ET

RHP Aaron Nola (2-0, 1.42 ERA, 12 Ks) vs. RHP Merrill Kelly (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 Ks)

The 2023 postseason has largely defied expectations. Game 1 of the NLCS didn’t fit that mold. The Phillies’ offense put on a show early: Kyle Schwarber led off the bottom of the first with a solo HR and two batters later Bryce Harper launched a solo shot of his own to give Philadelphia a 2-0 after one inning. Nick Castellanos added the Phillies third solo homer in the top of the second and the Phillies would go on to take a 5-0 lead. The Diamondbacks slithered their way back in the game, cutting the lead down to 5-3. However, José Alvarado and Craig Kimbrel shut the door in the eighth and ninth to seal the Phillies’ win.

Prior to the Phillies’ win in Game 1, home teams were 2-7 in Game 1’s this postseason. If Philadelphia can pull off a Game 2 win in Citizens Bank Park, they’ll move to 6-0 in The Bank this postseason. They’ll turn to former All-Star Aaron Nola to keep things going against the Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old right-hander opened this postseason with two strong outings, posting seven scoreless innings vs. the Marlins in the Wild Card round, before allowing two runs over 5.2 innings with 9 Ks in a Game 3 win against Atlanta. Nola will be looking to improve on his NLCS outing from last season, when he allowed six runs over 4.2 innings in a Game 2 loss to the Padres.

The Diamondbacks will turn to Arizona native Merrill Kelly to try and even the series. Kelly was excellent against the Dodgers in his postseason debut, tossing 6.1 scoreless innings while allowing only three hits and striking out five. His career record against the Phils should fill D’Backs fans with confidence. Kelly has a 2.75 ERA and .197 BAA in three appearances against Philadelphia. His last start against the Phillies—on June 14th in Phoenix—he went six innings, allowed three runs and struck out six, but didn’t factor in the decision. Neither the Phillies or the Diamondbacks made any changes from their Game 1 lineups.

Phillies Lineup:

  1. Kyle Schwarber (L) DH
  2. Trea Turner (R) SS
  3. Bryce Harper (L) 1B
  4. Alec Bohm (R) 3B
  5. Bryson Stott (L) 2B
  6. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
  7. Nick Castellanos (R) RF
  8. Brandon Marsh (L) LF
  9. Johan Rojas (R) CF

Diamondbacks Lineup:

  1. Corbin Caroll (L) RF
  2. Ketel Marte (S) 2B
  3. Tommy Pham (R) DH
  4. Christian Walker (R) 1B
  5. Gabriel Moreno (R) C
  6. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (R) LF
  7. Alek Thomas (L) CF
  8. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
  9. Geraldo Perdomo (S) SS