ATLANTA — We got ourselves a series.
The National League Division Series moved to Philadelphia and was tied after the Braves pulled off a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Phillies in Game 2 at Truist Park on Monday night.
Atlanta’s prolific lineup was scoreless through the first 14 innings of the NLDS, but exploded for five runs in the final three innings of Game 2. The Braves then sealed the victory with a dramatic 8-5-3 double play in the ninth inning — the first DP involving an outfielder to end a postseason game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“We can go out there and win a game, and then we come back and win in front of these fans,” said Braves center fielder Michael Harris II, who started the game to end the game. “But I think the ideal thing for us is to win two games and put it away.”
When the current 2-2-1 division series is tied after two games, clubs returning home for Games 3 and 4 have won 28 of the 42 games in the series (67% ). That includes last year’s NFC Championship Game between the two clubs, when Philadelphia won both games at Citizens Bank Park to advance to the NFC Championship Series.
So the Phillies didn’t panic, posting a 24-11 postseason record at Citizens Bank Park. The .686 winning percentage is the best of any team in any park in the postseason (at least 20 games).
“I think realistically, you know, we come here and we…split two games here and now we have home-field advantage,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “We’re back where we are. The games are going to be loud and wild, and we just have to keep playing baseball. Like I’ve said all year, this is a resilient club, a tough club. They’re going to It will bounce back.”
When does the game take place and how to watch it?
Game 3 will be at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday at 5 pm ET and air on TBS.
All series are available in the United States on MLB.TV and are subject to verification by participating pay TV providers. Games are available for instant viewing worldwide (except Canada). The complete game archive will be available approximately 90 minutes after the game ends.
Who are the starting pitchers?
Atlanta will likely start AJ Smith-Shaver, but the club will likely wait as long as possible to announce the 20-year-old right-hander, whose high-velocity skillset could help him succeed, much like Spencer Steed Strider) lined up against a strong Philadelphia team. Smith-Shaver, MLB Pipeline’s No. 53 overall pick, has a 4.26 ERA in 25 1/3 innings (six appearances) this year. The Warriors could choose to start Bryce Elder, or he could follow Smith Schauffer. Elder was an All-Star this year, but he experienced fatigue during games.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola
Philadelphia relished Nola’s chances on the mound in Game 3.
The right-hander pitched seven scoreless innings in Game 2 of last Wednesday’s NL Wild Card Series against Miami. The Phillies believe Nola has found his groove after an up-and-down season. In his last three starts, including one against the Marlins, Nola is 1-0 with a 1.37 ERA. He struck out 19 and walked one in 19 2/3 innings.
Nola has a 3.50 ERA in three starts against the Braves this season. He has a 16-10 record with a 3.30 ERA in 34 career games against Atlanta (including playoffs); he has a 12-10 record in 18 games against Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park. With a win-3-loss record, the ERA was 2.59.
Who is the projected starting lineup?
Brave ones: After Atlanta was left out due to adjustments to its lineup for Game 1, Atlanta returned to its regular lineup for Game 2. The Braves won’t try to fix what wasn’t broken during the regular season.
Philadelphians: Philadelphia will return to a right-handed lineup for Game 3, with Brandon Marsh replacing Christian Pache in left field and Bryce Harper and Alec Boehm in center field.
How will the bullpen line up after the start?
Brave ones: The rescue team has had another day off and should have a fresh look. AJ Minter, Pierce Johnson, and Josh Jimenez are the primary starters for closer Laiseel Iglesias. Minter and Brad Hand are the only left-handers, with Hand having wins over Schwarber and Harper last month.
Philadelphians: After Tuesday’s off day, everyone should be ready for Game 3. Left-hander Jose Alvarado and right-hander Craig Kimbrel could be used interchangeably in the eighth and ninth inning, depending on where in Atlanta’s lineup they are. They were followed by right-handers Jeff Hoffman, Seranthony Domínguez and Orion Kerkering, and left-hander Gregory Soto (Gregory Soto) and Matt Strahm.
Philadelphians: Rhys Hoskins is on a 60-day IL after undergoing left ACL surgery in March. The Phillies said Hoskins has a chance to play in the postseason this year, but that won’t happen until the World Series. Even then, he will be limited to DH or pinch-hitter duties. Hoskins is currently in Clearwater, Florida, where he continues to rehab and face live pitching as part of Philadelphia’s standby group.
Who is hot and who is not?
Brave ones: All of Atlanta’s hitters were held behind for the first 14 innings of the series. Danault’s struggles date back to the second half of the season, but his two-run home run off Zach Wheeler in the seventh inning on Monday may keep him going. Olson (11 HR, 1.147 OPS), Acuña (11 HR, 1.111 OPS) and Ozuna (9 HR, 1.034 OPS) are the three hottest players in the majors as August ends.
Philadelphians: Realmuto hit a home run in Game 2. It was his second home run of the postseason and his fifth career postseason hit, a record for a Phillies catcher. Turner had at least one hit in each of the four postseason games, including three doubles. In three postseason games, Alvarado struck out four in three scoreless innings.
Is there anything else fans should know?
Brave ones: Atlanta took three of four games in Philadelphia in September. Olson hit 11 home runs in 70 career at-bats at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphians: Philadelphia is 49-32 at home this season and has won eight of its past 10 postseason games at Citizens Bank Park.