June 24, 2024

For the second time in three weeks, gamers raced onto the sector at Residents Financial institution Park, granted permission from the baseball gods to behave as immaturely as they wished by advantage of getting emerged victorious in a clinching sport.

And so, after handily disposing of the Marlins, 7-1, in entrance of one other raucous, roaring sellout crowd the Phillies adopted the script that they’ve all however perfected since their inconceivable 2022 World Sequence run final 12 months.

As quickly as Gregory Soto recorded the ultimate out by catching Jazz Chisholm Jr. taking a look at a known as third strike, fireworks erupted. The bell tolled. The enormous scoreboard above left discipline posted a quick, elegant abstract: MOVING ON. Uniformed personnel gathered behind the mound, congratulating one another and modeling the most recent iteration of postseason gear.

The general public handle system, cranked to the max, blasted “Dancing on my Personal” and it appeared as if each one of many 45,738 in attendance  stayed and stood and sang alongside whereas waving pink rally towels. On deck, after all, was Harry Kalas crooning “Excessive Hopes.”

Contained in the clubhouse they whooped and hollered, poured beer on one another and sprayed champagne. The smoke machine that helps set the temper after each victory was augmented by thick cigar smoke.

All as a result of, with that win, that they had knocked Miami out of the Wild Card playoffs two video games to none to advance to the best-of-five Nationwide League Division Sequence starting Saturday.

Right here’s the factor, although. When an identical scene unfurled on the exact same patch of South Philadelphia actual property 21 days earlier, it had been the Atlanta Braves doing the celebrating after locking down their sixth straight NL East title. And it was the Phillies who had been the unwilling spectators. Even then, it appeared doubtless that these groups would meet once more within the second spherical and darned if it hasn’t turned out that approach.

To be one of the best it’s a must to beat one of the best, Phillies 2008 world championship supervisor Charlie Manuel appreciated to say. Properly, the Braves gained 104 video games this season, probably the most in baseball, which gave them a first-round bye. They’ll be well-rested and are sure to be favored when play begins at Truist Park.

However there’s additionally this: Many picked the Braves to win all of it final season. And so they may need, too, if the Phillies hadn’t upset them within the NLDS.

Atlanta went 8-5 in opposition to the Phils in the course of the common season however Rob Thomson doesn’t imagine that discrepancy, or the truth that his crew completed 14 video games behind the Braves, precisely replicate the hole between the golf equipment.

“I feel (we match up) fairly effectively,” the Phillies supervisor stated. “They’ve a terrific membership, do not promote them brief in any respect. However I feel we do match up. I feel our offense can go in opposition to anyone’s. Our two starters, (Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola), they’re actually pitching effectively proper now. They’re on a roll, and hopefully they keep on a roll.

“Atlanta’s a great ball membership. Do not suppose that I do not suppose they are a good ball membership. They’re actually good. So we’re going through a tricky take a look at. However I feel it will likely be a great sequence.

“The one factor the Braves did is that they performed constant baseball all 12 months lengthy. I imply, from day one, they actually did not go into any massive shedding streak that I do know of, and we struggled getting out of the gate. However I feel we’re enjoying excellent baseball proper now.”

The Phillies hit all-time low on June 2 with a 25-32 report. They went 65-40 (.619) the remainder of the way in which whereas Atlanta was 71-34 (.676) in that span.

Stated reliever Craig Kimbrel: “We’re good to play whoever’s subsequent and the Atlanta Braves are subsequent. I feel we’re going to organize accordingly and go in and play good baseball. If we maintain the identical method as these first two video games (in opposition to Miami), I feel we’ll be all proper.”

Added third baseman Alec Bohm: “We’ve received a number of respect for these guys. It’s a divisional match-up. We play these guys all 12 months lengthy. We’ve received our fingers full however we’re going to conflict with them.”

He doesn’t imagine the Phillies are within the Braves’ heads after booting them from the event final 12 months. “I don’t suppose there’s an edge,” he stated. “We’ve performed one another a lot. We’re all conversant in one another. I feel it’s simply going to be a bunch of actually good baseball gamers on the sector enjoying a sport and we’re going to see what occurs.”

The primary two video games shall be performed Saturday and Monday in Atlanta. Thomson has not introduced his beginning pitcher for the opener. Video games 3 and 4 are set for Residents Financial institution Park subsequent Wednesday and Thursday with the decisive sport 5 to be performed at Truist Park on Saturday, October 14 if wanted.

One particular person with pretty much as good a perspective as any on the Phillies-Braves is the supervisor of the crew that misplaced Wednesday evening: Skip Schumaker. The Marlins performed a complete of 26 video games in opposition to these two groups this season.

“They’re two of one of the best groups within the Main Leagues,” he stated. “Extremely powerful to navigate a lineup, so far as bullpen matchups. There are not any holes. They’ve star energy up and down the lineup and are postseason examined.

“The Nola-Wheeler combo proper there was pretty much as good as you are going to discover within the Main Leagues, and their back-end bullpen with (Jose) Alvarado and a playoff examined Kimbrel and (Gregory) Soto throwing 102 mile an hour sinkers. . . They’re actually powerful, they usually’re coached actually, very well.

“Clearly the Braves are, truthfully, we did not actually know the right way to pitch them. I do not suppose the league did. We had been attempting all the things, and it begins with clearly the highest of that center of the order. There’s simply — they make you pay once you make a little bit little bit of a mistake. The run sport on either side are unimaginable. It will come right down to bullpen and beginning pitching. I feel it at all times does.

“I’m trying ahead to watching it. It’s going to be a number of enjoyable.”

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