After Friday's win the Phillies are one game away from the NLCS Oct 14, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper (3) celebrates with catcher J.T. Realmuto (10) after defeating the Atlanta Braves in game three of the NLDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

If anyone thought that the Atlanta Braves beating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 in Game 2 of the National League Division Series was a sign that the heavily-favored Braves had regained control of the series, Game 3 told a dramatically different story. The series shifted to Philadelphia on Friday afternoon, for the city’s first playoff game since 2011. The Phillies gave the home fans a lot to cheer about.

Philadelphia got on the board first in the bottom of the third inning when, after six pitches, Bryson Stott drilled an RBI double to score Brandon Marsh. That was only a sign of things to come for the Phillies. The Braves opted to intentionally walk Kyle Schwarber, bringing up the struggling Rhys Hoskins. On the first pitch of his at-bat, Hoskins drilled a home run and followed that with an epic bat spike. That put Philadelphia up 4-0 and sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

After J.T. Realmuto lined a first-pitch single, the Braves pulled Spencer Strider in favor of Dylan Lee. But keeping with the theme of the inning, Bryce Harper drilled the first pitch he saw from Lee into the seats, giving the Phillies a 6-0 lead. That was more than enough cushion for Aaron Nola. Atlanta scored one in the sixth but Philadelphia answered with three more in the seventh and won the game 9-1.

And while the fans in Philadelphia spent a lot of time cheering the home team, they also spent some time mocking the visitors.

One of the truly amazing things about this run is how seemingly out of nowhere it’s been. While the Phillies had a good regular season, it was not overwhelming by any means. They finished in third place in the National League East and were the last National League team to clinch a playoff spot. Furthermore, excluding 2020, which had an expanded postseason after a short season, Philadelphia would not have made the playoffs in any past season.

Given that and that the Phillies shared a division with two 100-plus win teams in the Braves and New York Mets, it’s pretty remarkable that Philadelphia is so close to its first NLCS trip since 2010.

Game 4 will be on Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Shortly after Game 3, the Phillies announced that Noah Syndergaard will be the starting pitcher.

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