Phillies Take Commanding 2-0 Lead in NLCS, but the D-backs Aim to Bounce Back

The atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park for the first two games of the National League Championship Series was electric, and it lived up to expectations. Fans were on their feet throughout both contests, creating a deafening noise that peaked at 111 decibels after every Phillies’ home run. The crowd’s enthusiasm only grew louder with each appearance of Bryson Stott, whose catchy walk-up song became a fan favorite.

Basking in one of the most formidable home-field advantages of the postseason, the Phillies made a statement. They launched six home runs and outscored the D-backs 15-3 to seize a 2-0 lead in the NLCS. However, the scene is about to shift.

As the series heads to Chase Field for Game 3, the D-backs are eager to respond. It’s worth noting that Arizona’s only home game this postseason resulted in a decisive victory, as they eliminated the Dodgers in the NL Division Series with a Game 3 win.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo emphasized the need to revert to their brand of baseball, stating, “We’ve got to play Diamondback baseball. What we watched out there was not anything that we have done for a long period of time. So we’ve got to regroup. We have to regroup the troops and find a way to get it done.”

The odds may be stacked against the D-backs. Historically, teams taking a 2-0 lead in best-of-seven postseason series have gone on to win the series 84% of the time. In the past 26 years, only two teams have managed to overcome such a deficit: the 2020 Dodgers in the NLCS against the Braves and the 2004 Red Sox against the Yankees in the ALCS, when they came back from a 3-0 deficit.

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto acknowledged their success in the first two games, crediting solid pitching and exceptional defense. He said, “With that being said, this series is a long ways from being over. That’s a really good ball club over there that we’ve got to go into their stadium and play now.”

The pivotal Game 3 is set to be broadcast on TBS in the United States, while international fans can catch it live. For U.S. viewers, MLB.TV offers game streaming with authentication through a participating Pay TV provider, and full game archives will be available approximately 90 minutes after the game concludes.

On the mound, the Phillies will have left-hander Ranger Suárez, who boasts an impressive 1.04 ERA in two postseason starts. Suárez has been a crucial postseason performer for the Phillies, with a 3-0 record, a 1.16 ERA, and one save in seven postseason appearances, including five starts.

The D-backs will counter with rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt, who previously started Game 3 against the Dodgers in the NLDS. Lovullo has indicated that he intends to limit Pfaadt to facing around 18 batters, plus or minus four, in his starts, which suggests he won’t be going deep into the game.

As the series pivots to Chase Field, the D-backs face an uphill battle, but with their home-field advantage and the energy of their fans, they aim to turn the tide and make a comeback in this highly anticipated NLCS showdown.

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