The Philadelphia Phillies drew first blood in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 5-3 victory in Game 1 on Monday night.
From the first pitch, the Phillies had momentum in their home park. Kyle Schwarber whipped his bat through the zone on a Zac Gallen 92 mph fastball and rocketed it over the right field wall to take a 1-0 lead.
That was just the start of how the long ball helped the Phillies take Game 1.
Bryce Harper, a key contributor in the ALDS victory over the Atlanta Braves that was celebrating his 31st birthday Monday night, kept his red-hot bat on fire as he hit his fourth homer of the postseason two batters later.
Nick Castellanos wanted to join the party in the bottom of the second inning when he went to right field for his fifth homer of the postseason to make it a 3-0 game.
Citizens Bank Park was shaking once again as Phillies continued to deliver big hits.
But the Diamondbacks, who ran through the Los Angeles Dodgers in surprising fashion, didn’t roll over despite facing a 5-0 deficit after Harper hit an RBI single in the third and J.T. Realmuto added a two-RBI single in the fifth.
Geraldo Perdomo launched a homer to right field, a two-run shot that was his second of the postseason to finally get Arizona on the board in the top of the sixth.
Alek Thomas’ sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh added one more and made this a ballgame.
In the end, the Diamondbacks couldn’t mount a comeback as Phillies relievers Jose Alvarado and Craig Kimbrel shut things down in the final 2.1 innings.
Zack Wheeler started for the Phillies and ate some more innings this postseason, collecting six with his only blemish being Perdomo’s two-run homer. He struck out eight D-Backs hitters and didn’t walk one.
D-Backs ace Zac Gallen trudged through five innings of work, allowing five earned runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out four.
Game 2 of the series will take place Tuesday night in Philly with Aaron Nola getting the ball for the home team against Merrill Kelly for the D-Backs.