The Philadelphia Phillies are moving on this postseason after taking down the Miami Marlins in dominant fashion Wednesday night, 7-1, to win the Wild Card series at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies now head to the National League Division Series, where it will take on its NL East-rival Atlanta Braves, who owned the best record in MLB this season, earning the No. 1 seed in the NL with a bye.
It was the long ball that the Phillies used to break this game open, and it was off the bat of Bryson Stott that the Marlins’ hopes seemed crushed in this one.
Stott came up in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out. The Marlins had a favorable matchup with left-hander Andrew Nardi on the mound facing the lefty Stott, and with the score already 3-0 in favor of the home team, Miami desperately wanted out of this situation with their season on the line.
But Stott was thinking fastball all the way, as he quickly jumped on a 95 mile-per-hour heater on the inside part of the plate and sent it flying over the right field fence. The score moved to 7-0 and the Phillies faithful knew that was the dagger needed to reach the next stage of postseason play.
It was Stott’s only hit of the night, but it was a big one as he went 1-for-3 with his four RBI and a run scored.
The first homer of the night, though, extended the Phillies’ lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto launched a ball to left field off his former Philly teammate, David Robertson, that went 404 feet to move the score to 3-0.
The Phillies got to Marlins starter Braxton Garrett in the bottom of the third inning, when Kyle Schwarber doubled to right field to get on the board first. Then, saavy shortstop Trea Turner singled home Schwarber to make it a 2-0 game.
Meanwhile, on the mound for the Phillies was starter Aaron Nola, who delivered a gem that set the tone for his squad to get aggressive at the plate. Nola tossed seven innings, allowing just three hits and striking out three with just 88 pitches thrown.
The Marlins were able to touch up Gregory Soto a bit in the top of the ninth inning to get their only run of the game, as Josh Bell singled in a run. But it was too little too late for a Marlins squad that was hoping to extend only its second trip to the postseason since winning the World Series in 2003.
Turner and Realmuto both finished 2-for-4 at the plate on the night, while Bryce Harper, playing first base in this one, went 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored.
With the Phillies’ victory, every Wild Card series in MLB ended in a sweep. The Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins won earlier Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays respectively, while the Arizona Diamondbacks secured its berth in the NLDS after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers.