Nola and the Phillies move on
Aaron Nola walked out to the mound to open the bottom of the fourth inning and took a deep breath just behind the rubber. The Phillies manufactured a pair of runs moments earlier to stake him to a 2-0 lead, and he needed a shutdown inning to ensure the Phillies kept the momentum in a potentially series-clinching game. 

Eight pitches later, Nola has his shutdown inning. 

About ninety minutes later, the Phillies had their series-clinching victory, knocking off the Marlins, 7-1, in Game 2 of the National League Wild Card Series at Citizens Bank Park. 

Bryson Stott delivered the deathblow with a grand slam in the sixth that landed about a dozen rows into the seats in rightfield off reliever Andrew Nardi. The blast traveled 412 feet with an exit velocity of 102.4mph. Stott watched it for a few seconds before spiking his bat to the ground, seemingly an homage to Rhys Hoskins and his bat spike last year in the NLDS. 

'I haven't really thought that far ahead," Stott said. "I didn't even know I even did the bat spike. Stubby told me. I don't usually pimp home runs. I don't think I hit them far enough to do that. So it just kind of got caught up in the moment, I guess. I don't really have much memory of the swing and stuff like that. I know I yelled at the dugout and couldn't really hear myself. So I knew the crowd was loud. 

"Any time we get to play here, you know it's going to be loud from the very first pitch. It's just -- I mean, I wouldn't want to play anywhere else. It's a phenomenal time every time we take the field here in the postseason. Just being able to do this at home was really cool."

J.T. Realmuto hit a solo homer in the fourth, and Cristian Pache turned a leadoff walk in the third into the first run of the evening via an RBI double by Kyle Schwarber. Trea Turner followed with a scorcher up the middle that careened off the ribs of Miami starter Braxton Garrett and rolled into right field, allowing Schwarber to scamper across the plate. 

Nola was never in serious trouble, but he benefited from a pair of double plays started by Turner in both the fifth and sixth innings. He tossed seven scoreless frames and surrendered just three hits. He walked one and whiffed three. 

"I tried to soak it in as best as possible," Nola said. "It's just cool to pitch in the postseason over here. Obviously I've only been with the Phillies my whole career, and to walk out there tonight to have a Wild Card at home, it's pretty special. 

"Especially being up 1-0. You don't get it like every other place like you do here. The fans are already -- it's already a packed house when I walk out there to go warm up in the bullpen. They kind of bring the energy and kind of bring it out in us a little bit more, a little extra. It's pretty cool. It's pretty special."

Thomson had a feeling Nola was going to shine.

"I expected this," Thomson said. "I really did because I know who he is. I've seen him do this before, and he just came through. But I'm so proud of him. He's a warrior. He really is. He just keeps fighting and keeps trying to get better."

Orion Kerkering made his postseason debut tossing a scoreless eighth inning and in doing so became the second-youngest Phillies pitcher in postseason history to appear in a playoff game. 

The victory sets the stage for a rematch of last year's National League Divisional Series between the Phillies and the Atlanta Braves. Game 1 will be in Atlanta on Saturday. The series will return to Philadelphia with Game 3 on Wednesday.

Did You Know
The Phillies are now 14-4 in all-time clinching games and their .778 winning percentage in those games is the best MLB postseason history. 

About Stott's Blast
Stott's grand slam marked just the second in franchise postseason history. Shane Victorino hit the first grand slam in Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS. 

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