Kyle Schwarber
Arizona hurler Zac Gallen entered Monday having surrendered just three homers over his previous eight starts. The Phillies matched that total in just two innings. 

Those three homers provided the Phillies enough offense to knock off a red-hot Diamondbacks team on Monday, 5-3, in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park. 

"I think they just ambushed him," said Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo. "I think they came out ready to jump on his fastball. There's no mystery that Zac fills up the zone. He has an aggressive fastball and aggressive mindset. They just counter-punched him." 

Kyle Schwarber walloped the first pitch Gallen hurled on the evening and deposited it about a dozen rows into the seats in right field. Bryce Harper followed four pitches later, sending a 420-foot moonshot into right-center to give the Phillies a 2-0 advantage. 

The Bank may never have been louder. 

Nick Castellanos continued his torrid pace from the NLDS, connecting in the second inning on a 93-mph Gallen fastball that caught far too much of the plate before landing in the seats in right. The solo blast was his fifth homer in the last three games. 

"For us as an offense, in general, we're not looking to take hitters' pitches," Schwarber said. "We'll give him some pitcher's pitches, things like that, but we're not trying to chase as well. The biggest thing is trying to get him in the zone, and he is such a great pitcher. He has had such a great year to where if you get him in the zone, and you're going to get a good swing, you don't want to miss it." 

Gallen scuffled through five innings in the loss, surrendering plenty of hard contact, something he didn't do much of during the regular season. In fact, he allowed a hard-hit percentage of 46.2 percent during his All-Star campaign, one of the best marks in baseball. 

"We definitely were not trying to throw the fastballs where they were hit," Lovullo said. "Those were just mistakes, misfired pitches. Yeah, we're well aware of the guys that can handle certain pitches in certain spots. That's what I'm saying. I haven't had a chance to look at them. 

Harper delivered an RBI single in the fourth to push Trea Turner across following a double, and J.T. Realmuto chipped in with a two-out RBI double in the fifth. Johan Rojas broke an 0-for-21 slump with a double in the fourth. 

After surrendering a leadoff single to Corbin Carroll, Zach Wheeler retired 15 straight, including eight by strikeout. He ran into some trouble in the sixth, allowing Evan Longoria to reach with a single to open the frame before Geraldo Perdomo turned on a 94-mph fastball in on the hands and poked it to right for a two-run homer. The blast brought Arizona to within three. 

The Diamondbacks added another run in the seventh, taking advantage of a walk and a throwing error by Seranthony Dominguez, but that's as close as they would get in the contest. 

Wheeler tossed six frames, surrendering the two runs on three hits. He didn't issue a walk and whiffed eight. He's collected 26 strikeouts this postseason over 19 innings and has looked masterful. Including Monday's performance, he has a 0.70 WHIP over his first nine career postseason appearances, the best mark in baseball history. 

"It's awesome," Harper said of Wheeler. "I mean, he's so much fun to watch. I mean, just the way he kind of prepares and the way he goes about it on his start days, and he is such a good person and a good teammate as well. He just works, man. He works hard, and he understands what he needs to do." 

Craig Kimbrel walked a batter and battled some command issues in the final frame but induced a Lourdes Gurriel 5-4-3 double play to escape a jam and secure his third save this postseason. 

“When you get into the postseason, everything starts over,” Harper said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Wild Card or you’re this team or that or the other. Anybody can win. That’s the great thing about baseball and the great sport that we play. Anything can happen at any spot. So we’ve just got to keep playing our game, worry about us, and understand they’re not going to lay down, not going to do anything different. They’re going to be the Arizona Diamondbacks that they have been all year and we’ve just got to play our game.” 

Aaron Nola will get the ball for the Phils in Game 2, while the D-Backs counter with right-hander Merrill Kelly.

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