Braves Battle Back to Even NLDS at 1-1

It took five painful and flustrating innings, but the Atlanta Braves finally ignited their previously moribund offense Monday night.

And when they lit the fuse, all of Truist Park ignited.

Getting to a 5-4 victory over the Phillies in Game two of the NLDS wasn’t an easy task. In the first 6 innings, they had to go to the mound in near futility as Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler sat down Brave hitter after Brave hitter. He recorded ten strikeouts against Braves offense. It was only until a Travis D’Arnald homer in the seventh pierced Wheeler’s armor.

And the Braves weren’t finished.

In the bottom of the 8th, Austin Riley crushed a two-run homer that shot 375 feet across the field, to bring the Braves a run closer to the Phillies.

But nothing that came before could compare to the 9th-inning heroics that fans would witness from the Braves, who at that point just needed to deny the Phillies any more runs to win the game and go to Philly with a 1-1 tie. But the Braves produced a highlight reel moment at the end of the game.

At the top of the 9th, with Phillies base runner Bryce Harper on first and relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias already recording an out, Phillies batter Nick Castellanos popped a fly ball that seemed nearly certain to at least tie the game or send the Phillies to a second NLDS win. But Braves center fielder Michael Harris made a catch to the wall that in of itself was stunning enough, but he then threw the ball towards Riley at third base, who immediately thew to Matt Olson, who tagged Harper out at 1st base. A double-out that ended the game and shut down the Phillies in front of a suddenly loud and jubilant crowd of 498,898 that was sitting silent for most of the game.

It was the first 8-5-3 double play in postseason play, according to MLB analyst Sarah Langs, in a X post. It was one of many posts that popped up on the app formerly known as Twitter hailing the Braves hat trick.

And apparently, there’s scientific evidence the crowd was rocking Truist Park after that double play.

The ending to this game sent a charge through the stadium and Braves Nation that renewed a wavering faith that the Braves could win this series. It no doubt created momentum that the Braves will need as they face a raucous crowd in Philly in Game 3 Wendesday night.

NLDS Game 2: Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies: By The Numbers
1st Inning 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th R H E
Braves 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 x 5✅ 4 1✅
Phillies 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 9✅ 2

Winning Pitcher: A. J. Minter 1-0. 0.00 ERA  Losing Pitcher: Jeff Hoffman 1-1, 18.00 ERA  Save: Raisel Iglesias 1, 0.00 ERA