They have the look.

You know the one. You saw it last October. It’s the look of a team that looks like it’s about to go on a run.

The Phillies’ Game 2 win over the Marlins didn’t just put the finishing touches on a quick wild card sweep. It was a win that might have changed the view, at least to those outside the Phillies’ clubhouse, on just how far this team can go.

Aaron Nola was outstanding, the offense came through with some timely hits, and Bryson Stott put the exclamation point on a completely convincing 7-1 win.

Instant observations:

Well, This Changes Everything

One of the reasons you probably spent most of the regular season skeptical about the Phillies’ chances to take down the big bad Braves in an NLDS rematch was because Aaron Nola simply didn’t look like Aaron Nola.

Well, how about now?

One night after Zack Wheeler dominated the Marlins, Nola turned in a memorable postseason performance of his own. He faced two just batters over the minimum in seven scoreless innings, needing only 88 pitches to do it. He ended his night allowing just three hits and a walk to go with three strikeouts.

He was in total command throughout:

Suddenly, out of what feels like nowhere, Nola is on a roll.

Over his last three starts, which includes six innings of two-run baseball against the Braves, Nola has allowed a total of three earned runs.

That’s good for a 1.37 ERA and 0.72 WHIP over 19 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out 19 while walking one.

Make no mistake about it, the Braves will be a heavy NLDS favorite (currently -205 in Game 1) — and rightfully so. That said, if the Phillies get this version of Nola next week, it changes everything for a battle-tested team that is now 13-6 in postseason play dating back to last year.

It’s hard not to feel like they have more than a puncher’s chance, not after back-to-back nights in which Wheeler and Nola teamed up to deliver 13 2/3 innings of one-run baseball. Not after combining to strike out 11 Marlins batters, while allowing a total of eight hits and one walk.

Maybe the vibes of Red October are a true X-factor against Atlanta, but you’re no longer just relying on intangibles as you try to find matchup advantages against a team that finished the regular season with 14 more wins.

Don’t Let ‘Em See You Coming

Nola slammed the door on the Marlins Wednesday night, but there was one moment — just one — in which you wondered if maybe this game might go the other way.  After Cristian Pache failed to haul in a fly ball into the left-center gap, Nola found himself in an early bind with Jon Berti on second and nobody out.

One runner in scoring position isn’t the end of the world, but how many times this season did we see someone fail to make a play and things quickly spiral out of control on Nola? Too many. Way too many.

Not this time:

Where the hell did that come from? And just how unlikely was it for Nola to pick off Berti in that spot?

This rare:

In 108 starts over the previous four regular seasons, Nola recorded a grand total of three pickoffs. Talk about the ultimate slow play, just lulling the league to sleep.

Berti’s gaffe came with the light-hitting Jacob Stallings at the plate, but it really hurt because Luis Arraez didn’t get a crack at putting the Marlins ahead early.

Instead, the Phillies plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning and the train had left the station.

Wait For It

It was a rough first time through the order for the Phillies against Braxton Garrett. He struck out five of the first nine hitters he faced, and benefited from one-pitch flyouts by Alec Bohm and Nick Castellanos. But by the third inning, his four-seam fastball velocity that sat between 92.3 mph and 93.2 mph in the first inning had tailed off by an average of two mph.

The Phillies almost immediately took advantage. Two batters after Cristian Pache began the inning with a walk, Kyle Schwarber hooked a double down the first base line past Josh Bell to plate the first run:

By the way, it would seem Bell’s superpowers against the Phillies finally wore off this week. I was actually stunned to learn he entered this series hitting just .261 lifetime in 58 career regular season games against the Phillies. Legit felt like .861.

Now, Let’s Party

Given the way Nola pitched in Game 2, the Phillies’ two-run third inning might have been enough, but we’ll never know.

J.T. Realmuto gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead with a 404-foot home run.

The blast was particularly refreshing given his well-documented struggles at Citizens Bank Park this season. Only seven of Realmuto’s 21 homers (including playoffs) have come at home.

That 3-0 score held until Bryson Stott came to the plate in the sixth inning and unleashed a 412-foot grand slam that effectively ended the series:

Not bad for a guy who limped into the playoffs hitting just .212 with a .580 OPS over his final 30 regular season games.

Quick Thoughts

  • Good to see the transition to the postseason didn’t slow down Trea Turner. In eight plate appearances against the Marlins, Turner went 4-for-7 with two doubles, a walk, and an RBI.
  • With the Phillies leading 7-0 in the eighth, it wasn’t a bad spot for Orion Kerkering to make his fourth MLB appearance and first postseason appearance. He retired the Marlins in order, throwing strikes on eight of his nine pitches.