In a recent podcast appearance, Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly was asked again about the admittedly innocuous comments he made about crowd noise before the NLCS against the Phillies:

“I think that quote unfortunately got taken way out of context. Definitely poked the big bear of the Bank. I don’t know if it was louder, to be honest with you – when Trea Turner hit that Grand Slam (in the WBC) I’d be hard pressed to find a situation that purely just volume-wise is louder than that. That’s kind of what I was getting at. It wasn’t ever a knock on the Phillies fans. It wasn’t ever like, ‘this place is quiet.’ I said it the whole series, I hand it to the Phillies fans. That place is different man, that place feels like you’re going to war, especially in a playoff setting like that. Some of those games honestly in Philly felt more like the World Series than some of the World Series games did.”

If you’ve tried to block out the NLCS forever, for understandable reasons, Kelly had a quote about stadium atmosphere and crowd noise, and speaking of the World Baseball Classic, said “I obviously haven’t heard (Citizens Bank Park) on the field, but I’d be very surprised if it trumped that Venezuela game down in Miami.” Phillies fans took that not necessarily as a diss, but as a challenge, as if to say “you’re gonna find out how loud it is here.”

But Kelly was cool about it. This wasn’t an Orlando Arcia type of thing thing. Kelly said after Game 2 that a “little snippet was taken out of context and made into something that it probably shouldn’t have been.” Now, a few months later, he’s saying that the NLCS environment at Citizens Bank Park felt more like the actual World Series games in Texas and Arizona. That’s nice to hear, but it would have been better to win the damn thing instead of choking at home.

As a quick aside – doesn’t Merrill Kelly look like Chris Elliott’s brother? You know, the actor. The guy from Late Night with David Letterman and Groundhog Day and Scary Movie and There’s Something About Mary and all of those random films: