Phillies will play first playoff game at home since 2011

PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Howard swung, tripped, fell face first on the ground, tried to take a couple of steps before collapsing in pain. Headslow watched the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after winning the 2011 National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park.

With the last swing of the season, Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies went down hard.

Howard, the feared 2006 NL MVP slugger, never recovered his form that saw him finish with 40 home runs and 100 RBIs.

The Phillies didn’t repeat their postseason greatness either.

For 11 years, Howard’s harmless grounder in the final at-bat of the season marked the end of an era for the franchise that once reigned in the NL East and then fell off a precipice of meaningless Septembers. .

The streak of five straight playoffs — including the World Series championship in 2008 and the NL title in 2009 — ended after Howard needed help getting off the field in a 1-0 loss to the Cardinals.

But 4,025 days later the Phillies will play a home postseason game again this Friday, when they host Atlanta in Game 3 of the Division Series.

The series is tied – and Citizens Bank Park was decorated for the playoffs. Postseason logos were placed on the field and banners in the stands.

The Phillies don’t want to continue living in the past. The present has been good for the team that eliminated the Cardinals in the wild card series and won the first game against Atlanta.

But in a nod to the glory days, Aaron Nola will start Game 3. Nola is the player who has been with the team the longest after debuting in 2015, when Howard, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley and Panamanian Carlos Ruiz finished their stays in Philadelphia

What does Nola think about the playoff atmosphere in Philly?

“They told me it’s something special,” he said Thursday.

The Braves, who won Game 2 on a six-inning shutout by Kyle Wright, have yet to name their starter for Game 3. They could send right-hander Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.34) or rookie Spencer Strider (11-5, 2.67) to the mound.

Strider, who turns 24 this month, signed a six-year, $75 million contract Monday after playing just 33 games.

“He wants to pitch. He would pitch today if we let him,” manager Brian Snitker said. “But he feels good and he wants to be a part of it, which is great.”

The home game — since September, since 2011 — will be worth the wait if the Phillies win two games and the series.

We want to say thanks to the writer of this write-up for this remarkable content

Phillies will play first playoff game at home since 2011