MLB

Realmuto insists 'nobody's excited to play the Phillies right now' after they seal NLDS spot

By Sports Desk October 09, 2022

J.T. Realmuto insisted that "nobody's excited" to play the Philadelphia Phillies after they secured their National League Division Series place with victory over the St Louis Cardinals.

The Phillies advanced to their first NLDS showdown in 11 years, where they will face the Atalanta Braves after defeating the Cardinals 2-0 in the National League Wildcard Series.

Bryce Harper's homer off the first pitch of the second inning set the tone at Busch Stadium, where Aaron Nola's pitching kept the likes of Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado at bay as they prevailed with a game to spare.

"I can promise you, nobody's excited to play the Phillies right now," Realmuto said. "Not one person on this team is surprised. We all expected to be here. This is where we wanted to be to start the season, and we're not done yet.

"We felt like it was our night to begin with and as soon as Bryce [Harper] hit that home run, we felt like we were going to win the game.

"There's a lot of confidence in that dugout right now and with the way Aaron has been throwing the ball, we were confident he and the bullpen were going to hold it down."

Rhys Hoskins also heaped praise on Harper following his "MVP-type" display, revealing he was a man on a mission upon arriving in the locker room. 

"The first thing Bryce told me today is we are not losing this game," Hoskins added. "Then he goes out and hits a home run in his first at-bat. That's MVP-type stuff right there. It was awesome."

Defeat for the Cardinals abruptly brought the curtain down on the glittering careers of Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, who boast 21 All Star appearances between them.

Manager Oliver Marmol was disappointed not to give the decorated duo a more fitting send-off, saying: "Everybody in that clubhouse is feeling it right now. It's a tough one.

"When you know it's Yadi's last year and Albert's last year, there's this extra motivation to deliver for them and do something special and allow that story to end with a championship, so it's obviously disappointing. But it's where we're at."

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