2022 National League Wild Card Series: Nola, Phillies complete two-game sweep of Cardinals

Aaron Nola pitched into the seventh inning to help the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of their National League WIld Card series at Busch Stadium.

Bryce Harper homered and Zach Eflin stranded the tying run on base as Philadelphia won their first postseason series since the 2009 NLCS.

"Everybody in that clubhouse, on this team, in this organization is super excited", Nola said. "Just a bunch of unselfish guys, doing whatever it takes to win a ballgame, no matter what it is. A lot of excitement."

Miles Mikolas allowed both runs on two hits in 4 2/3 innings for the NL Central champions. Albert Pujols collected a pair of singles in the final game of his Hall of Fame career.

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"This was never about me coming back here", he said. "This was about n organization that opened the door for me to finish my career here. My mission was always to help this ballclub to win every day."

Phillies move on to Atlanta after completing two-game sweep

On the first pitch of the second inning, Harper drove a 76 mph curveball from Mikolas 435 feet to put Philadelphia on top.

Nola struck out six and walked just one while throwing 101 pitches. He gave up a leadoff single to Lars Nootbaar in the bottom of the first and Edman walked in the third, Nola struck out Nootbaar and got Pujols on a weak grounder.

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Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm made an outstanding grab of Molina's sharply hit ball down the line leading off the third, and then he made an even more impressive play to rob Arenado of extra bases in the fourth. 

Bohm then led off the fifth with a ground-rule double. Brandon Marsh bunted him to third and after Mikolas hit Jean Segura, the righty was pulled in favor of Jordan Montgomery, who walked Bryson Stott.

Kyle Schwarber hit a sacrifice fly that scored Bohm to make it 2-0. Nola pitched into the eighth and Jose Alvarado came in to retire Molina on a popup with a runner on first.

St. Louis had two men on in the bottom of the eighth, but Seranthony Dominguez struck out MVP candidates Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado to escape the jam.

"I didn't play well at all. That's what I look at", said Goldschmidt, who, combined with Arenado, went one for 15 with eight strikeouts in the series.

"If I could have played better, maybe we could've at least won one of them, if not both of them. That's disappointing." 

Down to their last out, the Cardinals got back-to-back singles from Corey Dickerson and Molina, but Eflin got Edman to foul out as the Phillies set up a Division Series matchup with the defending world champion Atlanta Braves.

"Our players, they love being in this situation", said manager Rob Thomson, who signed a two-year contract yesterday. "And that's what i'm really proud about. 

"There's so many guys that never played in the playoffs and they played really well. The moment didn't get the best of them and I'm really happy about that.

"We played the game the right way. We had good pitching. We have really good defense. We had a lot of unselfish at-bats, guys giving themselves up, bunting runners over. It was a complete team effort and i'm really proud of them."