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Diamondbacks manager, pitcher downplay Phillies’ crowd noise during NLCS: ‘About the same’ as Chase Field

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USATSI

The National League Championship Series will continue on Tuesday night as the Philadelphia Phillies attempt to open up a 2-0 lead on the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Phillies, by virtue of possessing home-field advantage throughout the series, do not need to win a road game to claim the pennant. The same is not true for the Diamondbacks, who must win at least one game in Philadelphia if they want to advance to their second ever World Series.

Predictably, the Philadelphia crowd has become a talking point — and a potential landmine for Diamondbacks personnel. Prior to Tuesday’s game, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was asked about the atmosphere during Game 1. 

“It was about what we expected. To be honest with you, the final game against the Dodgers at Chase Field when it was rocking with 50,000 strong, I was proud of our fans, and it was about the same. It was about the same intensity, same volume,” he told reporters.

Lovullo went on to credit the Phillies fan base for being “very smart and very engaged” before concluding that “the overall sound is something very similar to what we heard at home that last game against the Dodgers.”

Game 2 starting pitcher Merrill Kelly was asked about the crowd situation on Monday. Kelly noted that he’s played in front of some raucous international crowds, including during the Korean Series and this past spring’s World Baseball Classic. “I haven’t obviously heard this place on the field, but I would be very surprised if it trumped that Venezuela game down in Miami,” he said. 

“When Trea hit that grand slam, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced — at least baseball-wise, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced an atmosphere like that so I hope that this isn’t louder than that.”

Both of those are fine, diplomatic answers that are sure to encourage an already frenzied Philadelphia environment to new heights. Or, to quote Phillies shortstop Trea Turner’s response to Kelly’s comments: “I would just wait and see and we’ll see what he says after.”

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