After the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped the first game of the NLCS to the Phillies, it is clear that Phillies fans are out in force and giving them a significant home field advantage. The crowd is boisterous and this Phillies team is feeding off every bit of their energy.
Philadelphia is a notoriously difficult place to play. If you are a visitor, you are likely to get some of the most heckling you will hear anywhere. Even if you are the home team, if a player comes up short in a big spot or makes a mistake in a game, you are going to hear about it from Philly fans at least until the game ends if not longer.
Don't count Game Two starter Merrill Kelly among those that is nervous or even impressed by the Philly crowd, though.
Merrill Kelly isn't fazed by the fans in Philly
To be fair, Merrill wasn't trying to get Phillies fans riled up here. He was simply relating his experience in the World Baseball Classic. The crowds in the WBC are well-known for being VERY rowdy and in his position, it does seem hard to believe that any crowd could be any louder than those crowds were.
However, Philly fans are constantly on the lookout for any perceived slights or disrespect towards the Phillies and Kelly is likely to hear their best efforts to make him regret calling them out during Game Two. Expect the Phillies faithful to be VERY loud tonight and rain the boos down upon Kelly from the first pitch on.
That said, this is exactly what you want to see from the entire Diamondbacks roster in the playoffs. No canned answers and no fear. Arizona plowed through the first two rounds of the playoffs and no one thought they were supposed to be here. They are and it is clear that they are letting the Phillies know that they are not going to go quietly even if the Philly crowd will do their best to drown them out. There is nothing wrong with having a little confidence this time of year and this Diamondbacks roster clearly doesn't think this moment is too big for them.