Merrill Kelly thinks he can handle the Citizens Bank Park crowd for Game 2 rather easily. Kelly did live in Bryn Mawr, a Philadelphia suburb, for about four and a half years growing up. He's been to a World Series game at the Bank. Frankly, the man is very familiar with his surroundings.
But that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be able to handle Phillies fans, as it'll be upwards of 40,000 fans vs. 1 pitcher on Tuesday night.
To Kelly's credit, he also said plenty of nice things about Phillies fans as well, suggesting that the fanbase was 'electric' and noting how much he's looked forward to playing at Citizens Bank Park.
“This crowd brings it,” Kelly said, per Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo. “They’re loud. They take pride in kind of the stigma of being those types of fans and they definitely live up to it.”
Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly knows what he's getting into with Phillies fans
It takes one to know one, and Kelly spent enough time near Philadelphia and the ballpark itself to understand what this fanbase can be like when things are going well. The Phillies are just three wins away from the World Series. Tuesday night is sure to be hectic.
“I’ve definitely experienced this crowd in the recent past, so I kind of know what we’re getting into,” Kelly said. “But either way it’s gonna be electric. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
Kelly and Arizona lost Game 1 by just a couple of runs. Philadelphia's offense created more noise than the CBP crowd on Monday, with home runs from Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber and birthday boy Bryce Harper. Kelly knows he's facing one of the best overall lineups in baseball.
“It’s a tough one,” Kelly said. “It’s a deep one, too. From one to nine they got guys that can work at-bats, slug a little bit, obviously with the big names that everybody knows, but they’ve had a lot of guys step up this year, a lot of kind of not necessarily new guys, but a lot of guys that haven’t gotten everyday roles and they’re in and they’re taking advantage of it. They’re aggressive.”
Tuesday should represent an intriguing challenge for another Philly kid in Kelly.