The surprising way the Philadelphia Phillies are making MLB postseason history

While the offense has been getting all of the highlights, many have been overlooking what Phillies pitchers are doing on the mound.
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

As the classic Nike commerical reminds us, chicks (and really almost every other MLB fan as well, let's be honest) dig the long ball. That's exactly what the Philadelphia Phillies have been doing this offseason, putting on an impressive power display, hitting a total of 19 home runs to muscle their way into the NLCS and take a 2-0 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks heading into Game 3 on Thursday in Phoenix.

However, it hasn't just been about the hitting for the Phillies, something that would certainly make Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine smile if you could go back in a time machine and tell them before making that commercial.

Philadelphia Phillies making MLB postseason history on the mound

And sure, while it might be cooler to tweet out there that those 19 Phillies home runs have traveled a total of 1.44 miles, it has been the pitching that has been quietly and methodically keeping the opposition at bay throughout the postseason.

Things got off on the right foot for the Phillies pitchers this offseason, holding the Miami Marlins to just two runs on their way to a Wild Card sweep. Philadelphia then shut out the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS matchup between the bitter rivals, with the 3-0 victory being the first step on their way to once again eliminating Atlanta in the postseason.

Manager Rob Thomson told reporters one of the biggest reasons for Philadelphia's success on the mound this postseason has been limiting the number of walks Phillies pitchers have issued.

"I told the guys at the start of the series, I said if we take care of the baseball defensively and don't give them free passes, you are going to be able to kill some of the chaos that they create because they're really good at that," Thomson said of the Diamondbacks. "I think we've done that. We've played very good defense, and we've played, what, 16 postseason games, and we've walked 15 hitters. You know, we're not giving free passes. Knock on wood that we continue to do that, but those are the things that stand out to me."