The Phillies are heading back to the NLCS for the second consecutive season. Philadelphia eliminated the top-seed, 104-win Atlanta Braves three games to one. They will face the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Championship Series for the first time in postseason play. The Fightin’ Phils will host the Snakes for Game 1 at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, October 16.
NL Division Series Game 4: Philadelphia Phillies 3, Atlanta Braves 1
The Phillies’ victory tonight was courtesy of the long ball, which also immensely helped them throughout the series. They hit a total of 11 dingers during the four NLDS contests. Specifically, Nick Castellanos, who had previously only homered once in 101 postseason at-bats, hit two bombs in Game 3 and two more tonight in Game 4.
Unlike last night’s contest, this one was low-scoring and well-pitched on both sides. Spencer Strider came out throwing 100 mph heaters, but he battled traffic on the base paths in every inning, and Brian Snitker pulled him in the sixth. He surrendered all three of the Phillies’ runs — all homers — on seven hits, three walks, and struck out seven.
Ranger Suárez did exactly what Rob Thomson needed him to do. He tossed five innings, gave up Atlanta’s only run — an Austin Riley solo shot — on three hits with no walks, and struck out two. Thomson used five arms out of the pen, including Seranthony Domínguez, José Alvarado, Craig Kimbrel, Gregory Soto, and Matt Strahm, who earned the save to clinch the series.
Things got a little interesting in the top of the seventh when Soto walked two with two out. Then Kimbrel entered, tried to conjure his best 2021 White Sox memory, and walked the bases loaded. He also threw a wild pitch, but fortunately for him, Kevin Pillar, who was on third, didn’t advance. Then, rookie center fielder Johan Rojas bailed Kimbrel out with an incredible grab in left-center off the bat of Ronald Acuña Jr.
Phillies Nation collectively held their breath in the top of the eighth when Bryce Harper collided with Matt Olsen in a play at first. Harper was visibly wincing in pain but thankfully returned to play first in the top of the ninth.
The Braves didn’t go quietly, as they had runners on first and third with no outs in the top of the ninth after Soto walked Marcell Ozuna and gave up a single to Sean Murphy. Thompson called on Strahm to stop the bleeding, and he quickly retired the final three batters.
Nick Castellanos was tonight’s hero.
Trea Turner had a pretty good game as well. He went 4-for-4 with a four-bagger.
Rojas made the play a little harder than it needed to be, but it was still fantastic.
You can watch the Phillies host the Diamondbacks in NLCS Game 1 on Monday, October 16, at 7:00 p.m. CT on TBS.
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