National League Division Series | Atlanta Braves v. Philadelphia Phillies

Written by: Sabrina Workman

Game 1 | In Atlanta, PHL Wins 7-6

Starting With a Rally

The Phillies had an early rally in Atlanta in the first inning. After two outs, there were four straight hits. J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper hit. Nick Castellanos started to get hot and hit to score Realmuto, and Alec Bohm scored Harper. Jean Segura grounded out to end the inning. Ranger Suarez took to the mound in the bottom of the inning, and he got out of a challenging situation with a double play. In the bottom of the 2nd, Suarez gave up a home run to Travis d’Arnaud, allowing the Braves to start their comeback.

Pitching Changes For All

In the top of the 3rd, Castellanos doubled, Bohm had a sacrifice fly to score Realmuto and Segura singled to score Castellanos. The Phillies led 4-1. Max Fried intentionally walked Harper at the top of the 4th, and Castellanos had a single, scoring Edmundo Sosa and Rhys Hoskins. Fried was taken out as the pitcher, and the braves brought in Jesse Chavez. The Phillies follow suit in the bottom half and switch Suarez for Andrew Bellatti. The Phillies added to their lead in the top of the 5th. Segura doubled, and Sosa had a sacrifice fly which allowed Segura to score. The Braves once again changed their pitcher and brought in Dylan Lee. Pitching was a bit of a struggle for the Phillies in the bottom of the fifth. Connor Brogdon came in to start the inning and allowed two runs to score on a double by d’Arnaud. Brad Hand later faced Vaughn Grissom, who came on to pinch hit, and Hand struck him out. The top of the sixth saw Colin McHugh on the mound for the Braves.

Rhys Hoskins holds up a peace sign as he stands on second base. Photo by Phillies Instagram.

The Final Innings (Of Game 1)

In the bottom of the sixth, the Phillies brought Seranthony Dominguez in, and he had a 1-2-3 inning. The Phillies also went down in order in their half of the seventh. Dominguez had another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh. In the top of the 8th, Jackson Stephens came in to pitch for Atlanta, and the Phillies went down in order. In the bottom of the 8th, there was some switching in the outfield. Kyle Schwarber left the game, and Matt Vierling went to left field. Brandon Marsh came into the game to play center. The Phillies also brought Jose Alvarado in, and after adjusting the mound, he had a 1-2-3 inning.

Ending Game 1

The bottom of the 9th was a little dicey. Once again, Zach Eflin came in for the save. He gave up two singles and struck out Austin Riley but then gave up a three-run home run to Matt Olson. This made the score 7-6, Philadelphia. Castellanos made an incredible diving catch for out number two, and Sosa flipped to Hoskins for the final out. The Phillies won 7-6, and Castellanos was awarded Player of the Game.

Nick Castellanos dives for the ball. Photo by Phillies Instagram.

Game 2 | In Atlanta, ATL Wins 3-0

Rain Delays Happen

After a lengthy rain delay in Atlanta, this game finally started at 7:30 p.m. – almost three hours late. Kyle Wright quickly took care of the Phillies in a 1-2-3 inning. Schwarber and Hoskins grounded out, and Realmuto struck out. Zack Wheeler also took care of his side as he got Ronald Acuna Jr. out with a ground ball and struck out Swanson and Olson. Harper started the second with a double, but Castellanos, Bohm, and Marsh could not get him across the plate. Wheeler continued to be a force of nature, getting three quick outs in the bottom of the inning on Riley, d’Arnaud, and Michael Harris II.

The Middle Innings (Of Game 2)

The third inning was a 1-2-3 inning for both sides. Wright took care of Segura and Bryson Stott with a ground out, and a fly out, respectively, and Schwarber struck out. Wheeler got three quick outs on Orlando Arcia, Marcell Ozuna, and Eddie Rosario. Marsh caught the last two outs. Hoskins started the fourth with a flyout, Realmuto singled, but Harper and Castellanos both flew out to Harris, leaving Realmuto stranded. Acuna singled in the Braves’ half, but Swanson, Olson, and Riley could not get him across.

Zack Wheeler in Atlanta. Photo by Phillies Instagram.

Pitching Duels Continue

To start the fifth, Bohm flew out to Acuna, and Marsh walked. Segura struck out, and Stott popped out, once again leaving a man on base. Wheeler had a dominant bottom of the fifth. He struck out d’Arnaud, and then Harris and Arcia flew out and grounded out, respectively. Harris flew out to left field, and Schwarber made the catch at the wall. Wheeler was at just 50 pitches after five innings. Wright continued on his warpath in the sixth, striking out Schwarber and Hoskins. Realmuto popped out to shortstop, and Swanson made a fantastic catch. In the bottom of the inning, after Ozuna struck out and Rosario was out on a line drive to Marsh, Wheeler hit Acuna. Wheeler seemed to lose his mojo waiting for Acuna to be checked by his manager and medical staff. With Acuna on first, Wheeler walked Swanson, and Olson singled, allowing Acuna to score. Riley and d’Arnaud both singled, and each recorded an RBI. Harris grounded out to end Wheeler’s time on the mound.

Switches All-Around

At the top of the 7th, A.J. Minter came in to pitch for Atlanta. Harris backed to the wall to catch Harper’s hit for the first out. Castellanos and Bohm quickly followed with outs of their own. Bellatti replaced Wheeler in the bottom half. Bellatti did his job, having a 1-2-3 inning and getting Arcia, Ozuna, and Rosario out in order. At the top of the 8th, Vierling pinch hit for Marsh and grounded out to the new pitcher for Atlanta, Raisel Iglesias. Segura singled, but Riley’s catch on Stott’s ball in foul territory and Schwarber’s strike out left Segura stranded. Vierling stayed in the game in center, and Noah Syndergaard came in to pitch. He struck Acuna out, got Swanson out with a fly ball, and after allowing a walk to Olson, got Riley out with a fly ball to Schwarber.

Closing the Gap

In the top of the ninth, Atlanta brought Kenley Jansen to save the game – and he did. He got Hoskins and Realmuto out on a ground ball and fly out, respectively. Harper struck out to end the game. Atlanta won 3-0 and tied the series 1-1.

Game 3 | In Philadelphia, PHL Wins 9-1

Electricity in Philly

Bringing postseason baseball back to Philadelphia for the first time in more than a decade meant the stadium was electric. The game was a pitchers’ duel for the first six innings. Aaron Nola had the start for Philadelphia, and Acuna hit a single on the game’s first pitch. The bottom of the inning was a 1-2-3 inning for Braves pitcher Spencer Strider. Strider struck out both Hoskins and Realmuto after getting the initial out with help from Swanson on Schwarber. Nola ensured that his September narrative didn’t follow him as he struck out the side at the top of the second. Strider also followed suit, getting a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the second.

The Rhys Hoskins Show

In the top of the 3rd, Hoskins had trouble with a throw by Bohm, which had him fall over. Thankfully no runs scored, but it was ruled an error. At the bottom of the third, Marsh optimized on an error by Atlanta and advanced to third after he was walked. Stott doubled, which scored Marsh, and then Strider intentionally walked Schwarber. Hoskins came up to the plate and hit a three-run blast, which caused a dramatic bat flip, but it helped the Phillies jump ahead. Realmuto singled to left field, and that brought up Harper. Before Harper batted, the Braves brought in Lee to replace Strider. Harper continued to show his power in the postseason as he homered to right field to score himself and Realmuto. Castellanos then singled, but he was left on base as Bohm and Marsh popped out and flew out, respectively, to end the inning.

1-2-3 Innings For Both Teams

Nola allowed a double by d’Arnaud in the top of the fourth, but Atlanta scored no runs. At the bottom of the fourth, Jake Odorizzi came in to replace Lee. Nola continued to be strong in the top of the fifth, as he had a 1-2-3 inning, getting outs on Grissom, Rosario, and Acuna. Odorizzi continued his strength and had a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth. Harper, Castellanos, and Bohm went up and down for Philadelphia. Nola allowed one run in the sixth inning. Swanson doubled, but then d’Arnaud grounded into a force-out, allowing Swanson to get to third. Harris then singled and Swanson scored.

Sixth and Seventh

In the bottom of the sixth, Marsh struck out, Segura walked, and Stott grounded into a double play. Arcia came in to replace Grissom at the top of the seventh, and William Contreras came in to hit for Rosario. The Phillies brought Alvarado in to pitch, and he had an excellent 1-2-3 inning against Atlanta. In the bottom of the seventh, Robbie Grossman went to left field to replace Grissom. Schwarber singled, and Vierling came on to pinch run and eventually took over in left field. Hoskins singled, and then Atlanta changed their pitcher to Chavez. Harper doubled later in the inning, and Castellanos singled. Dalton Guthrie was brought in to run for Castellanos and play in right field; in his first postseason appearance. Bohm then came up and grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Brogdon Gets the Save

In the top of the 8th, the Phillies put in Sosa to replace Bohm. Hand entered the game to pitch. Hand had an excellent outing, only allowing a double to d’Arnaud. In the bottom of the inning, Chavez had a 1-2-3 inning, getting Marsh, Segura, and Stott. The top of the ninth went quickly; Connor Brogdon came in to pitch. He struck out Ozuna and forced a ground out on Arcia. The final out was Grossman striking out. With this, the Phillies led the series 2-1, winning the game with a score of 9-1 over Atlanta.

Game 4 | In Philadelphia, PHL Wins 8-3

The Phillies Jump Ahead

The energy that fans brought to game three continued into game four. For the Phillies, Syndergaard got the start. He had a 1-2-3 first inning, striking out Acuna and Olson. Charlie Morton started for Atlanta and walked Schwarber to start and allowed a single to Hoskins; both men were left on base. Syndergaard had another three up, three down inning, getting d’Arnaud, Riley, and Harris out in the top of the second. Morton allowed a single to Bohm, but the batted ball hit Morton, which caused a delay, but he stayed on the mound. Segura singled, which allowed Bohm to get to third. Marsh came up and hit a giant 3-run home run to right center field. The Phillies then led 3-0.

Brandon Marsh waves to the bullpen after his home run. Photo by Phillies Instagram.

A Postseason First

Syndergaard then faced the bottom of the Braves lineup; he was supposed to go once through the Braves’ lineup because he was not stretched out enough to go the whole game. He got his first out of the third inning with Contreras grounding out but then gave up a home run to Arcia. He finished the inning, getting Rosario out on a ball caught by Hoskins in foul territory, and striking out Acuna. The bottom of the third brought Colin McHugh in to pitch for Atlanta, as Morton felt that he could not get loose on the mound because of being hit by the ball in the second inning. McHugh gave up an inside-the-park homerun to J.T. Realmuto on the third pitch. Realmuto is the first catcher in postseason history to hit an inside-the-park home run. Following Realmuto’s run, Harper flies out, and Castellanos and Bohm both struck out.

J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura celebrate after Realmuto’s inside the park home run. Photo by Phillies Instagram.

Pitching Changes, Again

Philadelphia brought Andrew Bellatti in to pitch in the top of the fourth. Swanson flew out to center, but then Bellatti gave up a solo home run to Olson. The Phillies still led 4-2 at this point. Bellatti redeemed himself by striking out d’Arnaud and Riley. In the bottom of the fourth, Stott singled, Segura popped out, and Marsh doubled. Schwarber was intentionally walked, and then Hoskins flew out, and Realmuto struck out. The Phillies left three men on base. Brad Hand replaced Bellatti at the top of the fifth and was efficient. He struck out Harris and Contreras and allowed a single to Arcia. Rosario flew out to end the inning. The Braves brought in A.J. Minter to replace McHugh, who was also efficient. He struck out Harper and Castellanos and got Bohm to ground out.

The Middle Gets Rough

Jose Alvarado came to pitch the sixth inning, and he dominated as he struck out Acuna and Swanson and got out number three by having Olson ground out. Minter continued to pitch for Atlanta in the bottom of the inning, striking out Stott for the first out. Segura singled and then stole second. Marsh struck out, and then Minter hit Schwarber (and the Braves unsuccessfully challenged it). The Braves then brought Iglesias in to pitch. Hoskins singled to score Segura, and Realmuto singled to score Schwarber, and to end the fun, Harper singled to score Hoskins. Castellanos walked, and then Bohm lined out to end the inning. The Phillies stretched their lead to 7-2.

Jose Alvarado celebrates getting a strike out. Photo by Phillies Instagram.

The Bullpen Dominates

Alvarado gave up a home run to d’Arnaud on the first pitch. He then got two outs on Riley and Harris, even though the braves challenged Harris’ out (their second and final unsuccessful challenge). Zach Eflin came in to replace Alvarado who walked off to a standing ovation. Eflin handled business quickly and struck out Contreras. In the bottom of the 7th, Dylan Lee came in to pitch. Segura doubled but was left stranded. In the 8th, Matt Vierling came in to play left field for Schwarber. Eflin continued to handle things efficiently as he struck out Arcia and Rosario and then got Acuna with a groundout. The Braves brought in Kenley Jansen, their ace reliever, hoping to avoid any more runs for the Phillies. It worked at first as Hoskins and Realmuto made outs, but then Harper homered, making the score 8-3, Philadelphia. Castellanos lined out to end the inning. The top of the ninth brought Phillies closer Dominguez, to the mound. He effectively struck out Swanson, Olson, and d’Arnaud to end the game and the series.

Phillies players thank the crowd as they celebrate the series win. Photo by Phillies Instagram.

An NLCS Preview

The Phillies won Game 4 8-3 and won the series 3-1 over the Atlanta Braves. With the win, the Phillies head to the NLCS for the first time since 2010, going to San Diego to play the Padres. The NLCS begins Tuesday, October 18, at 8:03 p.m. on FS1.

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