Phillies steal Game 1 against Braves thanks to Castellanos’ heroics

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos (8) scores against Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud (16) during the third inning in Game 1 of a National League Division Series baseball game, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Philadelphia Phillies have managed to steal home-field advantage after taking the first game of the series against the Atlanta Braves. Game 1 was far too close for comfort for Phillies fans; however, the result is surely one that is welcome.

Coming off of a series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, it would have been unsurprising for the Phillies to come out lackadaisical in the NLDS. After all, it’s been 11 years since the Phillies have even been in a playoff game, and now they’ve won a series on top of it all.

That’s not the way Rob Thompson’s team operates, however.

No, this Philadelphia Phillies team has taken the energy from the previous series and compounded it into this series. Nick Castellanos, in particular, did absolutely everything he could to secure the win in Game 1.

Finishing the day 3/5 with three RBIs, Castellanos was a key cog in the Phillies’ offense. Not only that, but the most important play of the day, also from Castellanos, came from a tremendous play in the outfield — which is not normally his specialty.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, the Braves found themselves down by just one run with All-Star William Contreras at the plate. Contreras would hit a blooper into right, and as Castellanos approached, he was faced with a choice.

The right fielder was faced with a choice. Make the safe play and control the ball off of one hop allowing the hit, or lay out attempting to rob Contreras of a hit — though it would risk Contreras taking two or more bases.

In the end, Castellanos opted to attempt the sliding grab, which to his credit, proved to be the correct choice, setting up the opportunity for Zach Eflin to force the final out.

The Phillies now have home-field advantage as two of the next three games of the NLDS will take place in Philadelphia. They will also have their two best pitchers due up next. Zack Wheeler will take the mound tomorrow at 4:35 PM, and Aaron Nola is set to go the following game on Friday.

This is exactly the spot the team hoped to be in going into Game 2. Get ready to continue this wild and crazy ride Phillies fans.