Recap: Phillies fall to the Braves in Game 2 but the war isn’t over

Alec Bohm Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm reacts after hitting a double during the fifth inning in Game 1 of a National League wild card baseball playoff series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)

The Phillies have lost their first playoff game in 11 seasons.

All joking aside, the Phillies fell short tonight in Game 2 against the Atlanta Braves. A three-run sixth inning by the Braves was the difference in this one, and the Phillies could not muster any offense in this one. Between a bad play (or lack thereof) by Rhys Hoskins and a lack of scoring, the Phillies didn’t get the job done in this one.

Pitchers Duel

This matchup started as an arms race. A classic pitchers duel between Zack Wheeler and Kyle Wright broke out in this one. Only one hit was recorded through the first three innings, a double by Bryce Harper in the second. Zack Wheeler’s pitch count was roughly nine pitches per inning through three, and he was dealing against the Atlanta lineup. His first hit allowed did not come until Ronald Acuna in the 4th.

Kyle Wright was retiring hitters but not with ease. The Phillies were putting good wood on the ball, with some hard-hit flyouts through the first handful of innings. The Phillies could not drive a run across the plate early in this game.

Through 5 innings in this one, no score was recorded. Wheeler and Wright proved why they are some of the best arms in the game. Both arms were humming through this game, and it was a fantastic watch.

Something to Watch in Phillies vs Braves Game 3

Zack Wheeler lost control of a fastball in the bottom of the sixth inning. Wheeler’s pitch ran in and hit Roanld Acuna Jr, the Braves’ best player. Acuna took a few minutes to recover but would ultimately take his place on first base. Zack struggled against Dansby Swanson in the following at-bat, walking him in a close pitch on the outside part of the plate. This brought Matt Olsen to the plate with two men on. Olsen would first rip a ball by Hoskins, and the Braves would take the lead.

First Run(s)

The game’s first run came off the bat of Matt Olsen in the sixth. Matt smacked a ball right past Rhys Hoskins at first, and the Braves took a 1-0 lead with two outs. Austin Riley would come up next with runners at the corners. An infield dribbler would be hit in the right spot, and another run would score. Travis d’Arnaud would drive in the next one with a single up the middle. Zack would get out of the inning there, but it was not a good inning for the Phillies.

Heading Home

The Phillies were never going to go undefeated in the playoffs. They were able to split on the road against the Braves, an accomplishment that the team has to feel good about. They still control this series, thanks to the win in game one. They will have two home games to try and take this series from the Braves. They will send Aaron Nola to the mound in game 3, and game 4 still looks like it’s up in the air.

The crowd will be electric in Philadelphia. The first two home playoff games in over 11 years and a sold-out crowd all but guarantee it. The energy will be there, but it is up to the Phillies players to bring it home.

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AP Photo/Scott Kane