The Philadelphia Phillies are going to the National League Championship Series.
The Phillies shocked the world and took down the reigning, defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves in just 4 games. Philadelphia won both games at home and are moving on to the NLCS for the first time since 2010.
There could not have been a better home-field advantage over the last two days. Phillies fans brought the energy and helped their team to two huge victories.
A team game for the Phillies
Noah Syndergaard took the mound in Game 4 and was tasked with getting through three innings. “Thor” brought the thunder and lightning and delivered three strikes by innings of one-run ball. Other than a really nice swing on a good pitch, Syndergaard was excellent.
The bullpen would be tasked with getting 6 more innings. Andrew Bellatti would take the ball in the fourth. While he did allow another solo homerun, he limited any and all damage. Brad Hand would come into the ballgame in the 5th.
A scoreless frame by the veteran lefty moved the Phils onto the sixth. Jose Alvarado, the best left-handed reliever in baseball, came into the game. Chants of “Jose,Joseeee, Joseee, Jose, Joseeee, Joseeeee” rang throughout the crowd. Alvarado shut down the Braves in the 6th and came in to start the 7th. He did allow a solo home run, but that was it for Jose in this one.
The last six outs are always the hardest to record. The red pinstripes would use Zach Eflin to take the 8th inning right after he shut down the Braves in the 7th. Eflin might have been his best version in a Phillies uniform, as he looked dominant in the 8th. The team would turn the ball over to their workhorse, Seranthony Dominguez, for the 9th.
Seranthony was throwing straight gas. The extra mph on his stuff could be credited to how loud the fans were getting. Seranthony would blow away the Braves in order 1-2-3 and strike out the side. He put the Braves’ season to sleep and let them know it.
Runs come in Bunches
The Phillies lineup has been solid all season, but the bottom of the order has contributed time and time again. Once again, the guys you’d least expect stepped up for the team. Brandon Marsh, the team’s big trade acquisition at the trade deadline, put the team ahead with a three-run home run.
The big homerun swings did not cool off, though. JT Realmuto would keep the fun going with an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the third. Realmuto was the first catcher ever to hit an inside-the-park homer in the playoffs, a feat not very common for catchers.
While the Braves fought back a little, the Phillies did not back down. In the bottom of the sixth, the Fightins struck once again. Three straight RBI singles would be driven in by the 2-3-4 guys in the lineup. Hoskins, Realmuto, and Harper did the job, and the Phillies extended their lead 7-2.
The MVP wanted to put this game away at the bottom of the eighth. Bryce Harper ripped a solo home run to left field, giving the Phillies an 8-2 lead, which would become the final score in this one. Harper’s second homerun in back-to-back days took the roof off of Citizens Bank Park.
Who would’ve thought that the Phillies would win two playoff series in 2022?
In consecutive series, the club upset the #3 Cardinals and the #2 Braves. They will play the winner of the Dodgers and Padres series, which currently features a 2-1 San Diego lead. That series could be wrapped up tonight or send it back to LA for a Game 5. Regardless, the next time the Phillies take the field will be Tuesday.
The team has a chance to go back to the World Series, which they haven’t done since 2009. The Phillies will have to handle business out West, but the confidence around this team builds with each win.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke