Phillies blow a 4-run lead, head back to Philly with series tied 1-1

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Phillies Juan soto
San Diego Padres’ Juan Soto reacts after striking out during the fourth inning in Game 1 of the baseball NL Championship Series between the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

After a pitching performance for the ages in game 1, the Phillies were hoping for a similar start from Aaron Nola.

Nola came into the series with 12.2 innings pitched in the postseason without an earned run. He picked up wins against the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves.

Phillies started off hot

The Phillies gave Nola a chance for a 3rd win, scoring 4 runs in the 2nd inning. Bryce Harper started the inning with a lined single up the middle. Additional singles by Nick Castellanos and Alec Bohm put the first run on the board for the Phillies. After a Jean Segura strikeout, Matt Vierling sent a ball to deep right field that Juan Soto lost in the sun, scoring another run. Edmundo Sosa added a single of his own to make it 3-0. A Kyle Schwarber RBI groundout would give the Phillies their 4th run against Blake Snell.

The vibes were immaculate…until the Padres ambushed Aaron Nola.

The Padres respond

On a 1-0 count, Brandon Drury just snuck a line drive over the left-field fence. Seeing the fastball Drury got, Josh Bell swung at the first pitch he saw and deposited it into the seats.

He’d calm down from there, pitching 1-2-3 innings in the 3rd and 4th.

And then the nightmare 5th inning happened.

Ha-Seong Kim started off the inning with a line-drive single. After a flyout, Nola squared off against his older brother Austin. The older brother would come through on an 0-2 pitch, scoring the Padres’ first run. Juan Soto would eventually tie the game with a double. Nola would strike out Machado for out number 2 but would be pulled from the game.

With lefty Jake Cronenworth up, Brad Hand‘s job was to end the inning going left on left. He had Cronenworth in a 2-strike count but couldn’t control an inside offspeed pitch, hitting him and loading the bases. Three more runs would score.

Phillies try to claw back

The Phillies had a couple of chances to score and get back in the game. Bryce Harper hit a leadoff double in the 6th but was stranded. After Manny Machado hit a homer to go up 8-4, Rhys Hoskins responded with a homer. JT Realmuto followed with a single but was erased on a double play off the bat of Harper.

Josh Hader would close down the 9th inning. Ironically, he faced both Alec Bohm and Matt Vierling in the inning: the men that took him deep as a Brewer. Bohm would strike out on a 100MPH fastball. Jean Segura made his night an 0-4, striking out on 3 pitches. Matt Vierling became the final victim, also striking out.

With the series tied 1-1, both teams will fly to Philadelphia for the next 3 games. Game 3 will be at 7:37 on Friday.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gregory Bull