The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres 10-6 on Saturday night in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. The Phillies now hold a 3-1 lead over the Padres in the best-of-seven series heading into Sunday’s Game 5. With a win, the Phillies would advance to their first World Series since 2009, where they await the winner. Houston Astros and New York Yankees American League Championship Series. (The Astros lead the series 3-0.)
The Phillies fell behind early, and the Padres jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Philadelphia responded with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the frame, leaving both starting pitchers out before the second inning. The Phillies would then tie the game in the fourth.
The Padres regained the lead in the fifth on a Juan Soto two-run shot, his first of the postseason. Alas, it was not San Diego’s night. The Phillies Stars once again went on the offensive, turning a 6-4 deficit into a 10-6 lead through three innings. Rhys Hoskins hit two home runs, Bryce Harper had a pair of RBI doubles and Kyle Schwarber and JT Realmuto each added solo homers for the insurance runs.
The Phillies bullpen was able to make that lead stand in other ways. As a result, the Phillies are now one win away from clinching the NL pennant.
Here are six other things to know about the Phillies’ Game 4 win.
Phillies starter Bailey Falter got two quick outs to start the game, but that was it. He gave up a home run to Manny Machado before a single, walk and double and his day ended with the Padres already leading 3-0. By the time we got to first down it would be 4-0. A leadoff single was followed by a Rhys Hoskins home run, a walk and a Bryce Harper double to make it 4-3 and Padres starter Mike Clevinger also scored. Clevinger did not record an out.
It was only the second time in MLB playoff history that a starter didn’t make it out of the first game. Full story here.
Martinez and Brockton settle things
In contrast to the starters, Padres reliever Nick Martinez and Phillies reliever Connor Brockton were outstanding early in the game, picking things up 4-3 Padres in the middle innings. Brockton allowed his inherited runner to score on one hit, but that would be the only hit he would give up in 2 1/3 innings.
Martinez was excellent. He was really great. He retired all nine batters he faced in three perfect innings. He threw out three and induced some weak contact.
Padres lefty Sean Manaea, on the other hand, gave up five runs in 1 1/3 innings, allowing the Phillies to take a four-run lead in the fifth inning.
Soto’s Big Bang
Juan Soto has been relatively quiet these playoffs. Hell, he’s been relatively quiet since the Padres made a big move ahead of the trade deadline to acquire him. Before Game 4, Soto had hit .231/.302/.282 in the playoffs. He had a big double in Game 2, but that was his biggest impact at this stage.
In the top of the fifth inning of Game 4, Soto came on.
Earlier in the game, some Phillies fans could be heard chanting “Overrated.” Soto hit five homers in the 2019 playoffs en route to the Nationals’ World Series title. It was his first homer in the 2022 playoffs.
Phillies stars strike back
The Phillies weren’t deterred by Soto’s home run. Instead, they found work in the top fifth half of their order.
Rhys Hoskins hit his second home run of the night to tie the game at 6-6. Hoskins’ performance was the eighth multi-homer postseason game in Phillies history. According to Sarah Longs of MLB.com.
JD Realmudo walked and then scored on a Bryce Harbor double to give the Phillies a new lead. Harper then scored himself on a freak Nick Castellanos single.
Phillies couldn’t either. In the sixth, Kyle Schwarber hit a shot of his own to extend the lead to 9-6:
Then in the top of the seventh, Realmudo hit a home run of his own to make it 10-6:
All told, the Phillies’ top five hitters — Schwarber, Hoskins, Realmudo, Harper and Castellanos — combined for nine hits, four home runs and nine runs scored.
What History Says About Phillies’ Chances
The Phillies now lead the series 3-1 with Saturday night’s win. Historically, teams that go up 3-1 in best-of-seven series win the series 85 percent of the time, according to Huwins. That looks good for the Phillies’ chances of advancing to their first World Series since 2009. Who knows, they might wrap up the series in front of their home crowd on Sunday.
Let’s do it again with Game 5 on Sunday afternoon. With first pitch set for 2:37 PM ET (weather permitting), it will be a matinee.
On the mound, it will be a Game 1 rematch. Yu Darvish has been very good in the playoffs and allowed two solo homers in seven innings of work against the Phillies on Tuesday. Of course, he was surpassed by Phillies ace Zack Wheeler. Wheeler gave up just one hit and one walk in seven scoreless innings.
After what we saw in Game 4, both teams will be hoping to get length back from these starters.
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