For the first time since 2010, the Philadelphia Phillies are headed to the National League Championship Series. They advance after an 8-3 victory in game 4 against the Atlanta Braves. They will face the San Diego Padres who are coming off a 3-1 series victory over the Los Angelas Dodgers. Game 1 is scheduled for Tuesday in San Diego. The starting pitchers have not yet been announced.
The Phillies lead the season series 4-3. As everyone guessed, the 5th and 6th seed in the NL will face off with a trip to the fall classic on the line.
The Phillies clinched a spot in the NLCS after Sunday afternoon's victory over the defending World Champions the Atlanta Braves 8-3. The Phillies bats came alive this series and never slowed down in game 4. Brandon Marsh got the scoring started. A 3-run homerun to right field in the second inning gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead. After Atlanta cut the lead down to 2, catcher JT Realmuto made MLB history. He came the first catcher to ever hit an inside the park homerun in a postseason game.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Phillies added 3 insurance runs courtesy of RBIs from Rhys Hoskins, Realmuto, and Bryce Harper. In the bottom of the 8th, Harper added the exclamation point to the game with a HR to left field. After Phillies fan favorite Pat Burrell threw out the first pitch, the Phillies bats continued to be hot. They will look to build on the momentum in as they head out west.
Manager Rob Thomson who had the interim tag lifted from his title ahead of game 3, relied on his bullpen in gam 4. The game plan was to go early and give each player 1-2 innings at most. The one exception was Noah Syndergaard who went 3 innings, 1 hit, 1 ER, and 3 strikeouts. Brad Hand was awarded the win after pitching a 0 hit and 2 strikeout 5th innings. Jose Alvarado went 1.2 with 2 strikeouts and Zach Efflin finished the inning and added 3 strikeouts in game 4. Seranthony Dominguez closed the game by striking out Atlanta's 2-3-4 hitters. The Phillies bullpen has been a weakness all season long, but when they needed them most in game 4, they came through like we've never seen before.
The Phillies look ahead to their match-up against San Diego. The Phillies lead the season series 4-3 over the NL West foes. Phillies fans remember the first series against San Diego. A wild pitch from Padres' pitcher Blake Snell hit Harper in the hand and sidelined him for nearly 2 months. Now fully healthy, Harper finished the Braves series 8-16 with 2 HR's. In the series at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies won 3 out of 4 games.
The Phillies advanced to their first NLCS since 2010 and will look to advance to their first World Series since 2009. The NL East had two 100 game winners in the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves, and now both teams will watch the 87-win Phillies play for the NL Pennant.