Nick Castellanos turned the primary participant to hit a number of homers in consecutive postseason video games, main the Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-1 victory in Recreation 4 of the NL Division Sequence on Thursday night time that knocked the 104-win Atlanta Braves out of the playoffs. The second yr in a row.
Matt Stram singled slugger Vaughn Grissom with runners on the corners to clinch the collection and ship the Phillies charging onto the sphere in a wild celebration. Fireworks went off at frenzied Residents Financial institution Park, the Liberty Bell rang and the Nationwide League champions have been able to pop as soon as once more.
“These are moments I’ll always remember,” Castellanos mentioned.
Bryce Harper gave the Phillies a scare when he grabbed his surgically repaired proper elbow after a collision within the eighth. Matt Olson’s left knee collided with Harper’s elbow on the play at first base that ended the inning. Harper, a two-time NL MVP, flexed his elbow after a fast examination from the medical workers. He remained within the match in ninth place.
“I am superb. Simply hit my humorous bone,” Harper mentioned after the sport.
Trea Turner singled twice, doubled and hit a solo homer within the fifth inning for a 2-1 lead because the Phillies make one other run on the franchise’s first World Sequence title since 2008.
Subsequent week they head to the NL Wild Card Championship Sequence and can play the Arizona Diamondbacks, their first journey again in 2007. The primary recreation is Monday in Philadelphia.
“We really feel good, there is no doubt about that,” Castellanos mentioned. “However we will definitely respect the competitors.”
The Phillies withstood a pair of scares as they as soon as once more shut out the NL East champion Braves, who completed with the most effective document in baseball this season at 104-58.
Earlier than the collision involving Harper, rookie middle fielder Johan Rojas made an enormous defensive play with the bases loaded to finish the seventh inning, operating a deep dwelling run to left-center and denying Ronald Acuña Jr. an extra-base hit that might have put Atlanta forward. .
“It takes some time to recover from one thing like this after the yr we had, and the expectations we now have right here,” Braves supervisor Brian Snitker mentioned. “We misplaced to a extremely good group that has a aptitude for this time of yr.”
Wearing navy blue jerseys and maroon caps as they do each Thursday at dwelling, the Phillies took an analogous path from final yr to achieve one other NLCS: first sweeping the Wild Card Sequence; They then gained the primary recreation in Atlanta and misplaced the second recreation. Like final season, the Phillies got here dwelling and scored six runs within the third inning of Recreation 3.
Then a repeat barrage from the homers that signaled a knockout win over their NL East rival, a yr after the Braves gained 101 regular-season video games solely to be edged out by an early playoff exit by Philadelphia.
“The one factor I can say is that I’ve realized that the season and the postseason are very completely different,” Castellanos mentioned.
Atlanta will definitely take some solace in the truth that they are not the one regular-season heavyweights already out of those playoffs. The groups with the 5 finest regular-season information — the Braves, Orioles (101 wins), Dodgers (100), Rays (99) and Brewers (92) — all failed to achieve the LCS.
However the night time belonged to Castellanos, the All-Star proper fielder whose manufacturing dipped within the second half solely to reunite together with his son on the entrance row within the postseason.
An evening after hitting two homers in Recreation 3, Castellanos turned the primary Phillies slugger, any slugger in baseball historical past, to homer a number of homers in consecutive playoff video games.
His second dwelling run lastly ended the night time for Braves starter and 20-game winner Spencer Strider. Castellanos chased down Stryder within the sixth with a 415-foot shot to left discipline that despatched the 45,831 followers at Residents Financial institution Park right into a towel-waving frenzy. Castellanos was overwhelmed by the cheers in the course of the pitch change. He caught his head out of the dugout and raised his arms because the Phillies followers bought louder.
Castellanos continued to wave his arms towards the gang as he headed to proper discipline within the seventh inning with the Phillies main 3-1.
Supervisor Rob Thomson as soon as once more turned to rookie Ranger Suárez to maintain the Phillies within the recreation till turning the sport right into a parade of highly effective pitchers within the bullpen. The plan truly labored as soon as within the collection. Suarez allowed only one hit over three and two-thirds innings in his Recreation 1 begin earlier than Thompson turned the sport over to 6 relievers within the 3-0 win. The plan on this one is to get Suarez not less than twice into the lineup — and the pitcher who has been overshadowed by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola usually succeeds.
The hard-throwing lefty cruised by way of three hitless innings — hitting 95.3 mph when he caught Sean Murphy seeking to finish the second — earlier than Austin Riley singled within the fourth for a 1-0 Braves lead.
Early Homer, early helplessness, hardly ever bothers these Phillies. They look ahead to the heavy long-ball lineup to reach and – for the second recreation in a row – it was Castellanos who tied it at 1-all with a solo shot. Castellanos smacked one contained in the left foul pole and motioned to his younger son, Liam, as he crossed the plate.
Liam was an everyday on the sphere for a lot of the summer season and was tagged together with Castellanos from the clubhouse to the All-Star Recreation. Liam was away from the sphere as soon as faculty resumed, however his father was excited to have him within the postseason.
Father and son — and all of Philadelphia — get not less than yet one more spherical collectively.