Braves vs Phillies score: Brandon Marsh, JT Realmuto, Bryce Harper lead Philly to NLCS with series win

The Atlanta Braves in 2021 have played 16 playoff games and have never been eliminated. In 2022 they have played four and are returning home for the winter.

The Philadelphia Phillies, the NL’s first-ever full season seeded six in the playoffs, beat the defending champions in Game 4 on Saturday, 7-2taking the best of five NLDS with a 3-1 series victory.

Here’s how it went on Saturday in a noisy Citizens Bank park.

Marsh and Realmuto launch the attack

The Phillies had runners on first and third in the first inning before an out was recorded, but Braves starter Charlie Morton had two strikeouts and a harmless steal to end the threat. In the second, an Alec Bohm single against Morton – we’ll get to that in a second – and a Jean Segura single meant the Phillies had runners in the corners again. This time around, they made sure to get the runners home by putting the bat on the ball. Brandon Marsh, take it away.

The three-point shot sent the park into a frenzy.

The next point scored by the Phillies was historic. JT Realmuto hit a home run inside the park (full story here), the first inside-the-park home run in Phillies playoff history and the first by a catcher in playoff history.

As the late great Mel Allen would have said, “how about that?”

Realmuto would add an RBI single in the sixth — it was a field single, so he kept flashing those wheels — on a rally in which the Phillies put the Braves out. It was just a 4-2 Phillies lead heading into that half-inning, but three runs with two Phillies out essentially froze it. Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper also had RBI singles and Harper doubled with a solo home run in the eighth.

Segura also deserves a mention for his two-hit, two-run effort from the eighth hole.

Morton leaves with injury after returning

Remember earlier when I said we’d come back to Morton? Also, remember when he got hit with a line drive in Game 1 of the World Series last year? He stayed in the game in both cases before having to be taken out. It turned out to be a broken fibula in the World Series. This time it looks like his elbow got hit by the lining (full story here).

Keep in mind that Segura’s single and Marsh’s home run off Morton came after he was hit by the line drive. He finished the second inning and then came back for the third, but after a few warm-up pitches he essentially retired from the game.

Morton ended up giving up three runs on four hits in two innings of work.

Syndergaard, the enclosure puts it all back together

Since arriving from the Angels at the trade deadline, Noah Syndergaard had been mediocre at best. He also got a round of relief work in Game 2, so it might have been a bit of a headache for some people when the Phillies named him as the Game 4 starter. The pre-game plan, though , was fair for Syndergaard to cross the Braves lineup once.

That’s exactly what he did. In three innings of work, he allowed just one solo homer (one run on a hit) while striking out three, all on just 35 pitches. Basically, he did his job and left with the Phillies in the lead. Now they needed six more innings.

Andrew Bellatti made a run, giving up a solo home run and avoiding a meltdown. Veteran southpaw Brad Hand went a scoreless fifth while striking out two. José Alvarado went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts in the sixth, then stuck around and allowed a solo homer before getting the first two out in the seventh. Former starter Zach Eflin was next and went 1 1/3 clear innings with three strikeouts. For the ninth, it was Seranthony Domínguez.

Please note that the Braves races are solo circuits. They were the best power team in the league all season. The Phillies pitchers made sure to keep the bases clear for most of the game, which meant all that damage was limited.


For the Phillies, they will move on to await the winner of the other NLDS. Maybe it’s the Padres with a win in Game 4 or they’re waiting for the Dodgers or the Padres after Game 5. Either way, Games 1 and 2 will be in Southern California before the Phillies did go home in what will obviously be a hero’s welcome at Citizens Bank Park. Boy, was it moving in games 3 and 4 of this series.

What a run for the Phillies. They were 21-29 until May. They fired their manager. They lost 2021 MVP Bryce Harper to a broken thumb in late June. They were just three games above .500 until a winning streak in late July. They were down 10 of 13 at one point in late September and had to fight almost to the end of the regular season just to make the playoffs. They trailed 2-0 going into the ninth inning of Game 1 of the Wild Card series. And now they’re in the NLCS for the first time since 2010.

On the other hand, the Braves had one of the greatest extended streaks in regular season history. They went 78-34 after the schedule moved to June. They raced against the Mets to win the NL East despite being down 10 1/2 games. Now, the defending champions have gotten a taste of what a wayward mistress of playoff baseball can be. They won 88 games and the World Series last year. This year they have won 101 games and barely a playoff.

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