Phillies offense explodes for 10 points in Game 4 NLCS win
PHILADELPHIA — Rhys Hoskins homered twice, Kyle Schwarber hit a solo shot into the bushes and Bryce Harper doubled to put the Philadelphia Phillies ahead for good in a wild 10-6 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday tonight for a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series.
Harper stood at second base after his hit and emphatically declared the stadium his home.
With one more victory, it will be a home for the World Series.
JT Realmuto also homered for the Phillies, who are trying to become the first third-place team to reach the Fall Classic.
The Phillies send ace Zack Wheeler to the mound in Game 5 Sunday at Citizens Bank Park in a bid to clinch their first National League pennant since 2009. They haven’t won the World Series since 2008.
Regardless of the outcome, Game 4 was unforgettable in Philadelphia.
The Phillies trailed 4-0 in Game 1, then chipped away, battled and finally put the Padres away. The game-clinching goal came in a four-run fifth inning against reliever Sean Manaea. Trailing 6-4, Schwarber walked to start the rally. Hoskins then ripped his second homer of the game — no bat point, but equally dramatic — for the tying hit. Realmuto marched to set the stage for Harper.
The 2021 NL MVP lined up the brace that rolled to the left center wall for a 7-6 lead as the Philadelphia crowd absolutely exploded. Harper ran her hands over the « Phillies » script on her chest and exclaimed, « This is my (expletive) home! »
Phillies fans refused to sit down – and they had no reason for the rest of the game. Nick Castellanos added a single to Harper to complete the score in the fifth.
Schwarber smashed the ball into the bushes right in the center in the sixth for his third homer of this series and Realmuto punctuated the scoring with a solo shot in the seventh.
The Padres and Phillies had already nearly stuffed nine innings of turmoil in 48 minutes of a frenzied first.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson picked Bailey Falter to start Game 4 after a 17-day layoff and hoped the southpaw could at least make the move once. He couldn’t do much beyond retire the first two batters. Manny Machado homered left and responded to chants of « Manny Sucks! » bringing his right hand to his ear as he rounded the bases.
Falter let the next two runners reach and Brandon Drury lined up a two-RBI double on the right field wall for a 3-0 lead. That was it for Falter. Reliever Connor Brogdon allowed an RBI single to Ha-Seong Kim to make it 4-0.
Bad outing for Falter? Absolutely.
The worst for a starting pitcher? No.
Mike Clevinger allowed a first single late in the first period, then Hoskins’ first homer of the game which cut the lead to 4-2. He walked Realmuto and Harper hit an RBI brace to make it 4-3. Harper stood second and ran his hands along the « Phillies » on his jersey as the crowd and Citizens Bank Park began to shake.
So much for Clevinger, out of the game without registering a strikeout.
By the time the No. 5 hitter Castellanos hit, there had been four total pitchers and three total outs. The combined first-inning totals saw seven runs, seven hits, two homers, two doubles — oh, and the fun was just beginning.
Brogdon and Padres reliever Nick Martinez actually stabilized the game as they combined to retire 16 straight in 5 1/3 shutouts.
That was the only stretch of normality in this one. Even the red rally towels frantically waved by another sold-out crowd of 45,467 didn’t get as much of a workout as the two paddocks.