When the Phillies envisioned themselves in the postseason back in March, this is probably how they figured they would win games. Putting up crooked numbers. The bats came to life tonight. They put up 10 on the Padres in game 4. Enough to get them a 10-6 win. And enough to improve them to 3-1 in the series with a chance to clinch it tomorrow.
Dave Dombrowski was busy this offseason adding some extra pop to the lineup. He added Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos to a lineup that already featured Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, and Rhys Hoskins. The plan did not always pan out in the regular season, with Castellnaos struggling, and Harper getting hurt. But man did those bats step up tonight.
Those 5 hit 4 HRs, 3 doubles, and 9 RBIs tonight. Hoskins accounted for 2 of those HRs and 4 of those RBIs. Kyle Schwarber hit his 3rd HR of the series. JT turned it into a 4-run lead with his first HR of this series. Harper continued to rack up the extra-base hits with 2 more doubles, which drove in 2 runs. And even Castellanos joined in with a double and later an RBI single. The bats were on fire. And the bats have been every time they are at home. They already averaged 7 runs per game here coming into this game. And they added 10 more tonight.
The pitching was another matter. When you heard it would be a bullpen game, you would have been justified in being a bit nervous. And Bailey Falter showed how justified it was by giving up 4 runs and getting only 2 outs. Brad Hand made it worse a few innings later by serving up a meatball to Juan Soto to give the Padres a 2-run lead. But, apart from those two, the bullpen actually did its job. No one else faltered. Connor Brogdon came in and got 7 outs to calm things down. Andrew Bellatti got another 3 outs with no runs allowed. Noah Syndergaard gave them 4 mostly easy outs. David Robertson another 5 outs. And then Zach Eflin closed the game out.
The bullpen actually did a pretty damn good job. The Padres only scored in two innings. Meanwhile, the Phillies kept scoring. Three in the first, 1 in the 4th, 4 in the 5th, and then 1 in both the 6th and 7th. Apart from Falter and Hand, every other pitcher did their job.
And now the Phillies need just 1 more win and they will be in the World Series for the first time since 2009. If I told you they would break that drought back in March you may have believed me. But if I said it in May, you would have said I was crazy. And here they are anyway. It may have taken a while, but now this lineup is doing exactly what we all thought it could. Putting up crooked numbers, and making balls go boom.
Zack Wheeler will take the mound tomorrow in Citizens Bank Park with a chance to finish the series. And after how well he pitched in game 1, and how well this team is hitting at home, you have to like your chances with that. Bryce Harper insisted “we aint losing.” And at least so far, he is living up to that claim.