The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Atlanta Braves 9-1 on Friday in Game 3 of the National League Division Series. The Phillies now lead the best-of-five set, 2-1, heading into Saturday’s Game 4. Another win and Philadelphia would advance to the NL Championship Series for the right to play for the pennant against the Los Angeles Dodgers or Chan. Diego Padres.
The third innings turned out to be the key to the game. The Phillies didn’t muster a baserunner through the first two frames against Atlanta rookie Spencer Strider. Their fortunes changed right away as Brandon Marsh drew a four-pitch walk. Gene Segura struck out, but his double-play partner Bryson Stott then endured a long, nine-pitch at-bat before hitting a double to right field that opened the scoring.
The Braves would walk Kyle Schwarber on purpose, which would backfire immediately. That’s because Strider drilled a lame fastball off Rhys Hoskins for a three-run home run.
Just like that, the Phillies took a 4-0 lead. However, they were not fulfilled there. Strider gave up a run-scoring single to Nick Castellanos on the next pitch he threw. Lefty reliever Dylan Lee would step in and — wouldn’t you know it — give Bryce Harper a home run of his own. First of all His pitch of the night.
The Phillies were in complete control at the time, 6-0. It does not change the other way around.
Here are four things to know about the Phillies’ win.
1. Strider turns, falls
As mentioned in the introduction, most of the Phillies’ damage came against Strider. While he was one of the best young starters in the majors during the regular season, he hasn’t pitched since Sept. 18 because of an oblique injury. Strider wasn’t officially named the Game 3 starter until Friday morning.
Strider started the game well, but it became clear that he was losing steam as he struggled to put Stott away based on his wavering command and slippage speed:
What’s more, the home-run pitch Strider threw to Hoskins was the slowest fastball of his career, a sign that he wasn’t right.
Since Strider was supposed to have a tight pitch count, it was surprising that no one got hot behind him until the Phillies got on the board. Manager Brian Snitker explained his thinking after the game, suggesting that Strider should pitch four innings of work. “He was throwing so well, we thought we could skate him.”
Who knows, maybe a quick hook for Strider wouldn’t have made a difference, and the Phillies’ bats would have torched those on the mound when Hoskins and Harper went to the plate. But going into Game 4, a decision to stick with Strider’s start on Friday would be heartbreaking for Snitker and the Braves if they lose the series.
2. Nola pushes
Strider started a disaster. How about his counterpart?
Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in his wild-card series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals, the first playoff appearance of his career. He didn’t Very much He matched that effort on Friday, but he gave the Phillies another high-profile start.
In fact, Nola worked the seventh inning, leaving after giving up a leadoff single to Orlando Arcia. He tossed one run (unbeatable) ball in six innings while striking out six batters on 90 pitches, surrendering five hits and two walks. That means Nola hasn’t allowed an earned run in 12 2/3 innings of October ball.
It should be noted that Nola’s velocity and spin rate were higher on all of his pitches compared to his season norms. He made 15 whiffs on 44 pitches, eight of which were spiked curveballs. Additionally, 11 of Nola’s 15 balls hit grounders.
Add it all up and the Phillies should be thrilled with Nola’s month to date.
3. What history says about the Phillies’ 2-1 lead
According to our study by Dan Perry, teams that take a 2-1 lead in the LDS round have won the series 75 percent of the time in history. That speaks to the importance of getting two tries to close out the series, and suggests the Phillies are in good shape to advance to the next round, even if it’s four or five games.
4. What’s next
The Phillies will eliminate the defending champion Braves and clinch a ticket to Saturday’s NL Championship Series with a Game 4 win. It will mark veteran right-hander Charlie Morton’s 18th career nod for Atlanta. seasonal appearance; Philadelphia will counter with Noah Syndergaard. First pitch is set for 2:07 pm ET.
“Friend of animals everywhere. Devoted analyst. Total alcohol scholar. Infuriatingly humble food trailblazer.”