Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Bazemore/AP/Shutterstock (13457053cg) Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos (8) makes a diving catch against Atlanta Braves catcher William Contreras during the ninth inning in Game 1 of a National League Division Series baseball game, in Atlanta. The Philadelphia Phillies won 7-6 NLDS Phillies Braves Baseball, Atlanta, United States – 11 Oct 2022
NL Division Series, Game 1: Phillies 7, Braves 6
The defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves got their quest to repeat started on Tuesday afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies, a team they won 11 of 19 games against this season in divisional play. Atlanta’s ace Max Fried got off to a rocky start, allowing four consecutive singles with two outs in the top of the first as the Phillies jumped out to a 2-0 advantage. Atlanta would load the bases against Phillies’ starter Ranger Suarez in the bottom of the inning, but failed to make anything of the threat when William Contreras grounded into an inning-ending double play. Braves’ catcher Travis d’Arnaud would connect for a solo home run in the bottom of the second to pull Atlanta within a run, but an Alec Bohm sacrifice fly and Jean Segura RBI single would extend Philly’s lead back to 4-1 in the top of the third. Atlanta would once again threaten in the third, loading the bases while pushing Ranger Suarez’s pitch count to a ridiculous 75 – but Suarez would once again get the out he needed with a strikeout of d’Arnaud to escape the jam. Philadelphia would cause more stress for Fried in the fourth, and with runners on second and third with one out, manager Brian Snitker would turn to the bullpen for the rest of the afternoon. Jesse Chavez entered the game from the bullpen to try and work out of the jam, but things would unravel further for Atlanta when Nick Castellanos’ third hit of the day drove in two more runs. Ranger Suarez lasted only one out into the bottom of the fourth, giving way to Andrew Bellatti who would escape another jam. Through four innings, frustration was mounting quickly in Atlanta as the Braves had already left seven runners on base.
After Philadelphia added yet another sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth, the Braves would finally break through against Phillies’ reliever Connor Brogdon in the bottom of the inning. Travis d’Arnaud continued his strong afternoon at the plate with a two-run double to make it 7-3, helping infuse the Truist Park crowd with a little more energy. Brad Hand would escape the inning moments later, though, and both bullpens would quiet things down for the next few innings. The Phillies would turn to Zach Eflin to close things out in the ninth, but it wouldn’t come easy as he’d allow two singles and a three-run home run by Matt Olson before finishing off the Game 1 win. The upset victory is a monumental step in the series for the Phillies, who now have the opportunity to turn to their top two arms to extend their series lead.
Game 2: Wednesday, 3:35pm CT
AL Division Series, Game 1: Yankees 4, Guardians 1
Yankee Stadium was buzzing leading up to Tuesday night’s ALDS Game 1, a matchup with the Cleveland Guardians with ace Gerrit Cole on the mound. Cleveland, fresh off a two-game sweep of the Rays in the Wild Card Series, would jump ahead on a solo home run by Steven Kwan in the top of the third. They’d load the bases moments later, but Cole would induce a groundout and a strikeout to escape the inning and reinvigorate the sellout crowd. Guardians’ starter Cal Quantrill would retire the first seven of the first eight Yankees he faced, but a solo home run by Harrison Bader in the bottom of the third inning tied the score at one. Josh Donaldson nearly added another solo shot in the fifth, but the wall-scraper was ruled to be in play. Amid the confusion on the field, Donaldson was caught between first and second and tagged out to begin the inning. Isaiah Kiner-Falefa would promptly single next, advancing to third on a throwing error and scoring on a sacrifice fly by Jose Trevino moments later to put New York ahead 2-1. Cal Quantrill’s night would end without recording an out in the sixth, after an Aaron Judge walk and Anthony Rizzo two-run homer extended the Yankees’ lead to 4-1.
Gerrit Cole would settle in as the game went along for the Yankees despite early traffic, finishing with 6 ⅓ strong innings while allowing only one run and striking out eight. New York’s bullpen was dominant behind him, shutting out Cleveland the rest of the way to preserve the win. The loss continued a troubling trend for the Guardians, who have now only scored four runs in three postseason games, despite playing six extra innings in Game 2 against the Rays. They’ll turn back to Shane Bieber tomorrow, who was dominant in the Wild Card round – but will need to find a way to push more than a run across if they hope to even up the series before it heads to Cleveland.
Game 2: Thursday, 6:37pm CT
NL Division Series, Game 1: Dodgers , Padres
The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers welcomed a familiar foe to Chavez Ravine for the National League Division Series after the San Diego Padres disposed of the Mets over three games in New York. Mike Clevinger made the start for San Diego despite a season that saw him pitch to a 9.69 ERA at Dodger Stadium, and the Dodgers greeted him rudely. Trea Turner homered deep into the left field pavilion in the bottom of the first to start the scoring, and Max Muncy drove in Will Smith with a single to extend the lead to 2-0 before San Diego came up in the second. The trouble for Clevinger continued in the third inning, as Trea Turner, Will Smith, and Gavin Lux all doubled to extend the Los Angeles lead to 4-0. Padres’ Manager Bob Melvin would turn to Steven Wilson in an attempt to stop the bleeding, but a walk and an error by first baseman Wil Myers would allow the Dodgers to score another. Myers would atone for his error two innings later, barely clearing the left field wall for a solo home run that stood up after being reviewed for fan interference, bringing the deficit to 5-1. San Diego would string together two more hits following the homer, setting up an RBI groundout by Trent Grisham and a sacrifice fly by Austin Nola to tighten the game to 5-3. That would close the book on Dodgers’ starter Julio Urias, who finished with five innings of work allowing three earned runs.
Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts turned to his bullpen to begin the sixth, going first to Evan Phillips against the heart of the Padres’ lineup. Juan Soto and Manny Machado would reach base, but a huge strikeout of Josh Bell and double play ball from Wil Myers allowed Los Angeles to escape the jam. The Padres’ bullpen was lights out following Clevinger’s departure, keeping the Dodgers’ high powered offense at 5 runs the rest of the way. After scoreless work from Alex Vesia and Brusdar Graterol out of the Dodgers’ bullpen, Chris Martin would allow a two-out single but close the game out to put the Dodgers ahead 1-0 in the NLDS. Los Angeles will turn to Clayton Kershaw in Game 2, while the Padres will look for another strong start out of Yu Darvish.
Game 2: Wednesday, 7:37pm CT