Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brynn Anderson/AP/Shutterstock (13484354bc) Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Jean Segura celebrates after throwing San Diego Padres’ Ha-Seong Kim out at first during the seventh inning in Game 3 of the baseball NL Championship Series between the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies, in Philadelphia NLCS Padres Phillies Baseball, Philadelphia, United States – 21 Oct 2022
NL Championship Series, Game 3: Phillies 4, Padres 2 (PHI leads series 2-1)
With the series tied 1-1 coming into Game 3, the pressure felt in Game 1 to gain early momentum in the series would be felt again. A brand new theoretical five-game series lays ahead for the Phillies and Padres except this time, the Phils take over home field advantage. Both teams have accomplished what nobody thought they could. The Phillies took down the defending champs. The Padres slayed the 111-win goliath in the LA Dodgers. The question coming in was, “who would continue to shock the world?”
The Phillies would rock with left-handed Ranger Suarez who had an underwhelming first career postseason start against Atlanta. He was only able to go 3.1 innings while walking five. His day began strong after striking out Ha-Seong Kim and Juan Soto to begin the game and inducing a Manny Machado fly out to right to close the first.
Padres RHP Joe Musgrove has been outstanding all season boasting a 2.93 ERA in 30 starts this season. Not only that, but he has also put together two quality starts in the postseason shutting out the Mets in seven innings and putting up six strong frames against the Dodgers. This one, however, would get off to a rough start as Kyle Schwarber took him deep to lead off his outing giving the Phils a 1-0 lead early. He would then walk Rhys Hoskins and JT Realmuto back-to-back earning an early visit from Padres Pitching Coach Ruben Niebla. Musgrove would manage to get out of trouble though getting Bryce Harper to ground into a double play and Nick Castellanos to groundout to end the inning. The first inning would end with a 1-0 Philadelphia lead.
The score remained 1-0 until the top of the fourth where following a Juan Soto HBP and a Brandon Drury single, Jake Cronenworth drove in the Padres’ first run on a fielder’s choice. A weak ground ball to shortstop fielded by Bryson Stott and in the attempt of turning an inning-ending double play, Jean Segura drops the ball scoring Soto from third tying the game at one apiece.
With the score tied at 1-1 heading into the bottom half of the fourth, the Phillies answer right back with a pair of runs of their own. The inning began with a Bryce Harper single followed by Castellanos grounding into a double play. However, three straight hits from Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott, and Jean Segura would plate another set of runs for Philadelphia giving them a 3-1 lead. The inning would end, however, on Segura being picked off at first killing the momentum for Philly.
In the top of the fifth, the Padres would earn a run back. Trent Grisham would reach on an error, which put him on second base to start the inning. After advancing to third on an Austin Nola groundout, Grisham would score on a Ha-Seong Kim groundout to shortstop narrowing the Phillies lead to 3-2.
The Phillies would strike again in the bottom of the sixth on back-to-back doubles from Nick Castellanos and Alec Bohm giving them a 4-2 lead. This would drive Joe Musgrove out of the game. Joe Musgrove had been struggling with command especially on his breaking ball. This was easily Musgrove’s rockiest postseason start giving up eight hits and four runs in the outing.
Ranger Suarez put together a much better start his second time around in the postseason finishing with five innings pitched, only one run surrendered on two hits, and three strikeouts.
Both bullpens from the seventh inning on were lights out. San Diego relied on Tim Hill and Pierce Johnson who combined only gave up one hit in 2.1 innings. Philly worked with traditional starter Zach Eflin and power-lefty Jose Alvarado to lock down the sixth and seventh before turning it over to Seranthony Dominguez in the eighth. Dominguez worked through the eighth no problem pumping over 100 mph on his fastball.
Dominguez would start the ninth for the Phillies and immediately allow a leadoff base hit to Josh Bell. He would then strikeout Jurickson Profar on a check swing that can be debated on replay. Profar showed tons of emotion after being called out and was ejected. Dominguez would retire the next two batters sealing the victory for Philadelphia giving them a 2-1 series lead. A 4-2 win for the Phillies at home puts pressure on the Padres to rebound immediately in Game 4 or risk going down 3-1 and needing a huge comeback.
Game 4: Saturday, 6:45PM CT at Philadelphia