Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Rourke/AP/Shutterstock (13488817bh) Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper hits a two-run home run during the eighth inning in Game 5 of the baseball NL Championship Series between the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies, in Philadelphia NLCS Padres Phillies Baseball, Philadelphia, United States - 23 Oct 2022

NLCS Game 5 Recap: Phillies top Padres 4-3 behind clutch home runs to clinch first World Series appearance since 2009

NL Championship Series, Game 5: Phillies 4, Padres 3 (Phillies win series, 4-1)

A rainy, overcast afternoon in Philadelphia was never going to stop Phillies fans from arriving in droves, ready to celebrate their first National League pennant since 2009 on a Sunday the Eagles conveniently had no game. San Diego, needing a win to keep their season alive and send the series back home to Petco Park, turned to ace Yu Darvish on the mound. Philadelphia, smelling blood in the water, turned to their ace as well in Zack Wheeler – the same pitcher who dominated San Diego for seven scoreless innings in Game 1. 

Each starter was as effective as expected, especially in the early going. In stark contrast to Game 4, the game remained scoreless into the bottom of the third inning as both pitchers limited opportunities for offense. It was Darvish who would eventually blink first, as Rhys Hoskins continued his incredible Postseason with a two-run home run to give Philadelphia the lead through three innings. Juan Soto would finally get San Diego on the board in the fourth, driving a solo home run to center field to bring the Padres back within one. 

Zack Wheeler and Yu Darvish continued their excellent pitching performances from there, each completing six innings while the score remained 2-1. Phillies’ manager Rob Thomson turned to hard throwing reliever Seranthony Dominguez in the top of the seventh following Zack Wheeler’s first hit batter of the day with nobody out. Josh Bell would make Wheeler pay for the mistake in short order, driving a double into the right field corner to tie the game at two in the seventh and closing the book on Wheeler’s chances to record a win himself. Dominguez recorded two outs from there, but back-to-back wild pitches would allow pinch-runner Jose Azocar to cross home plate and give San Diego a 3-2 lead at the seventh inning stretch. 

The rain seemed to be intensifying as the field conditions deteriorated in the late innings, but the poncho-laden fans at Citizens Bank Park only got louder in an attempt to rattle the San Diego bullpen. JT Realmuto singled to start the eighth against Padres’ reliever Robert Suarez, and Bryce Harper sent the Philadelphia crowd into orbit with a line drive home run into the left field seats to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead. Philadelphia turned to David Robertson to finish things off in the ninth, but he’d give way to Ranger Suarez after walking two consecutive batters with one out. Suarez got the job done though, sending Philadelphia to their first World Series in 13 seasons. They will most likely run into the buzzsaw Houston Astros, against whom they lost two of three to conclude the regular season a few weeks ago.

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