Home Sports Phillies eliminate 104-win Braves, move to NLCS

Phillies eliminate 104-win Braves, move to NLCS

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Phillies eliminate 104-win Braves, move to NLCS

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PHILADELPHIA — The best home run-hitting team in baseball got a taste of its own medicine as the Philadelphia Phillies blasted their way to a division series win over the Atlanta Braves by virtue of a 3-1 victory in Game 4 on Thursday night.

It’s the second consecutive year Philadelphia has eliminated the National League East winner in four games. The Phillies will face the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series, which begins on Monday in Philadelphia.

Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos became the first player in history to record back-to-back multihomer games in the postseason as he took Braves starter Spencer Strider deep twice, in the fourth and sixth innings. In between, shortstop Trea Turner also homered while collecting three hits off Atlanta’s ace. Turner was 0-for-17 in his career off Strider before Thursday.

In all, the Phillies outhomered the Braves 11 to 3 in the series, including hitting nine in the two games at Citizens Bank Park. In doing so, they tied the 2015 Cubs for most home runs in back-to-back postseason games.

The play of the game came in the seventh inning when the Braves had the bases loaded, two outs and the likely NL MVP, Ronald Acuna Jr., at the plate. He blasted a 2-2 pitch off reliever Craig Kimbrel that center fielder Johan Rojas tracked down 379 feet from home plate. The Citizens Bank crowd erupted as Rojas went almost up against the wall to make the catch.

Atlanta had one more chance in the ninth, after the first two batters reached base, but Kevin Pillar and Eddie Rosario popped out while pinch hitter Vaughn Grissom struck out.

Meanwhile, the Braves, winners of an MLB-best 104 games in the regular season, were eliminated for the second consecutive year in the division round after winning the World Series in 2021. The loss of starter Charlie Morton to injury impacted their rotation, as did one to Max Fried, who threw only four innings in the Braves’ Game 2 win. But their biggest issue was at the plate, where they led all of baseball in runs scored and home runs but managed just eight runs in four playoff games.

The win returns the Phillies to the NLCS for the second consecutive season. They beat the San Diego Padres in five games last year before falling to the Houston Astros in the World Series. The victory also means that no team with more than 90 wins will play in either league championship series — and therefore the World Series. Excluding the shortened seasons, this is the first time both league championship series will feature teams that had 90 or fewer wins in the regular season.

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