The Philadelphia Phillies eliminated the Atlanta Braves in the division series for a second straight season, winning Game 4 of their NLDS 3-1 at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies will now face the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS beginning Monday in Philadelphia.
Atlanta rallied in the ninth when Marcell Ozuna walked and Sean Murphy singled off reliever Gregory Soto. Phillies manager Rob Thomson then summoned Matt Strahm from the bullpen, and the left-hander left both runners stranded to send the Braves home. Strahm struck out pinch hitter Vaughn Grissom to clinch the series.
Nick Castellanos led the way offensively for the Phillies with two home runs to become the first player with back-to-back multi-homer games in playoff history, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com. Trea Turner, meanwhile, finished a triple shy of the cycle during a 4-for-4 night that included the game-winning homer. He finished the NLDS with an eye-popping .471/.500/.941 slash line.
Braves ace Spencer Strider was shaky despite seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings. He walked three and allowed seven hits, including three homers, and was chased after Castellanos’ second round-tripper.
Atlanta’s best chance came when it loaded the bases in the top of the seventh. But after Kevin Pillar was unable to score on a wild pitch, former Braves closer Craig Kimbrel induced a deep fly out from Ronald Acuña Jr. that Johan Rojas caught at the wall.
For the Braves, it’s another bitter end to a season full of promise. Brian Snitker’s club won an MLB-best 104 games during the regular season and tied the record for home runs in a single campaign. But in the NLDS, they were held to only eight runs in four games while allowing 11 Phillies homers.
Phillies star Bryce Harper gave everyone in Citizens Bank Park a scare when he appeared to injure his surgically repaired elbow in a collision with Atlanta’s Matt Olson at first base. Fortunately, Harper returned to the field for the ninth inning and appeared to be no worse for wear.
“He just hit my funny bone. I’m good,” Harper said postgame, per Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“He went downstairs with our training staff, and they came up and said he’s fine,” Thomson said, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, but I don’t think there’s any concern about structural damage or anything like that.”
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