Phillies stave off Braves 9th inning comeback, win game 1 of NLDS 7-6
The Phillies held on to beat the Braves 7-6 and took a 1-0 lead in the NLDS behind a huge day from Nick Castellanos at the plate and in the field
Phillies Beat Braves; Lead NLDS 1-0
- Winning Pitcher: Seranthony Dominguez (1-0, 0.00)
- Losing Pitcher: Max Fried (0-1, 10.80)
Welcome to the 2022 Postseason Nick Castellanos! Its amazing how quickly you can forgive and forget a sub-par first season in red pinstripes when you come up huge in a playoff game. Castellanos drove in 3 runs in the first 4 innings as the Phillies primarily used small ball to take a 6-1 lead and chase Braves starting pitcher Max Fried.
But it was Nick Castellanos’ glove that will surely be remembered in this fantastic game 1. Yes, I know you never thought you would read that sentence in 2022…
With the Phillies reeling in the 9th inning following a 3-run shot from Matt Olson off Zach Eflin, Wilson Contreras stepped to the plate as the tying run and the entire Braves fan base on their feet. Contreras lined a low line drive to right field that looked like another base hit for Atlanta in a furious comeback rally.
Castellanos, desperately moving his huge frame never gave up on the baseball, laying out and securing the catch with his glove against the turf for the second out of the inning. It likely would have only been a single for Contreras, yet the mental boost for a team against the ropes on the road cannot be understated.
It was exactly the type of baseball that a veteran like Nick Castellanos was brought to Philadelphia to play and instantly enters the pantheon of great Phillies playoff moments.
With the recent injury to David Robertson, manager Rob Thompson had no choice but to hand the baseball to the inexperienced front end of the bullpen on the road. Andrew Bellatti, Connor Brogdon, and Brad Hand combined to finish off the 4th and 5th innings allowing only two earned runs and avoiding disaster before the Phillies could reach the more reliable back end of the bullpen.
From the point the Phillies took a 7-1 lead, it felt like the entire rest of the game they were narrowly holding off a Braves potent lineup that could easily come back and take the lead. It was fairly clear from the jump that the moment was a bit too big for both Bellatti and Brogdon.
Seranthony Dominguez deserves immense praise for coming in and shutting down the Braves lineup in order in the 6th and 7th innings. Dominguez breezed through both frames, striking out three and needing only 18 pitches. Jose Alvarado pitched in with a scoreless 8th inning and it seemed as if the Phils might actually easily roll to a game 1 victory.
Of course, Zach Eflin struggled to close out the 9th inning, allowing a 3-run shot to Matt Olson and causing the whole of Philadelphia to hold their breath for the next 10 minutes.
Grinding out these playoff wins is never going to be easy for a team like the Phillies who have so many glaring flaws. But so far in the first 3 games of the playoffs they are finding different ways to win. A squad finding just the right blend of pitching and offense like this can surely catch fire in October and have been known to make waves.
In 2022 that team appears to be from Philadelphia.
Up Next for the Phillies
The Phillies take on the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS from Truist Park in Atlanta with the first pitch scheduled for 4:35 pm EST.
Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82) will take the mound facing off against Kyle Wright (21-5, 3.19)
Nick Castellanos puts the Phils on the scoreboard with the third consecutive 2-out single off Max Fried.
Alec Bohm drives an RBI single to the opposite field off of Max Fried in the opening frame.
Ranger Suarez gets the huge double play to escape the Braves threat in the 1st inning. Wow thats huge.
Travis d’Arnaud’s solo shot of Ranger Suarez cuts the Phils lead to one run.
Ranger gets Robbie Grossman looking to. end the 2nd inning.
Nick Castellanos drives a ball of the opposite field fence to advance both runners.
Alec Bohm drives in his second run of the game with a sac-fly in the 3rd inning.
Jean Segura shoots an RBI single up the middle off Max Fried to extend the Phils lead in the 3rd inning.
Ranger Suarez escapes the Braves bases loaded jam in the 3rd inning.
Nick Castellanos knocks in another run with an RBI single off Jesse Chavez in the 3rd inning.
Andrew Bellatti looked like he may allow a crooked inning but recovered getting Dansby Swanson to strike out ending the Braves threat in the 4th inning.
The Phils are playing small ball today. Example, Edmundo Sosa with sac-fly to center to score Jean Segura who reach on a double and was bunted to third.
Travis d’Arnaud cuts into the Phils lead with a 2-RBI double of Connor Brogdon in the 5th inning.
Matt Vierling tracks down a hard hit baseball in the huge Atlanta outfield to save at least a run and possibly more. Did you know Matt Vierling went to Notre Dame ?
Seranthony sets the Braves down in order in the 6th inning. Every inning feels like dodging at bullet.
Jose Alvarado strikes out Orlando Arcia in a scoreless 8th inning.
Matt Olson takes Zach Eflin deep in the 9th inning to make it a one run ball game.
Nick Castellanos make an enormous catch to rob William Contreras of a single directly following the home run. Wow!
Zach Eflin gets Travis d’arnaud to ground out to shortstop for the final out of Game 1!
PHILS WIN GAME 1!!
Mandatory Photo Credit: Philadelphia Phillies