Phillies vs. Padres score, takeaways: Philadelphia takes NLCS Game 3 behind Jean Segura, Seranthony Domínguez – CBS Sports

Phillies vs. Padres score, takeaways: Philadelphia takes NLCS Game 3 behind Jean Segura, Seranthony Domínguez - CBS Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies took back the series lead in the NLCS against the San Diego Padres, winning 4-2 on Friday night in the first NLCS game at Citizens Bank Park since October 23, 2010. Much to the delight of the 45,279 fans packed in Citizens Bank. Park, the Phillies won an entertaining game from start to finish.

The Phillies, who got a six-out save from closer Serantony Domínguez, now have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series.

Let’s run it down.

Schwarber left with a bombshell

It didn’t take long for the Phillies to get on the board. Leadoff man Kyle Schwarber took care of that.

Schwarber had a brutal first two rounds of the playoffs, but he hit a monster shot — 488 feet — in Game 1 and now this one put the Phillies up 1-0 early. Schwarber became just the second Phillies player ever to hit a leadoff homer in the playoffs after (who else?) Jimmy Rollins, who did it three times (via ESPN Stats and Info). He had seven home runs in the regular season and this was his 11th career playoff home run in his 137th at-bat.

Jean Segura rode a Game 3 rollercoaster

Some extreme good and bad for Phillies second baseman Jean Segura, who was the active player with the most career regular-season games played and no playoff appearances until just a few weeks ago.

The bad…
Much has been made of the Phillies being the worst defensive team remaining in the playoffs — and that goes back two rounds — and it bit them in the top of the fourth. The Padres had runners on first and third after Brandon Drury’s squibbed one-out grounder went through the wide open right side. The Phillies had a 1-0 lead at the time, so they had the corners in, ready to throw home on a grounder. The middle was back, playing for the double play. Phillies starter Ranger Suárez did his job and got to Bryson Stott at short. They had a chance at a double play and it was a good feed, but Segura just dropped the ball at second. We can’t be sure that the double play would have been turned, but we never had a chance to find out.

The good

In the bottom half of the inning, Segura fanned runners on second and third in a 1-1 tie. With two strikes, he beat a Joe Musgrove breaking ball, punching it into right-center to drive home two runs. It was an impressive piece of hitting to make contact and float it to the outfield to score two runs.

The bad, again

He was then singled out to end the inning. Thanks to Segura getting nailed at first and Nick Castellanos hitting into a double play after a Bryce Harper single, the Phillies went 4 for 5 in the bottom of the fourth and scored two runs. That’s certainly not a bad inning, but it seems like they should go on after 4 for 5, right?

The good one, again

Segura then made a great defensive play to end the top of the seventh inning with a Padre runner on base, his second diving stop of the night. It was quite an up and down night for the veteran who is a playoff rookie.

Perhaps this best sums up Segura’s night.

Suárez was slightly better than Musgrove

With no days off left in the series, the last thing either manager had to deal with was a starting pitcher who couldn’t get his team out of the early innings.

Guard Suárez was up to the task for the Phillies. He started the game on fire, getting Ha-seong Kim and Juan Soto with looking strikeouts. He would end up lasting five innings and only needed 68 pitchers to do so. As such, he would be fresher if there is a Game 7. He only allowed two runs on two hits, but only one run was scored because his defense was sloppy behind him, making two errors.

Musgrove was a bit more of a mixed bag.

He started off in opposite fashion to Suárez, giving up the leadoff bomb to Schwarber and then walking two straight before getting Bryce Harper to hit into a double play. He settled in after that, getting stronger as the game went on. He did have trouble in the fourth and can’t blame it on defense. He had just been beaten. Credit Segura as well on the two-strikeout we discussed above.

Musgrove then struck out the side in the fifth. He got two groundouts to start the sixth, too, but then Nick Castellanos and Alec Bohm hit back-to-back doubles to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead. Juan Soto fouled Bohm’s hit into a double, but it didn’t matter in the end, because Bohm wouldn’t score.

Musgrove’s final line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

You have to give both starters credit for pitching well enough to keep the bullpens from being taxed. Suárez was definitely the better of the two, though.

The Phillies bullpen was stellar

Even with Suárez pitching well, the Phillies needed some major work from their oft-maligned bullpen. Zach Eflin worked a scoreless sixth and even though he gave up two hits, manager Rob Thomson correctly indicated on the broadcast that all he did was his job in receiving ground balls. Two happened to be hits.

From there, Thomson turned it over to his two best relievers. José Alvarado struck out two in his inning of work and went back out for the eighth, but he gave up a leadoff single to Juan Soto. It should be noted that the ball wasn’t hit well, but let’s also give credit to Soto for fighting off a two-strike pitch for a swing-batting single to left. Thomson then turned to Seranthony Domínguez with six outs to go.

The only Phillies pitcher to record a six-out playoff save, previously, was Tug McGraw. He did it once in the 1980 NLCS and then twice in the World Series, most recently Game 6, which was exactly 42 years ago.

Domínguez struck out Manny Machado to set the tone. He got out of the eighth unscathed. Josh Bell singled to lead off the ninth, bringing the tying run to the plate, but a strikeout (on a check-swing call that Jurickson Profar didn’t care about), a pop out and a strikeout ended the threat.

Heavy lifting by Domínguez there, and he might be unavailable for Game 4. Alvarado also threw 27 pitches, but the bottom line is that the Phillies had to hold on to this lead and they did. Well managed game by Thomson and good job by the Phillies big relief guns to bring it home.

The Pastor bull church rests

Something to file away for Game 4, however, is that Padres relievers Tim Hill and Pierce Johnson finished the game without allowing any more Phillies runs. That kept their team in the game but, more importantly moving forward, allowed manager Bob Melvin to avoid using the likes of Nick Martinez, Luis García and, most importantly, Robert Suarez and closer Josh Hader (who is back to being his old self).

What’s next?

We’ll do it again Saturday night for Game 4. It’ll be 7:45 pm ET this time and surely those extra eight minutes of rest will loom large for the two fighters after Friday’s 7:37 start time.

Seriously, though, it goes without saying that we’re in major territory here in the series. A Phillies win means a 3-1 series lead and just a sniff away from the World Series while a Padres win means we go to Game 5 with the series knotted at two and a very real chance at an epic seven-gamer.

The Padres will start Mike Clevinger. He’s a clear step back from the top two hitters’ righties in Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove, but he’s capable and can be dominant. That wasn’t the case in Game 1 of the NLDS, when he allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Dodgers. The one time he faced the Phillies this season, he worked five scoreless innings on May 17th.

In the Phillies’ end, it will be left-hander Bailey Falter, who hasn’t pitched since the regular season. Noah Syndergaard, who started Game 4 of the NLDS, could be used behind Falter.

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