The Yankees played good baseball for eight innings, but with a chance to take a series lead over the Guardians, crapped the bed behind a tiring Wandy Peralta and Clarke Schmidt. Their only hope now is with Gerrit Cole hopefully allowing this series to go the distance and bring it back to The Bronx for Game 5 tomorrow.
While the Yankees provided heartbreak and pain for us, let’s check in with the rest of the league and take a look at some more heartbreak, as every other Division Series came to a close yesterday.
NLDS Game 4
(PHI won series 3-1)
I’m going to put this in the funniest way I can, courtesy of fellow PSA scribe Matt Ferenchick: it’s extremely funny that the whole saga between the Mets and the Braves and their race for the NL East ended with both teams out in their first series and the forgotten child of the division heading to the NLCS.
Brandon Marsh got the scoring started with a three-run bomb off Charlie Morton in the second inning and the Phillies never took their foot off the pedal as they ousted the defending World Series champions. Morton, who only lasted two innings, took the loss after allowing those three runs, four hits, and a walk.
Atlanta got right back on the board in the top of the third thanks to an Orlando Arcia home run to confuse people into thinking they wouldn’t go down without a fight. Alas, J.T. Realmuto had other opinions, as he took that run right back in the bottom of the third with an inside-the-park home run. Just a reminder for those who may have forgotten: Realmuto is a catcher.
Matt Olson launched his second blast of the playoffs in the top of the fourth to once again let Atlanta back into the game, but that was all they could muster to keep the game at 4-2. Little did they know that Realmuto’s homer in the third would end up being the game-winning run as both teams traded zeroes in the fifth until Philadelphia put the final nail in the coffin with a three-run sixth.
Things got started with a one-out single by Jean Segura, who then proceeded to steal second base. Marsh, who got the scoring started, was called out on strikes and the Braves were just one out away from staying in the game. Unfortunately for them, A.J. Minter hit Kyle Schwarber to put two men on with two outs for Rhys Hoskins. Raisel Iglesias came in to relieve Minter and allowed back-to-back-to-back singles to Rhys Hoskins, Realmuto, and Bryce Harper, and all of a sudden, it was 7-2 Phillies.
Rhys Hoskins drives in another run!— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 15, 2022
: FS1 and the FOX Sports App pic.twitter.com/C6yF1UfXfL
The Phillies are pouring it on! Philadelphia fans can feel it!— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 15, 2022
: FS1 and the FOX Sports App pic.twitter.com/T2hReNtECD
From there, everyone, including the Philly Phaithful, knew the game was over. Only Travis d’Arnaud didn’t get the memo as he added a solo shot in the top of the seventh, the final run scored for the 2022 Braves. A Harper insurance bomb in the eighth capped it, as things went pretty quietly from there until Seranthony Dominguez came into the game in the ninth and quietly put the Braves to bed. Go Phillies, boo Philly (I am a New York sports fan, after all).
Not crying— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) October 15, 2022
Not crying pic.twitter.com/wiC4RptXlR
ALDS Game 3
(HOU won series 3-0)
If you thought the Guardians/Rays game from the Wild Card Series went on forever, the Mariners and Astros decided that merely 15 innings of baseball was too brief and didn’t settle things until the 18th inning, ultimately ending with Houston advancing to their sixth-straight ALCS.
For 17 innings, essentially nothing happened. Sure, there were 16 hits and 3 walks, but also 41 strikeouts and no runs whatsoever. Lance McCullers Jr. went six innings for the Astros and George Kirby went seven in a pitchers’ duel and both teams traded zeroes until Jeremy Peña broke the scoreless tie and scored the game’s only run in the 18th inning.
That was all she wrote for the Mariners dream season, though at least their fans got to see real playoff baseball for the first time in over 20 years. Not that they care, but at least the team gave them basically two games at home, too.
While Peña’s home run will likely get all the attention, the real hero for the Astros was Luis Garcia. He came on in the 13th inning and gave Dusty Baker five innings of scoreless ball, surrendering just two hits. He showed no signs of slowing down either as the Mariners went down quietly in the bottom of the 18th.
Winners find ways to win. Period. pic.twitter.com/INw5GQ3vb7— Houston Astros (@astros) October 16, 2022
NLDS Game 4
(SD won series 3-1)
For awhile there, it looked like nobody was beating the Dodgers, who had won 111 games in the regular season — more than any National League team in over a century. After their NLDS Game 1 win over the Padres, it looked they’d pretty easily handle San Diego and get some extra rest while waiting for their next opponent. They’ll be heading back to LA, alright, but the Padres just gave them an early long-term vacation.
The first two innings of this game had some light traffic on the basepaths for both teams, but ultimately, Joe Musgrove and Tyler Anderson both settled in and were able to get to the third inning with a blank scoreboard. In the third inning, the beast that was the Dodgers offense looked like it was waking up. After Mookie Betts worked a one-out walk, Trea Turner doubled to put runners on second and third for Freddie Freeman. The former Brave followed that up with a double of his own and it was 2-0 Dodgers and they were threatening for more.
Musgrove, however, sandwiched a Max Muncy walk between getting Will Smith and Justin Turner out to end the inning and limit the damage. The Padres had no answer for Anderson as the only baserunner he allowed for the next three innings was a walk issued to Austin Nola. The Dodgers continued to cause traffic and make Musgrove work but he didn’t let up and made it through the sixth inning and kept it 2-0.
Steven Wilson replaced Musgrove in the top of the seventh and almost blew the game away after he loaded the bases with no outs by walking Betts, surrendering a single to Turner, and hitting Freeman with a pitch. Wilson got Will Smith out on a sacrifice fly to left which allowed Betts to score and put the Dodgers up 3-0 and once again threatening for more. Bob Melvin smartly pulled Wilson there in favor of Tim Hill. A double-steal of second and third by Freeman and Turner set the Dodgers up to put this game out of reach and ensure a Game 5. However, Hill got Muncy to strike out and then Turner to ground out and it was 3-0 going into the bottom of the seventh.
Former Yankee legend Tommy Kahnle came in to start the bottom of the seventh after fellow former Yankee legend Chris Martin turned in a scoreless sixth. Kahnle was in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, but only pitched in 13 games after he missed four months due to a bone bruise in his right elbow. Still, he came back with a strong enough September (9 G, 8.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 9 K) that the Dodgers had no issues putting him on the postseason roster. This outing, was not what the Dodgers were hoping to get out of him.
Kahnle walked Jurickson Profar and gave up a single to Trent Grisham which put runners on the corners for Austin Nola, who drove in the Padres’ first run of the night.
With two on and nobody out, Dave Roberts pulled Kahnle to try and stop any further damage and called on Yency Almonte to settle things down. Almonte was not up to the task either, as he took the loss after letting both inherited runners score to tie the game on a double by Ha-Seong Kim and a single by Juan Soto.
Almonte did get the next two batters out by striking out Manny Machado and getting Brandon Drury to pop out. But the game was tied and with two men on, Dave Roberts made another pitching change as he called on Alex Vesia to try and get the final out. Soto stole second to put both runners in scoring postition for Jake Cronenworth, who singled to center to put the Padres in the driver’s seat.
After a Wil Myers walk, Vesia finally got Profar, who started the inning and rally with a walk, to strike out to end the inning. The Dodgers seemingly had all their life sucked out of them though as Robert Suarez easily retired the side even with Cody Bellinger pinch-hitting for Chris Taylor. Evan Phillips worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth to give the top of the Dodgers’ order a chance in the ninth.
Spoiler: They had no chance. Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, and Freddie Freeman were up with the Dodgers only down by two. Surely they could get something going, right? Josh Hader had other ideas as he struck out the side and punched the Padres’ ticket to the NLCS, where they will host the Phillies in Game 1. Despite absurd regular season success, the Dodgers have backslid from 2020 champions to 2021 NLCS losers to 2022 NLDS losers.
Congratulations go out to the Padres and Phillies for advancing to the next round, and to me for totally predicting the Padres winning the series in four games. Sometimes my crazy predictions have merit (looking at you, Yankees and Aaron Judge). And congratulations go out to the Mariners and their fans for having an incredible season even though it unfortunately came to an end. And to the Astros, go away already.