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MLB Playoff Roundup: Phillies take crucial lead in NLCS

A wild night from Jean Segura helped the Phillies open up a 2-1 lead in the NLCS.

Championship Series - San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Friday night was a night off for the ALCS with both teams traveling up to New York ahead of Saturday’s Game 3. It was also hopefully a chance to regroup for the Yankees after two less than stellar performances to start the series. The offense has looked listless so far, scoring just two runs each in the first two games, falling into an 0-2 hold. They now have some work to do at home if they want to finally topple the Astros.

However, the NLCS returned to the field after they had their off day on Thursday. Game 3 was set to be a crucial one after the Phillies and Padres split the first two games in San Diego. While even after last night’s game there’s still plenty of series left, both teams would’ve been hoping to take a potentially massive lead.

NLCS Game 3

Philadelphia Phillies 4, San Diego Padres 2

(Phillies leads series 2-1)

Six of the Phillies’ nine hits and three of their four runs came with two outs in the inning, as they rode some clutch hits to a Game 3 win. They got five solid innings out of Ranger Suárez to help hold down the Padres and get within two victories of a trip to the World Series.

The Phillies took a lead in their first at-bat of the game when Kyle Schwarber led off the first with a home run, that wasn’t quite as impressive as his Game 1 moonshot. San Diego eventually answered in the fourth inning, beginning what was the Jean Segura portion of the game.

With runners on the corners and one out in the fourth, Jake Cronenworth hit a ground ball that appeared destined to be an inning-ending double play. However, Segura couldn’t handle Bryson Stott’s flip to second base, leading to a run scoring and everyone being safe.

In the bottom half of the inning, Segura immediately got the chance to atone for his error and came up with a two-out, big two-RBI single.

However in the very next at-bat, he was picked off to end the inning.

The Padres got a run back in the fifth, but that was answered in the sixth on a Alec Bohm RBI double, after more two-out hits and an ill-judged diving catch attempt from Juan Soto. Philadelphia’s bullpen held things down from there, although they got some help thanks to another massive play from Segura. A controversial check swing call on Jurickson Profar helped them a bit too, but a two-inning outing from Seranthony Domínguez finished things off and got the Phillies the series lead.

Up Next

Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Diego Padres

Game 4: Bailey Falter vs. Mike Clevinger

First Pitch: 7:45 pm ET (FOX)

Both teams are mostly reliant on their top three starters, but because of the playoff schedule will have to go for a fourth option for Game 4. Neither team had even announced a starter prior to Game 3, waiting to see what bullpen options they used on Friday night.

The Phillies decided to go with Bailey Falter, but the game is also going to include a lot of bullpen work as they’re aiming for Falter to go three innings. Falter was above average for the Phillies this year, but he actually has yet to appear in the playoffs. His most recent outing came on October 5th, where he started and went one inning on the final day of the regular season.

As for San Diego, they’re giving the ball to Mike Clevinger. He was who the Padres went to in Game 1 of the NLDS after their top three all went in their Wild Card Series against the Mets. Clevinger was not great against the Dodgers in the NLDS, allowing five runs (four earned) in just 2.2 innings in what was San Diego’s only loss in the series. It seems quite possible that we’ll see quite a bit of their bullpen too.