This game had all three of the components that one looks for in October. THIS is what playoff baseball was all about.
Admittedly, a matchup between Ranger Suarez and Max Fried feels a bit one sided, but it turned out to be anything but. It was very evenly matched as both Suarez and Fried mowed their way through the lineups as the temperatures dropped and the winds played a bit of a factor.
The Braves had a bit of a rally in the first inning thanks to back to back one out singles, but Suarez wiggled his way out of the jam to set them down. In the second, the Phillies got their run thanks to a singles from J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura that put runners on the corners and one out. Matt Vierling approached, fresh off of his five hit heroics last night and drove in Realmuto on a sacrifice fly.
That was it.
That was the offense.
Though Fried threw a lot of pitches, the Phillies didn’t mount much more of a threat in the game, aided by some questionable calls behind the plate that would end up getting hitting coach Kevin Long ejected from the game.
Hahhahahahhahahahahah not even close pic.twitter.com/YGJc0ENVjb— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) September 23, 2022
Starts like this one from Fried usually get the Braves a victory, but as stated before. Suarez was just as much on top of his game as Fried was. He calmly worked his way through the Atlanta lineup. The sixth inning was the best rally the Braves could muster, loading the bases on a double and a pair of walks, but Suarez calmly induced a groundball off the bat of Michael Harris II to end the inning, an inning that also ended his night.
Zach Eflin would be brought in to pitch the seventh and looked so good. Rob Thomson brought him out for the eighth. He wrapped a pair of strikeouts around a phantom hit by pitch before giving way to Jose Alvarado, who induced a pop up into fair territory from Matt Olson to end that eighth inning.
After a offense outage on the evening, Alvarado was left in to finish the ninth and did so with aplomb. A good old fashioned pitcher’s duel that, for once, the Phillies came out on top in.