When the Divisional Series of the MLB playoffs began Tuesday, the National League saw two games, both of which ended close.
In the first game of the afternoon, the wild-card winners Philadelphia Phillies upset the Braves thanks to a string of runs in the third through fifth innings. Despite a comeback attempt by the Braves, time ran out and the Phillies took a 1-0 lead.
On the opposite coast, grudge play between the Dodgers and Padres remained tight in the late innings, with Los Angeles maintaining their 5-3 lead to the end.
With Atlanta and Philadelphia playing in the South, the Phillies — the last team to make the playoffs and winners of the wild card round against the St. Louis Cardinals — took a 2-0 early lead in the first inning. At the top of the third, a solo shot from Travis d’Arnaud made it a one-run game.
However, the Phillies hit five unanswered runs in the next three innings to take a 7-1 lead.
A sack fly from Alec Bohm scored JT Realmuto to make it 3-1 in the top third. Later in the same inning, Jean Segura’s single scored Nick Castellanos. Castellanos went on top of the fourth shot again, scoring for Rhys Hoskins and Edmundo Sosa for a 6-1 lead.
Sosa stepped forward again to score the final run of the game for the Phillies, bringing home Segura to extend the lead to 7-1.
The Braves started to react immediately – d’Arnaud added two RBIs to his tally by hitting Willy Contreras and Matt Olson to make it a 7-3 game. Olson himself hit a three-run home run to reduce the lead to 7-6. However, a fantastic play from Castellanos and a groundout from d’Arnaud ended the game there.
Seranthony Dominguez, the Phillies reserve, pitched two innings, knocked out three and didn’t give up en route to the win. Meanwhile, Atlanta starter Max Fried was charged with the loss after three and a half innings of pitching yielded four runs for Philadelphia.
Later in the day in the West, for the 2020 NLDS, the San Diego Padres sought revenge on the team that defeated them — the hated Dodgers.
It didn’t start well for San Diego — as starter Mike Clevinger gave up a home run on Trea Turner and allowed Max Muncy to pull in a run in another run to finish it 2-0 by the end of the first inning.
LA continued to pile up runs by adding three more in the third inning. Catcher Will Smith brought Turner home with a double, while Smith later came home thanks to a double from Gavin Lux.
Trayce Thompson — the NBA’s younger brother Klay — smashed the ball in a manner that caused first baseman Will Myers to make a mistake. That scored Muncy from third place and made things worse for San Diego when the score was 5-0.
But the Padres dug deep and found some runs in the top of the fifth. Myers made up for his mistake with a solo shot. A Trent Grisham groundout allowed Jake Cronenworth to score from third place. Kim Ha-Seong scored from third place after tagging a sac.
Momentum may have swung briefly toward San Diego, but the Dodgers’ superior pitching prevented further damage and resulted in them ending it in a 5-3 win.
LA’s Julio Urias clinched the win despite giving up four hits and three earned runs over five pitching innings. But this game was all about surviving early, and Clevinger didn’t do that. He was drawn after giving up four earned runs on six hits and leaving with an embarrassing 13.50 ERA.
All four teams will play again on Thursday evening.