The script was almost an exact replica of the tough game three the Braves put together in 2022. Now all the pressure will be on Spencer Strider and the Braves to try and force this NLDS back to Atlanta for a game five.
Nola came out in front of a loud Phillies crowd and quickly set down the first two hitters. The Braves then got two of the weaker hits you will see from this lineup in a couple of singles with under 71 mph exit velocity. That put pressure on Nola early, but credit to him he made some great pitches to Ozuna to strike him out looking.
Bryce Elder was a very late announcement as a game three starter, but he had the best first inning of any Braves starter thus far in the series. It was a 1-2-3 frame against the top three Phillies hitters, and that included strikeouts of Turner and Harper.
Nola was much more efficient in the top of the second needing just 13 pitches to retire the side. That included a three pitch strikeout of perhaps the biggest villain in Philadelphia, Orlando Arcia. Not to be outdone, Elder matched with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, while racking up two more strikeouts.
The Braves finally got an early lead thanks to the NL MVP frontrunner getting the party started. Ronald doubled down the right field line and came around to score on Ozzie Albies’ single. Nola issued a walk to Olson and that set up Ozuna to come to the plate with multiple runners on for the second time in three innings. However, for the second time Nola struck out Ozuna to strand the runners.
The Phillies wasted no time tying the game back up as Castellanos homered on the second pitch of the inning. The inning snowballed from there as the Phillies got Marsh and Turner on in front of the dangerous Harper. And Harper absolutely smoked a three-run bomb deep into the right field seats. Elder then allowed a single to Bohm and walked Stott to end his night.
Michael Tonkin was the first to come out the Braves bullpen, and got the assignment of J.T. Realmuto with men on base. Realmuto cashed in with a clutch double to score two more runs and give Philadelphia a 6-1 lead and Citizens Bank Park was VERY loud.
After the long inning Nola came back out and once again mowed down the d’Arnaud-Rosario-Arcia trio. Tonkin was back out for the bottom of the fourth and Marsh promptly hit an opposite field double. Once the lineup got back to Schwarber for a third time, Snit went to the lefty Brad Hand. He came through with some big pitches, throwing a couple of great sliders to strikeout Schwarber and Turner and strand a runner at third base.
In the top of the fifth inning Acuña Jr. got his second hit of the game and then stole second base to give Riley a chance to push a run across. Unfortunately, Riley hit a fly ball that died in the glove of Castellanos on the warning track.
Once again, Hand was out for the start of the inning and he too was unable to keep Bryce Harper in the ballpark. Harper’s second home run of the game was a solo shot just out of the reach of MH2. Both Harper’s home runs came with a vicious stare down.
After a couple more guys got on base, AJ Smith-Shawver finally came into the game and got the Braves through the inning with a 7-1 deficit still in tact. The Braves was finally got Nola out the game with an Ozuna single and Rob Thompson bringing in the lefty for Rosario. Snit pinch hit with Pillar who worked an excellent walk.
The Braves finally scratched across another run in the sixth when Arcia singled off Strahm to make it 7-2. However, once again the Phillies answered right back, this time via a Trea Turner home run to make it 8-2. Smith-Shawver tried to get through one final inning but back-to-back homers forced Snit to go get the 20 year-old rookie. It was Daysbel Hernandez to spell the last three outs, which he did so successfully.
Michael Lorenzen came out for the final three outs for Philadelphia. He did walk Albies and surrender a hit to Riley, but he got out of the inning unscathed and polished off a 10-2 victory for Philadelphia. One of the most dominant Braves offense’s are now on the brink of elimination.
Pitchers of Record
W: PHI: Aaron Nola, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
L: ATL: Bryce Elder: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
PHI: Harper 2 (3), Castellanos 2 (2), Turner (1), Marsh (1)
Michael Tonkin: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Brad Hand: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
AJ Smith-Shawver: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Daysbel Hernandez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
October 10th, 2023 @ PHI 5:07 PM EST