SAN DIEGO (WPVI) — Bryce Harper hit another homer, Kyle Schwarber hit a stunning 488-foot drive and Zack Wheeler was brilliant at throwing a one-hit ball for seven innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies 2-0 to the San Diego on Tuesday night Leading Padres to open the All -Wild Card NL Championship Series.
Wheeler and two relievers combined for a one-hitter for Philadelphia. The Phillies managed just three hits ahead of Yu Darvish and the San Diego bullpen — the combined four hits were the fewest ever scored in a postseason game.
The Phillies will look to take a 2-0 lead when they send Aaron Nola to the mound against Blake Snell on Wednesday afternoon. Nola will face off against his brother, Padres catcher Austin Nola.
The Padres, who eliminated the Los Angeles Dodgers with 111 wins in the NLDS, had just four baserunners, including a single by Wil Myers in the fifth. Still, in the ninth game against José Alvarado, they had a chance to win.
Jurickson Profar pulled a one-out walk and Juan Soto reached when third baseman Alec Bohm made an erroneous throw and attempted a power. Manny Machado flew out and Alvarado beat Josh Bell to the save, looking up at the sky and clapping after taking out the final.
Harper, attempting to make his first World Series, hit a high arc, opposite field shot into the front row in left field, with one missing in fourth. It was the fourth home run this postseason for Harper, who is playing for the first time in San Diego since his left thumb was fractured when he was hit by a Blake Snell pitch on June 25, which sidelined him for two months.
Harper hit a homered in his third straight postseason game. The two-time NL MVP, who won the award last year, has hit nine home runs in 26 postseason games.
Schwarber’s incredible shot on Darvish’s first pitch of sixth had an exit speed of 119.7 mph and was the first to hit the upper deck of right field at Petco Park, which opened in 2004. It was the furthest of his career and the furthest at Petco in the Statcast era, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
Schwarber raised his right arm as he circled the first base, and Harper stood in the dugout, mouth agape.
It was the last impressive home runs for the Phillies, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2011. The latter won the World Series in 2008. They’ve hit eight home runs in seven games this postseason.
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Harper joined Gary Matthews (1983) as the only player in franchise history to homer in three consecutive postseason games in the same year. Harper hit a homer in the wild card series win in St. Louis and two in the going 8 for 16 as the Phillies eliminated defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.
Rhys Hoskins had an epic bat spike on a monster homer against the Braves, and JT Realmuto became the first catcher in postseason history to hit a home run in the park.
The Phillies at times stunned Petco Park, where a sell-out crowd of 44,826 heated up for the Padres’ first NLCS appearance since 1998. At 5:04 p.m., it was 78 degrees on the first pitch, a big change from Saturday night’s rainstorm during the Padres’ 5-3 clear win in the NLDS.
But Wheeler had completely thrown the Padres off balance, allowing Juan Soto only a one-out walk in the first and then retiring 12 straight batters until Myers busted with an out in the fifth. Wheeler then retired his last eight batters. He hit eight and walked one for 83 pitches.
Seranthony Dominguez ended up in a perfect eighth place.
Darvish took the loss, allowing two runs and three hits in seven innings while striking seven and walking one.
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Phillies backup C Garrett Stubbs, who played at San Diego’s Torrey Pines High and then USC, is in his third LCS and trying to reach his second straight World Series. This is his second LCS at Petco Park. He caught the final inning of the Houston Astros’ Game 7 loss to Tampa Bay in the 2020 ALCS in the San Diego bubble. He caught the ninth inning of Game 6 of the Houston World Series loss to Atlanta last year. Stubbs was traded to the Phillies in the offseason. Stubbs said he left 23 tickets for family and friends.
REMEMBRANCE OF JERRY COLEMAN
The four Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets in the pregame flyover were from the VMFA-323 Death Rattlers, one of the squadrons that Jerry Coleman, second baseman for the defunct New York Yankees and Padres broadcasters, served with in World War II and flew in Korea. Coleman also managed the Padres in 1980.
Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25 ERA regular season; 2-0, 0.00 postseason) and Padres LHP Blake Snell (8-10, 3.38 ERA regular season; 1-0, 3.12 postseason) are scheduled to start Game 2 on Wednesday Afternoon. Nola’s brother Austin is the Padres’ catcher. Austin Nola’s younger brother’s RBI single led the Padres to a 1-0 win over the Phillies at Petco Park on June 24.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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https://6abc.com/philadelphia-phillies-game-1-san-diego-padres-nlcs-series/12343769/ NLCS Phillies-Padres: Philadelphia defeats San Diego to take 1-0 lead in series