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Bryce Harper homers, Phillies Beat Slugging Braves 3-0 In Game 1 Of NLDS


Bryce Harper enjoys this season the most.

Ranger Suárez and a group of aggressive Philadelphia relievers are having fun as well.

The Phillies defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-0 in Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Saturday night thanks to a five-hitter from Suárez, Harper’s 12th career playoff home run, and a half-dozen more teammates. This victory saw the Phillies suffocate baseball’s most prolific offense.

The 104-win Braves are in the same spot they were a year ago in a playoff rematch between division rivals: behind the Phillies after the first game at Truist Park.

The Phillies defeated the Braves 3-1 in 2022 to advance to the unlikely World Series. They are now back on their feet as the best-of-five series’ Game 2 is set to begin Monday night in Atlanta.

Harper was in the thick of things as usual. In the sixth inning, a liner off 20-game winner Spencer Strider into the right-field seats gave the Phillies some breathing room. He reached base in each of his four at-bats.

With 307 home runs and an average of more than 5.8 runs per game, the Braves offense tied the major league record.

They failed to score in their first postseason game, suffering their first shutout since May 12 and their first at Truist Park this season. Since the 2001 Mariners, they became the first club to lead the league in runs scored and lose their opening postseason game.

Bryson Stott, the star of the wild-card series, broke the tie in the fourth with a run-scoring single, bringing in Harper with an unearned run following an errant pickoff throw by Strider.

By hitting a deep ball off Spencer, who was previously 8-0 with a 1.90 ERA against the Phillies but fell to 0-2 against them in the postseason, Harper increased the lead all by himself.

When the Phillies added their final run in the eighth thanks to catcher interference against Sean Murphy, the situation became ugly. When the bases were loaded and J.T. Realmuto fouled off a pitch, his bat just missed Murphy’s glove and forced in a run.

There was a brief delay when a few spectators threw debris on the field after the call was reviewed and upheld.

Snitker and Murphy were unfazed by the decision, and the Braves manager lashed out at the spectators who clogged the outfield.

After Trea Turner’s diving stop on Ozzie Albies‘ crisp grounder resulted in an inning-ending double play in the bottom half of the first, a substantial portion of the 43,689 spectators — the largest attendance in Truist Park’s seven-year existence — started making their way out of the stadium.

In 3 2/3 innings, Suárez only gave up one hit. Despite this, the Phillies swiftly turned to their bullpen at the first indication of problems because there was an off day in between the first and second games.

Suárez departed the mound slowly, obviously irritated about being lifted so fast, but according to Thomson, the lefty became more composed after hearing Philadelphia’s plan.

In order to secure the victory, Jeff Hoffman struck out Michael Harris II with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. By striking the side in the fifth inning, Seranthony Dominguez managed to avoid two hits, including a called third strike on MVP front-runner Ronald Acua Jr. with runners on first and third.

The Braves were held down for the remainder of the game by Jose Alvarado, youngster Orion Kerkering, Matt Strahm, and Craig Kimbrel, who also recorded a save against his first major league opponent.

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