Bryce Harper got things started with a solo home run, Kyle Schwarber hit a jaw-dropping, 488-foot blast and Zack Wheeler was brilliant in throwing one-hit ball for seven innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies over the San Diego Padres 2-0 Tuesday night to open the NL Championship Series.
Harper, trying to reach his first World Series, hit a high-arcing, opposite-field shot into the first row in left field with one out in the fourth. It was the fourth home run this postseason for Harper.
Harper homered in his third straight postseason game. The two-time NL MVP, who won the award last year. Schwarber’s incredible shot on Darvish’s first pitch of the sixth had an exit velocity of 119.7 mph and was the first to reach the right field upper deck at Petco Park. It was the farthest in his career and the farthest at Petco in the Statcast Era and gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
Schwarber raised his right arm as he rounded first base and Harper stood in the dugout with his mouth agape in amazement.
Zack Wheeler and two relievers combined on a one-hitter for Philadelphia. The Phillies managed just three hits off Yu Darvish and the San Diego bullpen. The two teams combined for four hits and it matched the fewest ever in a postseason game.
Wheeler had he Padres totally off balance, allowing only a one-out walk to Juan Soto in the first and then retiring 12 straight batters until Myers singled with one out in the fifth. Wheeler then retired his final eight batters. He struck out eight and walked one on 83 pitches. Seranthony Dominguez pitched a perfect eighth.
Darvish took the loss, allowing two runs and three hits in seven innings while striking out seven and walking one.
The Padres had a chance to win in the ninth against José Alvarado. Jurickson Profar drew a one-out walk and Juan Soto reached when third baseman Alec Bohm made an errant throwing trying for a force. Manny Machado flied out and Alvarado struck out Josh Bell for the save, looking skyward and clapping after getting the final out.
Bryce Harper joined Gary Matthews (1983) as the only players in franchise history to homer in three straight postseason games in the same year.
The Phillies will try to take a 2-0 lead when they send Aaron Nola to mound to oppose Blake Snell on Wednesday afternoon.
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