MLB playoffs 2023: Diamondbacks eliminate Dodgers, Phillies take 2-1 lead over Braves in NLDS Game 3s

The D-backs are moving on to the NLCS. The Phillies will look to punch their ticket in Thursday's Game 4.

It was a longball party Wednesday in Philadelphia, as the Phillies clobbered six home runs — tying the record for most in a game in MLB postseason history — en route to a 10-2 Game 3 demolishing of the Braves and a 2-1 lead in this NLDS. They'll have a chance to clinch their ticket for an NLCS return at home in Thursday's Game 4.

It was arguably even more of a longball party later on in Arizona. The Diamondbacks slugged four homers in one inning — setting an MLB postseason record — en route to a 4-2 victory and a 3-0 series sweep, sending them on to the NLCS for the first time since 2007 and the Dodgers home for a long winter.

No. 2 Los Angeles Dodgers at No. 6 Arizona Diamondbacks, Game 3: D-backs 4, Dodgers 2 (Arizona wins 3-0)

Game summary:

The Diamondbacks have ended the Dodgers’ season. They didn’t make it look particularly difficult.

After steamrolling Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 and pouncing on Bobby Miller in Game 2, the D-backs made history against Lance Lynn (more on that below), getting all the runs they would need in the third inning and further pushing the Dodgers’ pitching staff into ignominy for the series. Per Elias Sports Bureau, no team has ever received fewer innings from its starting pitchers in the first three games of a series than the 4⅔ contributed by Dodgers starters in this NLDS.

Up 4-0 after their third-inning onslaught, the D-backs got 4⅓ innings with only two hits and no runs allowed from rookie Brandon Pfaadt. The Arizona bullpen mostly kept the Dodgers down from there, with the lone exception being four straight two-out singles that scored two runs in the seventh inning.

Unfortunately for L.A., four singles in an inning aren’t worth as much as four home runs.

Key moment:

It was actually a series of moments in the third inning, as the Diamondbacks became the first team ever to hit four home runs in one inning of postseason play. The first three homers came from Geraldo Perdomo, Ketel Marte and Christian Walker.

Perhaps the most emphatic was the last of the bunch. Gabriel Moreno hit a ball that was initially called a home run, then overturned to a foul ball. No matter. On the very next pitch he saw, Moreno hit another home run — for real this time.

Impact player:

Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. For all the wrong reasons.

Two players who will likely finish in the top four in NL MVP voting contributed nothing on offense for the third straight game. They finished the series a combined 1-for-21, with the lone hit being a Freeman infield single.

The low point came in the eighth inning Wednesday, when Kolten Wong worked a leadoff walk with Betts and then Freeman due up as the potential tying run. Both struck out against D-backs reliever Kevin Ginkel, taking the Dodgers’ last hope of a comeback with them.

What’s next?

The 100-win Dodgers are out of the playoffs, and the Arizona Diamondbacks are on to the NLCS. They’ll have four days off before facing the winner of Phillies-Braves in Game 1 on Monday.

No. 1 Atlanta Braves at No. 4 Philadelphia Phillies, Game 3: Phillies 10, Braves 2 (Philadelphia leads 2-1)

Game summary:

What might've seemed like a pitchers’ game in the first two innings quickly turned into a home run derby in the bottom of the third. Nick Castellanos got things started for Philly with a leadoff homer to tie the game 1-1 after the Braves had scored on a Ronald Acuña Jr. double and Ozzie Albies single in the top half of the inning.

Then, after singles from Brandon Marsh and Trea Turner, Bryce Harper proceeded to hit a three-run shot that put Philadelphia ahead 4-1. Two batters later, the Phillies knocked Braves starter Bryce Elder out of the game. Reliever Michael Tonkin inherited Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott and was tasked with getting the final out of the inning. He instead conceded an RBI double to J.T. Realmuto that made it 6-1.

The next two frames passed largely without incident until Harper launched his second home run of the game into center field in the fifth. 7-1 Philadelphia.

Atlanta responded feebly, with an RBI single from Orlando Arcia that cut Philadelphia’s lead to 7-2 in the sixth. But the Phillies got the run back on a Turner home run to center field in the bottom of the inning and then tacked on two more homers from Castellanos and Marsh in the eighth, making it 10-2 and sending the Phillies faithful into pandemonium.

Key moment:

The Phillies’ six-run third inning both gave the team the lead and all but put things out of reach for the Braves. The key blow was the three-run homer from Harper that plated Turner and Marsh.

With that swing, Harper changed the tenor of the ballpark – igniting the crowd to maximum volume – and essentially ended Elder’s night, even though manager Brian Snitker left him in for a couple more batters.

Impact player:

The one and only Bryce Harper. A bona fide postseason force, Harper put his stamp on Game 3 early, with the three-run shot that made the game the Phillies’ to lose. He made his presence known again in the fifth, with the towering homer to center, and he came close to a third home run with a deep flyout in the bottom of the sixth.

Bryce Harper headshot
Bryce Harper
1B - PHI - #3
Two homers in game 3

With the two home runs, Harper set the record for homers in NLDS history, with 10 in his career (passing Braves great Chipper Jones) in just 26 games. Game 3 was the first multihomer postseason game of Harper's career. He also now has the third-most home runs in Phillies playoff history, with nine — in just his second postseason with the team.

What’s next?

Game 4 begins at 8:07 p.m. ET Thursday in Philadelphia. The Phillies will send Ranger Suárez to the mound, looking to clinch this series and a return trip to the NLCS, while the Braves, who will give the ball to Spencer Strider in a must-win situation, are trying to send this NLDS back to Atlanta for a Game 5 on Saturday.