I feel crapshot.

The Phillies put up 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd and never looked back, eliminating the Braves 3 games to 1 and moving on to the NLCS. Charlie Morton was nailed in the pitching elbow by Alec Bohm leading off the 2nd, and went on to allow another single and a 3-run homer by Brandon Marsh before escaping the inning. Charlie was x-rayed between innings, and it came back negative, but he was pulled before completing his 3rd inning warmups.

The usually reliable bullpen wasn’t much help either. In the 4th, Collin McHugh gave up an inside-the-park home run to J.T. Realmuto, Michael Harris hoping for the catch in deepest left-center, but the ball caromed on the fly off the cutout of the fence and back past Harris back into centerfield. There is some debate if Realmuto could have been held at 3rd if Ronald Acuna had been quicker backing up the play, but I think it’s doubtful. It’s been hinted Ronald’s knee is bothering him than made public. I’m optimistic we will see a new Ronald next season.

In the 6th, the Phillies touched A.J. Minter and Raisel Iglesias for 4 singles, a hit-by-pitch, and 3 more runs. Kenley Jansen gave up a solo homer to Bryce Harper in the 8th to conclude the scoring. Only Dylan Lee managed to get through his appearance without allowing a run, shutting down the Phils in the 7th.

The Braves got some long-awaited long balls, but that was about all they got. Orlando Arcia, Matt Olson, and Travis d’Arnaud all hit solo home runs, but the Braves could tack on only a single from Arcia otherwise. The Braves struck out 15 times.

The Phillies were the better team this week. The Braves will have to be content with 101 wins and their 5th consecutive NL East title. Topics will be cussed and discussed all through the winter, but the window is wide open to roll the dice again for the next several years.

At the Nationals, Thursday, March 30th.