Phillies vs. Padres: Mike Clevinger, Bailey Falter make wrong kind of MLB history with short starts in Game 4

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The Padres and Phillies squared off in NLCS Game 4 on Saturday night, and with it came baseball history. Dubious history, but history nonetheless. The wild back-and-forth affair would end up a 10-6 Phillies victory, meaning they have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. 

The first inning really set the tone for a wild night.

It started so innocently. Phillies starter Bailey Falter recorded outs on the first two hitters he faced. Then Manny Machado went deep to get the scoring started. 

It was a harbinger. Here’s what happened next in the inning:

  • Josh Bell followed with a single and then Jake Cronenworth drew a walk before Brandon Drury drove them both home with a double. Just like that, it was 3-0 Padres and Falter was being removed from the game. He lasted just 2/3 of an inning, and keep that in mind moving forward. 
  • Ha Seong Kim greeted new starter Connor Brogdon with a single, bringing Drury home for a 4-0 Padres lead. 
  • In the bottom of the first, the Phillies didn’t waste any time getting back into the game. Leadoff man Kyle Schwarber, who homered to start the scoring in Game 3, singled to left field to get things started. Then Rhys Hoskins homered to cut San Diego’s lead in half.
  • J.T. Realmuto followed with a walk and then scored on Bryce Harper’s rocket double to right field.
  • And then Padres starter Mike Clevinger was removed. He didn’t even record a single out, which means he pitched zero innings and has an infinite ERA in the series. 

Remember, Falter didn’t get out of the first inning either. The pitchers become the 57th and 58th in history to start a playoff game and not finish the first inning (list here via Stathead). They are the second duo to pull it off in the same game. The other time was Game 4 of the 1932 World Series, when Guy Bush of the Cubs lasted 1/3 of an inning and Johnny Allen of the Yankees went 2/3 of an inning. So Saturday’s NLCS Game 4 marked the first time in MLB playoff history that the two starters combined for less than three outs.

This first inning saw two doubles, two home runs, two pitching changes, seven runs and it took 48 minutes. After the Padres’ loss, Clevinger called Saturday “probably one of the worst days” of his life.

The Phillies didn’t take the lead until the bottom of the fifth inning. The slugfest, in all, gave us 16 runs on 19 hits, including six home runs. 



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