Braves Fall to Phillies As Historic Season Ends Painfully (UPDATED)

The Atlanta Braves had hopes of a World Series title this season, boosted by a storied regular season with the most wins of any major league baseball club.

But those hopes came crashing down Thursday night in Philadelphia, as the Braves lost to the Phillies 3-1, never able to find their way out of the offensive and defensive wilderness they seemed to be stuck in since the teams met in Truist Park in Game One last Saturday.

The Phillies will now go to the National League Championship Series to meet the Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Braves head home to face an offseason of questions, hand-wringing, and strategizing over what kind of team the Braves will be next season.

With Spencer Strider on the mound, the Braves saw numerous chances to ward off an aggressive Phillies offense but were never able to seize any momentum for long. Only Austin Riley delivered any measurable Braves offense, a solo home run in the fourth inning.

But the Phillies, backed by a packed crowd of loud and boisterous fans, stayed on defense. Holding the Braves to that sole run, while Phillies’ offense tacked on three runs from Trea Turner, and two from Nick Castellanos. Their pitching (Ranger Suarez, 5 innings, along with 5 others including former Brave Craig Kimbrel) kept the Braves bats silent till the last out at the bottom of the ninth.

After the defeat, the Braves came to a joyless and champagne-less locker room (the polar opposite of the Phillies locker room), where they faced questions from local reporters about an ending to the Braves season nobody inside that locker room wanted.

“As a team, we failed,” said Braves pitcher A.J. Minter to the Atlanta sports press corps. “We gotta come back. The goal every year is to win a World Series and we can do that.”

“They outplayed us,” said Matt Olson, about the Phillies. “They outplayed us last year. They outplayed us this year.” He added that Phillies’ clutch hitting and consistent pitching helped them prevail over the Braves in postseason.

“I’m disappointed.” Said pitcher Strider, who went 5 innings. “We are not a group that makes excuses, I personally don’t make excuses. I’m sure there are a lot of fans out there that aren’t happy, they have every right to be that way. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.”

Ronald Acuna, Jr. who went hitless on this game, left the Braves’ locker room without saying anything to the press, according to WSB TV’s Alison Mastrangelo, WXIA’s Maria Martin and The Athletic’s Jeff Shultz, all on X (formerly Twitter.)

The Phillies and Braves have long since been rivals, but the Braves hoped to get some measure of revenge against the team that knocked them out of postseason play last year in ironically similar fashion. Counting this past NLDS series, the Braves are 7 for 15 against the Phillies.

But the games that count, are sending the Braves home early again in postseason, going 1 of 3 in this season’s NLDS. And that loss caps a regular season filled with historical accomplishments that will be noted in the baseball history books.

“This year was a phenomenal year for our club,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker after the game. “It didn’t end the way we wanted, but it doesn’t always do that in this game.”

Note: this story is updated with quotes. 8: 38 am 10/13/23.

NLDS Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies: Game 4 By The Numbers

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 0βœ…
Phillies 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 X 3βœ… 10βœ… 1

Pitching: W: Ranger Suarez 1-0, 1.04 ERAβœ… | L: Spencer Strider 0-2; 2.84 ERA | S: Matt Strahm 1