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Bryce Harper after homering in the eighth inning of the Phillies' NLDS clinching game against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, Oct. 15. Photo: Getty Images.

Phillies head to the NLCS after beating the Braves 8-3 in Game 4 of the NLDS in Philly

The second playoff game in Philadelphia in 11 years brought an upset of the reigning World Series champs.

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The Philadelphia Phillies are back in the National League Championship series for the first time since 2010 after ousting the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves in Game Four of the National League Division series.

Like they had all series, where they came in as serious underdogs, the Phillies had runners on base in almost every inning at the plate, and the scoring started early with a Brandon Marsh three-run homerun in the bottom of the second to lift the spirits of the Phillies faithful.

The Braves responded in the top of the third as Orlando Arcia hit a solo homer off Phillies starter Noah Syndergaard, but that was the story of the Braves’ offense all game. 

In the bottom of the third, the Phillies took advantage of an outfield misplay off the wall to see catcher and three-hole hitter J.T. Realmuto round the bases for an inside-the-park homerun to make it a 4-1 game before the Braves’ Matt Olson made it 4-2 with another solo homer, this time off Phillies reliever Andrew Bellatti. 

After a quiet fifth, the Phillies added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth with two-out hits from Rhys Hoskins, Realmuto and Bryce Harper with runners in scoring position. The Braves added another solo homerun — this time from Travis D’Arnaud — in the top of the seventh off Jose Alvarado.

Harper added another insurance run with a solo homerun in the bottom of the eighth before Seranthony Dominguez came and closed the defending champs out in the top of the ninth.

With the win, the Phillies will move on to face either the Dodgers or Padres in the National League Championship series. It will also be seven games, meaning Citizen’s Bank Park will be rocking for at least two more games, and potentially more depending on the outcomes.

The Phillies are building quite the comeback story in these playoffs, after getting in by just a game over the Milwaukee Brewers for the National League’s last Wild Card spot. They went to St. Louis and swept the Cardinals in two games of a potential three-game series before finishing off the Braves in four of a potential five-game series.

With the Eagles 5-0, the Sixers looking to start a full season with Joel Embiid and James Harden, and the Flyers starting in winning ways, sports in Philadelphia is definitely at a high point.

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