GOOSE, PATRONS: Padres’ season ends with Bryce Harper’s home run
The Padres heading home and no more games.
An improbable surge in the seventh inning wasn’t enough to extend their improbable postseason run.
So, after dousing each other with champagne and beer the previous three weekends, this weekend and this season ended with a 4-3 loss to the Phillies on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon.
The National League championship streak ended in five games when Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer against Robert Suarez in the eighth inning to send the Phillies to the World Series.
Down 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning, the Padres got two hits off Phillies starter Zach Wheeler.
Jake Cronenworth’s single prompted Phillies manager Rob Thomson to come to the mound and remove Wheeler after 85 innings.
Serantani Dominguez, who earned the save with two scoreless innings in the bottom of Game 3 here on Friday, came in and made his third pitch to Josh Bell high and outside and off the glove of catcher JT Realmut as Cronenworth jogged to second base.
Two innings later, Bell sent a 99 mph fastball down the middle of right field to easily score Cronenworth.
Padres manager Bob Melvin replaced Bell with pinch runner Jose Azocar, who went to second when Brandon Drury and Ha-Sung Kim struck out.
But Trent Grisham’s 1-1 pitch bounced off Realmouth and Azocar advanced to third. Dominguez tied the score at 2-2 before another fastball bounced inside and to the wall. Realmuto gave chase and Azocar raced home and slid home well before Realmuto’s high throw went past Dominguez.
Grisham flew out on the next pitch, and the Citizens Bank Park crew ran out onto the field to spread more than two dozen bags of clay on the tracks, on the mound and around the plate.
After the mound was repaired, Yu Darvish warmed up in the bottom of the seventh inning.
In the bullpen outside of center field, Suarez also pitched.
Brandon Marsh lined a full-count slider up the middle of the plate to left field and raced to second base for a leadoff double.
As Stott wiped mud from his pants and the crowd, stunned by the early-inning whispers, cheered again, Melvin came out of the dugout to make the substitution.
Suarez retired the final two batters in the Phillies’ order before throwing three balls to Kyle Schwarber and giving up the next inning with an intentional walk. Rhys Hoskins, whose two-run homer in the third inning gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead, followed with a fly ball to right field that was caught by Juan Soto.
It was Soto who gave life to the Padres and initially calmed the seething ballpark with a solo homer over the center field wall in the fourth inning. That cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1.
As Suarez worked in the eighth, Josh Hader was warming up in the bullpen. Hader hasn’t had more than five strikeouts in a game since 2019.
After Suarez led off the eighth, the Padres had another chance in the ninth against David Robertson. Azocar pinch hitter Will Myers was called out on a 2-2 curveball that appeared to be outside the strike zone, but Robertson walked Drury and Kim.
With Grisham expected to come out, Thomson called up left-hander Ranger Suarez, who started and went five innings Friday in Game 3. Melvin stayed with Grisham, who was hitless in the series, and the slumping center fielder came on in out. Runners took second and third place. That left it to Austin Nole, who singled to right field for the final out.
The Padres finished the regular season 89-73 and clinched the second of three spots in the National League. (Philadelphia was ranked last.)
The Padres opened the postseason by taking two of three in New York from the Mets in the wild-card series, then swept the Dodgers in three games to win the NL Division Series.
It was their first time in the NLCS since 1998.