MLB championship series Saturday – Highlights, scores, takeaways

The 2022 MLB Playoffs are now limited to just four teams, each competing for a spot in this year’s World Series.

The American League Championship Series moved to the Bronx for Game 3 but saw similar results as the Houston Astros brought the New York Yankees to the brink of elimination with a 5-0 win on Saturday.

After splitting their first two games in San Diego, the Philadelphia Phillies have won both home games against the San Diego Padres. Game 4 on Saturday started wildly as both teams combined seven runs in the first inning. The game went back and forth until the Phillies unleashed the big bats and broke it up with a four-run fifth inning.

More: Who Has the NLCS Advantage? Padres Phillies Predictions | Who will rule the ALCS? Yankees Astros Predictions | Bracket, results and more

Astros leads the series 3-0

The Astros are a monster juggernaut that seems hard to stop. The depth of Houston’s rotation shone Saturday night when Cristian Javier finished the Yankees’ lineup over the course of 5⅓ innings, conceding just one hit while going three and striking five. Houston saw contributions from both the top and bottom of the lineup, with the bulk of the Astros’ RBIs coming from their bottom three: Trey Mancini, Christian Vazquez and Chas McCormick, who headed in the second inning with a double homer and capitalized on one Field error that resulted from a miscommunication.

Meanwhile, New York’s offense looked lifeless, managing just three hits all night. While Yankees ace Gerrit Cole looked sharp in the early innings — the lone runs undeserved after Harrison Bader’s error — things started to fall apart in the sixth when the Astros set the bases over an Alex Bregman double, Kyle Tucker Walk and Yuli Gurriel loaded single. Yankees manager Aaron Boone drafted Cole for Lou Trivino, which allowed all three inherited runners to score. That gave Cole a final set of five runs (three earned), two walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. Given Javier’s performance, Cole had to be in top form and he came up short. – Joon Lee

Astros are piling up

After Mancini hit a sacrificial fly to put Alex Bregman in play, Christian Vazquez hit in two more runs. Houston has never lost a postseason game by scoring five runs or more, according to research from ESPN Stats & Information.

Yankees starter Gerrit Cole Gerrit Cole retired after conceding five runs, which is as many as he’s ever conceded in a postseason appearance.

Yankees error leads to Astro’s home run

After a miscommunication by Yankees outfielders Aaron Judge and Harrison Bader allowed Christian Vazquez on base, Chas McCormick launched a two-run shot to put Houston first on the board. It’s McCormick’s second home run of the series.


Philadelphia Phillies 10, San Diego Padres 6

Phillies lead series 3-1

Being down 4-0 in a playoff game usually feels like the end of the story, especially in this 2022 postseason where runs have been close. But the good news for the Phillies: They had nine innings to make up that deficit after the Padres scored four atop the first — and a star-studded lineup to crush baseballs. And boy did they stomp. Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, JT Realmuto and Nick Castellanos — all free agents who have been part of the Phillies’ spending spree in recent years — each delivered at least two hits or scored at least two runs. Schwarber and Realmuto both scored and Harper drilled two doubles.

But it was the local kid who delivered the two biggest hits of the night. Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first by Mike Clevinger to quickly go 4-2 while the fans were still recovering from that disastrous top of the first, and then equalized with a two-run, 417 , with 6 points from -foot, homer in the fifth inning ahead of Sean Manaea – this time he just threw his bat up in the air instead of slamming it into the ground like he had earlier this postseason.

The odd thing about the home run: Why Padres manager Bob Melvin had left-handed Manaea in play to take on right-handed Hoskins. Struggling with a 6.44 ERA in the second half, Manaea was knocked out of the playoff rotation and made his first postseason appearance. The Padres had a rested bullpen. While using Manaea to start the fifth against left-handers Brandon Marsh and Schwarber made perfect sense, once he went to Schwarber Manaea should have been out of the game as Hoskins and Realmuto were due. Instead, a struggling pitcher – and not one of the Padres’ flame-throwing aides – was left to face the heart of the Phillies Order.

Hoskins hit a homer, Realmuto passed and Harper laced the go-ahead double left center to drive into Realmuto for the go-ahead run. Only then did Melvin finally take out Manaea. At a time when managers now operate with the utmost urgency, it was an odd lack of urgency. Schwarber and Realmuto would add insurance homers. Yes, the Padres aren’t done yet, but they’re on the verge of going Sunday when Zack Wheeler heads for the Phillies with his brilliant seven-inning one-hit effort in Game 1. This series might not make it back San Diego. — David Schoenfeld

Realmuto extends the lead

Schwarber does it again

Hoskins and Harper, oh my god

Soto goes deep

Phillies tie it together

What a start

It was a wild first inning in Game 4 between the Phillies and the Padres as both starting pitchers were drawn for the second time in postseason history.

Phillies lefty Bailey Falter gave up four runs top of the inning while hitting just two outs, while Padres righty Mike Clevinger was sent to the showers bottom in the first without getting anyone out. The result was a seven-run combined inning that saw the Padres lead 4-3.

It was the first time since Game 4 of the 1932 World Series that both starters were drawn this early in a playoff game. — JessRogers

Padres extend their lead

Brandon Drury doubled with Josh Bell and Jake Cronenworth to increase the Padres’ lead to three.

Manny purees one

Manny Machado opens the scoring in Game 4 with a 379-foot solo thingy in the top of the first. It’s his sixth postseason home run as Padre, passing Ken Caminiti for most career playoff homers in franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Information.