It would be an understatement to say Rhys Hoskins has had a smooth month of October. He came under fire for hitting just .226 over the last month of the season, and his defense made headlines multiple times for the wrong reasons. 

Yes, the Phillies could look to upgrade at first base in the offseason, but Hoskins stamped his mark in Phillies' lure on Saturday night in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, crushing a pair of two-run homers, including a blast to even the contest in the fifth. 

The Phillies' offense overpowered the Padres bullpen en route to an impressive 10-6 victory, meaning Philadelphia could clinch a spot in the World Series with a win on Sunday. 

"I have an appreciation for baseball history, but more so an appreciation for Phillies history" Hoskins said. "Being in the postseason, there's a lot of talk about how it's gone in the past here, which is awesome. It's great experience. It's great stories to hear and draw back on. But yeah, humbling for sure, an honor."

Starter Bailey Falter hadn't pitched in a game in over two weeks, so the expectation Saturday was that he would record about ten outs before Phillies manager Rob Thomson would turn to the bullpen. Unfortunately, the Padres chased him before he could complete an inning, surrendering four runs on three hits and a walk. 

The raucous sellout crowd fell almost silent, staring down a 4-0 deficit, but as lousy as Falter was, San Diego's Mike Clevinger was worse. The right-hander failed to record an out in the first inning and allowed three runs on a walk, a single, a double, and a two-run homer. 

The first inning lasted 48 minutes, with both starters combining to record just two outs while surrendering seven runs on six hits and five walks. Of the 39 pitches they threw, just 24 were strikes. The two outs marked a record for the fewest combined outs by a pair of opposing starters in postseason history. 

Nick Castellanos, who entered Saturday hitting just .206 this postseason, opened the fourth with a double off Sean Manaea and Bryson Stott followed later in the frame with a single to left to push Castellanos across the plate to even the contest, 4-4. 

Juan Soto connected for his first homer of the postseason in the fifth, crushing a Brad Hand slider deep into the seats in right field, giving the Padres a 6-4 lead. 

Hoskins' second homer evened the contest and set the stage for Bryce Harper to drive in J.T. Realmuto with the go-ahead run via a double later in the fifth. Castellanos followed with a single to push Harper across for insurance. 

Kyle Schwarber murdered another ball in the sixth for his third homer of the NLCS; Realmuto jumped on the homer train with a solo blast in the seventh. 

With the exception of Hand, the Phillies' bullpen was outstanding in picking up for Falter, with Connor Brogdon, Noah Syndergaard, Andrew Bellatti, and David Robertson combining to throw 6 2/3 scoreless innings while scattering four hits and collecting seven strikeouts. 

"The bullpen did an unbelievable job to hold that thing in check," Thomson said. "I know [Brogdon] comes in and gives up a soft hit to [Ha-Seong] Kim, and Brad [Hand] hung a breaking ball to [Juan] Soto, but other than that, they did an unbelievable job."

Zach Eflin tossed a clean ninth to close things out. 

The Phillies are now one win away from the World Series; what some thought to be an improbable run could continue onto baseball's greatest stage.  

"I don't think any of us are in shock, but to stand here and say that we're grateful and understand that this opportunity is huge" Harper said. "We're one of the last teams playing right now, and it's really cool to see that. When you look at the scoreboard and you see two more, and you look at the scoreboard and nobody's playing that day, just you, you're grateful for the opportunity to be here."
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