Phillies celebrate Game 4 win
Nick Castellanos stood on the dugout steps and couldn't help but smile as he looked around and acknowledged the fans at Citizens Bank Park. Moments earlier, he hit his second homer of the night, and fourth in two days, to lift the Phillies to a series-clinching 3-1 victory over the Braves in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. 
"Whenever you see that many people giving you an acknowledgment in a positive favor, I mean, there's not really a lot of words that are going to be able to capture that feeling, but it's special," Castellanos said.
The victory puts the Phillies back in the National League Championship Series, allowing for a pennant defense against the upstart Diamondbacks who completed a three-game sweep of the heavily favored Dodgers earlier this week. 
Castellanos is the first player in postseason history with back-to-back multi-homer games. 
For a player that never quite found himself last year, he seems quite comfortable now in Philadelphia.

"I enjoyed it last year, even though I didn't perform well," Castellanos said. "I enjoyed the postseason last year because I was grateful that I had the opportunity to play. This year, I feel like just me being in a more comfortable spot, all the extra energy that comes with playoff baseball, I'm able to channel it better."

Ranger Suarez, who worked as an opener in Game 1 of the series, had a longer leash on Thursday and pitched beautifully, surrendering just one run over five innings. His lone blemish came on a pitch down in the zone in the fourth that Austin Riley poked just over the fence in left field to give Atlanta a 1-0 advantage. 
"There was really no plan for Ranger," said skipper Rob Thomson. "We were just going to go watch what was happening and see where we were at in the lineup. And once we got to the third time through at the top of the lineup -- and he pitched great, and he had tons of pitches left. But we just decided to go to Seranthony and go from there."
Castellanos erased the lead in the bottom of the frame, launching a solo shot into the leftfield seats to even the contest. Trea Turner chipped in with a solo shot in the fifth, ultimately the game-winner. 

The Phillies had Spencer Strider weaving in and out of trouble all night, but Castellanos delivered the fatal shot in the sixth, blasting Strider's 96th pitch - a 100 mph fastball - about a dozen rows into the seats in left. The blast turned out to be final blow and gave the Phillies a two-run advantage, 3-1. 
"When we were 16, 17 years old, playing for Team USA, he did the same stuff," said a drenched Bryce Harper in a rowdy and wet clubhouse following the win. "In the biggest tournaments, on the biggest stage, that's Nick Castellanos. And that's why he's here."

Johan Rojas, who was hitless in the NLDS, showcased his value with the glove on a terrific running catch in front of the angled wall in left-center in the seventh, thwarting what could have been a bases-clearing hit by Ronald Acuna Jr. and the catalyst for a potential return visit to Atlanta for a winner-take-all Game 5. 
"I was playing a little middle away towards right field.," Rojas said. "Again, I knew he was a good hitter, but again when I was tracking the ball down, I took my eyes off the ball because I wanted to check where the wall was. And, again, we get ready for moments like that. That's what we play for. I knew I had to catch that ball."

Turner finished 4-for-4 with a homer, a double, and two singles. Castellanos was 3-for-3 with the two dingers and a single. 

The Phillies bullpen combined to toss four scoreless innings, surrendering four walks and two hits. Matt Strahm inherited runners on the corners in the ninth with nobody out, but got out of the jam to secure the save.
"This is the stuff you dream of as little kids," said Strahm. "I can’t tell you how many at-bats in the front yard where it’s (a) 3-2 (count) with the World Series on the line."

Harper encountered a scary moment in the eighth as Matt Olsen's knee collided with his right elbow on a play at first base. Harper did return to play the ninth inning and said mid-celebration that he's fine. 

"Winning teams find ways to win at all costs, right?" Harper said. "That's a really, really good team over there. I've got so much respect for the Atlanta Braves as an organization, the way they go about it, the way they play. They've got a great lineup one through nine."
The NLCS will open Monday with Game 1 at Citizens Bank Park.

"We haven't gotten quite to the next level yet because our ultimate goal is to win the World Series. It wasn't to make the postseason or to beat the Braves," said J.T. Realmuto. "That stuff is fun and we're going to celebrate it, but this team is built to win the World Series. We've still got more work to do."

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