Bryce Harpers Go Ahead 2-Run Bomb Sends Phillies to World Series
The Phillies were 6 outs away from having to go back to San Diego. After having a lead for much of the game, poor conditions and a wild Seranthony Dominguez gave the lead back to the Padres. The once raucous crowd was suddenly a bit quieter. But then Bryce Harper stepped to the plate. With 1 on, and no outs in the 8th, Harper had a chance to stamp his name into Phillies lore. And he did not disappoint. With one swing he turned a 1 run deficit, into a 1 run lead. And now the Phillies are going to the World Series.
The playoffs have been full of heroic moments for the Phillies. Rhys Hoskins has 5 home runs and 4 of them came in big moments. Kyle Schwarber has a few big-time hits of his own. Jean Segura came up clutch in game 3. But this moment probably tops them all. The spotlight was squarely on Bryce Harper. And even under all that pressure, he came up with the biggest hit of his career. It can’t be understated how great he has been. That is his 5th HR of this postseason, and his 11th extra base hit. The most extra-base hits anyone has ever hit in a single postseason is 14. And now Harper gets at least 4 games to try and beat that.
Of course, the Phillies did not make it easy on us. David Robertson came in, got 1 out, but then walked the next two. The hero of game 3 Ranger Suarez had to come in to finish it out. And that he did. All it took was 2 pitches. Trent Grisham threw down a sacrifice bunt. And 1 pitch later, Austin Nola popped it up. And the celebration began. While the Phillies poured onto the field. Fans poured out into the streets of Philadelphia.
Everything this team went through this year. A change of managers. Multiple injuries to their stars. Multiple prolonged losing stretches. In September it wasn’t even clear if they would hold on to that final playoff spot. But they did. And then they beat the Braves. Now the Padres. The Phillies battled and battled, and now it has paid off. They will be back in the World Series for the first time since they lost to the Yankees in 2009.
The Phillies still await to see who it is they will face in the World Series. But with the Astros up 3-0 heading into tonight, the smart money is for it to be the Astros. They will be underdogs again. The Astros have torn through every team in their path. They are on the verge of sweeping the Yankees, after already sweeping the Mariners. The Astros are probably one of the most complete teams we have seen in Baseball for a long time. But this team is used to being slept on by now. They have been underdogs in every series. So what is one more series where they have to beat a team everyone else is picking?
Bryce Harper said it himself after the NLDS. “We Aint Losing.” He delivered on that promise in the NLCS. And now Bryce gets a chance to keep delivering on that in the World Series.