Bryce Harper’s home run sends the Phillies to their first World Series in 13 years.
Bottom of the eighth inning. Padres 3, Phillies 2. No outs. Runner on first base. 2-2 count. Bryce Harper is batting. The rest is history.
When the reigning National League MVP sent a 99 miles-per-hour Robert Suárez fastball to left field, the sea of red in Citizens Bank Park erupted as loud as it ever had. It just might have been the biggest hit in recent Philadelphia Phillies history.
After blowing an early lead in Game 2, the Phillies had lost a bit of their momentum. Yet, instead of letting the series go back to Petco Park, the team played their best baseball of the season and won three consecutive games to send them to the Fall Classic.
Harper’s impact on this series can not be expressed in words. Following the win, he was announced as the NLCS MVP for his strong efforts. He hit a whopping .400 during the series — knocking in three doubles, two home runs, and five RBIs.
Harper has been performing at an otherworldly rate during the entire postseason. His 1.311 OPS during the postseason led all players that made it to the Championship Series. In 11 games played, he has hit five home runs, six doubles and gotten on base more than 44 percent of the time.
For a player who was pinned as a scapegoat during his time with the Washington Nationals, the 2012 Rookie of the Year has proven all doubters wrong. The Nationals won a World Series in 2019, the first year that Harper began playing in red pinstripes. Now, he might be able to join his former teammates by winning a ring of his own.
Harper started to get sappy when he spoke about how much this hit meant for him:
Bryce loves the city he plays for, and it goes without question that Philadelphia loves him back. After working his way back from a broken thumb during the regular season, he has not let it affect him at all during his magical postseason run.
It was an amazing moment for the former highly touted prospect — the situation, player, bat drop, and stare at the crowd while the best fans in baseball brought the house down. A better script could not have been written for him and the Phillies.
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