When the National League Division Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves began a week ago, nobody really knew what to expect. Well, except that a rematch of last year's NLDS between these two division rivals would be intense.
Boy, did they ever deliver. The series didn't go the full five games, which is unfortunate for baseball fans (can you even imagine a winner-take-all elimination Game 5 between these two teams?) but probably good for Phillies fans' heart health and blood pressure.
The Phillies got the job done in four games, and there was more than enough drama and emotion stuffed into and between the games in this epic matchup that unfolded over six days.
But what were the biggest moments of the series? Which events shaped and defined this NLDS and will remain frozen in time in our collective memory?
For this exercise we'll be looking at three moments, not necessarily in order of importance, but in the order that tells the story of this epic struggle to which we all bore witness.
Moment No. 1: The double play
The double play. You probably don't need any more information than that to know which play this is.
Let's set the scene. Game 2 in Atlanta. Top of the ninth. One out. The visiting Phillies, up 1-0 in the series, had just squandered a 4-0 lead and were making a last-ditch effort to tie the game. With Bryce Harper on first, what happened next left Phillies fans with their jaws on the floor in disbelief and the crowd at Truist Park in celebratory ecstasy.
In the most shocking turn of events of the series, after a leaping Michael Harris II caught Nick Castellanos' drive to deep center, Bryce Harper, who went too far around second base, got doubled off first to end the game. An instant playoff classic moment.
It was the first time that a double play started by an outfielder had been turned in postseason history.
It evened the series at one game apiece and gave the Braves life and energy they had previously lacked through most of the first two games.
This play turned out horribly for the Phillies, who, mere innings before, had looked to be in complete control and on their way to a 2-0 series stranglehold. But more importantly, it set in motion a chain of events that would lead to one of the most emotional and legacy-defining moments in Philadelphia baseball history.