7 bright spots from the Phillies' 2023 season

While the season ended on a low note for the Phillies, there were plenty of high points during 2023.
Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Atta-boy, Harper

Game 2 of the National League Division Series ended with Bryce Harper getting doubled up at first base on a long fly ball after a great play by center fielder Michael Harris II.

In the clubhouse after his team's win, Atlanta Braves shortstop Orlando Arcia decided it would be a good idea to go around the room full of reporters saying, "Atta-boy, Harper."

Fast-forward to Game 3 in Philadelphia and it was clear early that the players had heard their opponent's taunting.

Atlanta took a 1-0 lead to the bottom of the third, but it didn't last long. After Castellanos led off the inning with a game-tying home run, Harper stepped into the batter's box with two on and two out. Four pitches later, the Phillies had a 4-1 lead.

While he rounded second base, Harper made sure to give Arcia a glance:

In his next at-bat in the bottom of the fifth, Harper added another one that was just out of reach of Harris in center field to extend the lead to 7-1. And he made sure to let Arcia know, yet again, that his comments were heard and not appreciated as he rounded the bases:

In the postgame press conference, Harper relayed what his teammates said to him before the game: “My teammates, they just kind of told me [what he said]. They looked at me, and they were like, 'What are you going to do?'"

Taijuan Walker knew everyone was in for something special, according to Matt Gelb of The Athletic: "He's built for these moments. We all knew when he showed up and didn't say a word. He was just locked in from right when he showed up. We just said, 'OK. He's going to do something crazy today.' And he did it twice. He almost did it three times."

Besides a 10-2 Game 3 win and a 2-1 series lead, one of the best pictures in the history of the sport came out of the matchup.