The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the NLDS in a lopsided 10-2 victory. The Phillies had contributions from a multitude of players including Aaron Nola, Nick Castellanos, J.T. Realmuto and Trea Turner. The biggest and perhaps most impactful contributions came off the bat of Bryce Harper as he mashed two home runs and amassed a total of four RBI.
The Phillies' first baseman's three-run home run in the third inning changed the tide of the game. The shot, which landed in the second deck in right field, gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead and got the fans at Citizen's Bank Park roaring.
Harper's play on the field speaks for itself. He goes 110 percent all of the time. It doesn't matter if the Phillies are up big or down big, he never lets up. He is the prototypical Philadelphia athlete. In his postgame interview, Harper let Phillies fans know how he feels about playing in Philadelphia.
"There's nothing like coming into The Bank and playing in front of these fans, Harper said in his open and emotionally honest post-game press conference. "Blue collar mentality, tough, fighting every single day. I get chills, man."
"I love this place. I signed here for a reason: to do everything I could to bring back a trophy to this town, to Mr. Middleton, to this organization," Harper continued. "I get chills thinking about it because that's what it's all about. I absolutely love this place."
Harper's decision to sign in Philly turned out to be a win-win
Harper has made it clear in the past that he loves playing in Philadelphia, so it may not come as a surprise that Harper has enjoyed his time here. He has embraced many aspects of the club and the city. He wears Phanatic cleats, supports the other Philadelphia sports teams and has helped draw other free agents to sign with the Phillies.
The Harpers put their faith in the Phillies' franchise and the city when they signed a 13-year mega deal prior to the 2019 season. He did his research and had discussions with multiple clubs before making his long-awaited decision. One of the biggest aspects of a new city for Harper was a place he could envision raising his family. His comments on Wednesday night reaffirmed that he made the right decision.
Philadelphia has to feel the same way about Harper. When he was signed, the trajectory of the Phillies' franchise changed for the better. His signing showed fans that John Middleton and ownership were dedicated to winning. Since adding Harper to the club, the Phillies have re-signed Realmuto and signed big-name free agents such as Turner, Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos.
They've also made the playoffs the past two seasons. The team has had the most success that it has in a decade, and much of that can be attributed to Harper coming to Philadelphia.
The fans appreciate the number of clutch at-bats and big hits he has had in red pinstripes. Harper's comments about the city and the fans confirm that Philadelphia is a great place to play if an athlete has the right attitude. The relationship between Harper and the city is still relatively young, but it's not a stretch to say that he is already one of the area's favorite athletes to ever play in the City of Brotherly Love.