13 reasons the Phillies are headed to the World Series for the first time in 13 years: Harper, hoagies, more

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PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies are going to the World Series. That phrase was unfathomable five months ago, and would have been hard to fathom at the start of the 2022 MLB playoffs just 16 days ago (Who could have predicted this?). But it’s true. bryce harp he hit the biggest home run of his life on a rainy Sunday afternoon in South Philadelphia and the Phillies beat the Padres in Game 5 of the NLCS.

It’s been a magical run to the NL pennant for a team that was eight games under .500 when the schedule changed to June. So, in honor of the Phillies’ first trip to the World Series in 13 years, let’s go over 13 reasons why they’re here.

1.Bryce Harper

This list can only start at one place. Bryce Harper is the main reason the Phillies are where they are as a team and as a franchise. Harper pulled the Phillies off the path of a failed rebuild when he signed a $330 million contract 42 months ago, leading them to the Fall Classic in his first playoff run with the team.

Harper has been the best hitter on any team in the 2022 playoffs. He showed he was fully healed from a broken thumb suffered in June when he went deep in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series against the Cardinals, and he hasn’t looked behind. He entered Sunday’s game hitting .410/.439/.872 with four home runs and nine RBIs in the Phillies’ first 10 playoff games. He then added two more hits, including the biggest home run of his career.

Rhys Hoskins has eight hits in the 2022 MLB playoffs. Five have been home runs. Three of them have featured some beautiful bat releases.

Let’s first go back to Game 3 of the NLDS, when Braves rookie Spencer Strider picked the wrong time to throw his slowest fastball of the year. Hoskins knew he was gone before he finished his swing and then issued the Bat Spike™️. See him in all the splendor of him:

Then, in Saturday night’s Game 4 win over the Padres, Hoskins hit Sean Manaea deep for his second home run of the game. He answered Juan Soto’s two-run homer earlier in the inning, and two batters later, the Phillies had the lead. Hoskins took a softer approach to his celebration.

He wrapped things up on Sunday, when Hoskins started the score against Padres starter Yu Darvish:

Variety, they say, is the spice of postseason bat eliminations.

3. Kyle Schwarber is hitting titanic blasts

Would you like to read more words? Or would you like to see a replay of Kyle Schwarber hitting a ball 488 feet?

If you liked it, I also recommend this stunning beauty from Game 4:

Schwarber hit three home runs in the NL Championship Series against San Diego after hitting none in the first six games of the playoff streak. And yes, of course, we have a sandwich-related explanation for that power surge.

4. Wawa presented ‘Schwarberfest’

Wawa, the provider of the best gas station hoagies in the country, has played a major role in this race to the World Series. Obviously. The Philadelphia-area institution presented “Schwarberfest” during the NLCS and the results speak for themselves.

Some background: Every summer, Wawa has “Hoagiefest.” It’s the best party in the country, says this writer, and the convenience store sells its hoagies at discounted prices. During Hoagiefest 2022, Schwarber was a home run-hitting machine. Schwarber hit 15 of his NL-leading 46 home runs in 34 games during Hoagiefest (June 20-July 31). That’s a pace of 162 games of 71 home runs.

After his struggles in the first two rounds of the playoffs, Wawa introduced the Schwarberfest (which means $5 Shortis and $6 Classics). Schwarber then hit three home runs in five games.

A town is needed. And he also accepts discounted hoagies from the town’s beloved gas station.

Yes, we’re partially discussing Jean Segura’s defensive range at second base. That was on full display in Game 3 of the NLCS on Friday night..

But mostly we’re talking about Segura’s range at the plate. The veteran infielder had two go-ahead hits at crucial moments in the Phillies’ run for the pennant. The first came during a six-run ninth inning against the Cardinals in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series. See where this release was:

Not to be outdone, Segura slapped another pitch that he was not allowed to hit against Joe Musgrove in Game 3 of the NLCS.

Segura waited longer than any other active MLB player to make his postseason debut, and he’s making the most of October no matter where he pitched.

Welcome to the launch part of this list. Wheeler has been absolutely stellar in this race. The right-hander didn’t get a win in Sunday’s closing game, but he pitched six solid innings, allowing just two earned runs. In his three playoff starts before Sunday, Wheeler had a 1.40 ERA and a .109 batting average against.

Nola has followed Wheeler into the Phillies’ playoff rotation, and does so on this list as well. The longest-tenured Phillie has been mostly excellent since the calendar flipped to October. Dating back to his start against the Astros in the Phillies’ playoff win Oct. 3, Nola has a 2.25 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 24 innings. In fact, all of the earned runs Nola has allowed in October came in his NLCS Game 2 loss to the Padres. Otherwise, he has been off and could face the Astros again in the Fall Classic.

8. The two aces (from the bullpen)

Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez have put together a great 1-2 hit in the Phillies’ bullpen. The playoff numbers:

  • Alvarado: 8 IP, 3.38 ERA, 9 K, 1.13 WHIP, 1 SV
  • Dominguez: 7 2/3 IP, 1.17 ERA, 15 K, 0.39 WHIP, 1 SV

Like the Phillies as a whole, it was far from a certainty that these two relievers would be in this position. Alvarado was optioned to the minors for a stint earlier in the season and then went without lights when he was called up. He even has his own slogan and t-shirts.

Meanwhile, Dominguez has been electric (despite throwing three wild pitches in the rain on Sunday) since the playoffs began after returning from injury late in the season. In Game 3 of the NLCS, Dominguez recorded the Phillies’ first six-out postseason save since Tug McGraw blew out the Royals in the World Series exactly 42 years earlier.

9. Rob Thomson

Virtually no one knew who Rob Thomson was in Philadelphia on Opening Day. The bench coach was named interim manager when Joe Girardi was fired on June 3. One hundred and forty-three days later, Thomson’s interim tag was gone and he led the Phillies to the pennant. He has become a Philadelphia cult hero along the way. During appearances at Citizens Bank Park during these playoffs, the applause for Thomson rivaled that for Harper.

10. Long-haired guys from Los Angeles.

The Phillies didn’t have the most flashy trade deadline, but they did address areas of weakness. Two of his biggest acquisitions were long-haired Los Angeles Angels players Brandon Marsh and Noah Syndergaard.

Syndergaard isn’t the same flamethrower he was early in his Mets career, but he has been a key part of the Phillies’ two Game 4 wins in bullpen games. He has only allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings so far this postseason.

The other West Coast import is Brandon Marsh, who most notably has given the Phillies’ shaky defense some stability in center field. He also had a moment on offense against the Braves.

11. The energy of the Eagles

Welcome to the Vibes section of this list. It’s a great time to be a Philly sports fan (as long as you don’t care about the 76ers’ early-season results). The Eagles are the only undefeated team left in the NFL, and the Phillies’ run as the No. 6 seed in the NL pack feels similar to the run the underdog Eagles made to their first Super Bowl title. in 2018.

Do you need more proof? Here’s legendary Eagles center Jason Kelce hugging the Phanatic and drinking a beer on the field during Game 3 of the NLCS.

12. They have a theme song

The Phillies have adopted “Dancing on My Own” (Tiesto’s remix of a Calum Scott song that is a cover of a Robyn song) as their theme song for October. It has been played at Citizens Bank Park after wins, in the clubhouse during celebrations and even at Lincoln Financial Field after the Eagles beat the Cowboys last week.

13. The Fans

A few dozen paragraphs could be written trying to explain the atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park, where more than 45,000 playoff-hungry fans have been as vocal as possible from first pitch to last in their first five postseason games since 2011. the Phillies have an unmatched home field advantage in these playoffs, going 5-0 at home.

Here’s a look at things inside the stadium on Sunday:

And outside the stadium:

Yes, they will be ready for their first World Series Game in 13 years on Halloween night.

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