For the first time since 2009, the Philadelphia Phillies are headed to the World Series, and they can thank the reigning NL MVP for that.
Bryce Harper came up in the clutch when the Phillies needed him most. With the Phillies trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Harper smashed a go-ahead two-run home run, and one half inning later, the NL pennant belonged to the Fightins’.
It’s a storybook ending to the NLCS for the Phillies, who clinched the final wild-card spot in the NL before going on a historic run to the World Series.
The Phillies opened the scoring on Sunday night thanks to another enormous home run from first baseman Rhys Hoskins.
A day removed from a two-homer effort, Hoskins put the Phillies on the board with a two-run blast in the third inning off Padres starter Yu Darvish.
The Padres responded in the top of the fourth when Juan Soto connected on his second home run of the NLCS, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
After both teams went scoreless in the fifth and sixth, the weather began to impact Game 5. While rain fell lightly on and off for most of the game, it picked up significantly in the seventh.
Following a Jake Cronenworth single to open up the inning, the Phillies turned to Seranthony Dominguez out of the bullpen to replace starter Zack Wheeler.
Dominguez had trouble gripping the baseball from the start of his outing, firing off a wild pitch immediately upon entering the game. After allowing a double to Josh Bell to tie the game 2-2, Dominguez struck out Brandon Drury and Ha-Seong Kim back-to-back. However, with two outs in the inning, disaster struck.
Facing Trent Grisham, Dominguez uncorked two wild pitches, allowing pinch-runner Jose Azocar to score, giving the Padres their first lead of the game at 3-2.
With the Padres still leading 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, J.T. Realmuto opened the inning with a single, setting the stage for Harper’s heroics.
The Phillies called on David Robertson to close things out in the ninth. However, after striking out Wil Myers to start the ninth, Robertson ran into trouble, walking Drury and Kim with just one away in the inning.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson turned to starter Ranger Suarez out of the ‘pen to seal the game, and he didn’t disappoint.
It took Suarez just two pitches to send the Padres home. First, Suarez threw Grisham out on a bunt attempt before forcing Austin Nola to fly out on a first-pitch curveball.