Game 5 of the National League Championship Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Diego Padres on Sunday was an instant classic.
The Phillies entered the day needing one more victory to advance to the World Series, while the Padres were hoping to win to send the series back to San Diego.
Only the former scenario materialized.
A two-run home run by postseason star Rhys Hoskins gave the Phils a 2-0 lead in the third frame.
Juan Soto homered in the fourth to cut the lead in half, and the Padres scored two in the top of the seventh to take the lead.
It was a prime opportunity to use that excellent bullpen of theirs to lock up Philly’s bats and send the series to California.
Bryce Harper, however, had other plans.
Harper Sent His Team To The World Series
Top reliever Robert Suarez, who hadn’t allowed a run in the whole playoffs, surrendered a two-run blast to Harper with a man on base.
That only meant one thing: Philadelphia had turned the score around 4-3, and they wouldn’t relinquish that lead.
“‘Oh my gosh, I just did that.’ Bryce even impressed himself yesterday,” MLB tweeted, with the player saying those words to his teammates.
"Oh my gosh, I just did that."
— MLB (@MLB) October 24, 2022
It was Harper, one of the best hitters in the league who also happens to be red-hot at the plate.
However, the blast was a bit shocking since Suarez had been perfect in the postseason.
The pitch wasn’t even that bad, but Harper punished it anyway.
He is a truly outstanding player who would have challenged for his second straight MVP award if it weren’t for a lengthy thumb injury.
He sent his team to the World Series, and there must not be a better feeling than that.