PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper was on his feet at second with a go-ahead shot. He then slid his hands down the front of his jersey, to highlight his team’s name, before a riotous crowd at Citizens Bank Park.
Harper pumped his fists and repeated an expression that appears on numerous T-shirts in Philadelphia and that includes a profanity word.
“This is my home!”
With one more victory for the Phillies, this will also be one of the World Series homes.
Rhys Hoskins homered twice, Kyle Schwarber hit a solo homer and Harper hit that double to put the Phillies ahead for good, who beat the San Diego Padres 10-6 on Saturday to take a 3-1 lead at the National League Championship Series.
“I think our team is done for October, I really do,” Harper said.
The star, who signed a 13-year, $330 million contract as a free agent in 2019, had made Philadelphia his home and a title contender, with a postseason already among the best in franchise history.
He has had hits in nine straight games, has reached base in 10 straight games, is batting .410 in the playoffs and has already told his team that he will not lose in the postseason.
“It’s a lot of fun to be a part of this group,” Harper said. “You have a lot of fun coming to the park every day, knowing our fans will be here every night.”
JT Realmuto homered for Philadelphia, which is on fire and will try to be the first team to sneak into the Fall Classic after finishing third in its division.
The Phillies will send ace Zack Wheeler to the mound for Game 5, Sunday at Citizens Bank Park, looking to secure what would be their first NL title since 2009.
They haven’t won the World Series since 2008.
“Yeah, this couldn’t have been written any better,” Hoskins said. “I can’t imagine what tomorrow’s game will be like.”
We’ll have to have the champagne ready just in case.
Regardless of the outcome, Game 4 will be remembered by the Phillies and their fans.
Philadelphia trailed 4-0 in the first chapter. He turned it around and then secured the win.
He left the duel resolved with four runs in the fifth inning against reliever Sean Manaea.
Trailing 6-4, Schwarber drew a walk that set the comeback in motion. Hoskins hit his second home run of the game — this time without hitting the bat — to even the score.
Realmuto managed a ticket and the table was set for Harper.
The Most Valuable Player of the National League in the 2021 season, he hit a line of double. The ball rolled off the fence between left-center field to give Philadelphia a 7-6 lead as the crowd jumped non-stop.
Harper then harangued the fans.
For the Padres, the Dominicans Juan Soto 4-1 with a run scored and two RBIs, Manny Machado 4-2 with a run scored and an RBI.
For the Phillies, Dominican Jean Segura 4-1.
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Phillies explode against Padres in J4 and are placed one step away from the SM