2022-10-24 · 4 min read · MLB/Baseball
Philadelphia Phillies Bryce Harper

AP Photo/Matt Rourke | Getty Images

In the midst of a rainy Philadelphia afternoon, the improbable happened - the Phillies will be going to the World Series for the first time since 2009. The last team in, barely squeaking by Milwaukee for the final Wild Card spot, will have their sights set on either New York or Houston in the Fall Classic.
During a postseason of managerial ‘what ifs’, Bob Melvin may have put forward the what-iffiest decision of them all. Would Josh Hader have been able to get that six-out save? Or would Harper have smashed a homer off him too? In a winner-take-all elimination game, once again one of the league’s best lefties wasn’t used. Somewhere, Zack Britton is cringing.
A 4-1 series win that was much, much closer than the win-loss column would make it appear, San Diego came a base hit away from tying the Game 5 in the ninth. Back-to-back walks put two men on with one away, but Trent Grisham and Austin Nola couldn’t get it done against Ranger Suarez. Heading into the bottom of the eighth, the tables were reversed - Phillies’ reliever Seranthony Dominguez struggled in the pouring rain, with wild pitches allowing San Diego to take a brief 3-2 lead.
But as the rain died, so did the Padres.
Robert Suarez, San Diego’s hard-throwing rookie righty, was the unfortunate culprit - a 99 mile-per-hour sinker that didn’t sink enough, and suddenly Philly was on top 4-3 following a Bryce Harper smash to deep left field. Perhaps it was confidence in the thirty-one year old, or perhaps it was that Hader wasn’t quite warm, or perhaps it was a gut decision that just didn’t pan out. Or perhaps it was a combination of all three. Whatever the case, Suarez - one of San Diego’s best relievers throughout the regular season - will now likely be the recipient of unwarranted hate. And that is a damn shame.
What cannot be overshadowed though, is the true insanity that will be unleashed in Philadelphia tonight. With preparations having been underway for the last few days to help minimize public property damage - I’m looking at you, Eagles fans - there may not be an ounce of alcohol left in Pennsylvania come daybreak tomorrow. Phillies fans have waited a long time for this, and not even the rain can dampen the spirits of those who’ve yet to be a part of the true Philadelphia sports experience.
For now, celebrations will run amok throughout the stadium and city.
Mere hours away, the rain continues to impact the other massive game today. As this is written, Houston vs. New York, on the brink of Game 4, has been rain-delayed with the possibility of it being postponed until tomorrow. In the ALCS, Houston is up three games to none on New York - meaning a Houston win today would set the stage for a Phillies-Astros World Series, something I absolutely, definitely, 100% saw coming.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Gus Cousins


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