Phillies vs Padres score, takeaway: Bryce Harper’s circuit sends Philly to first World Series since 2009

The Philadelphia Phillies head to the World Series for the first time since 2009. The San Diego Padres tried to spoil the party in Philadelphia in Game 5, coming from behind to lead down the eighth. And then Bryce Harper arrived. The Phillies won Game 5, 4-3, on Harper’s two-run homer and won the series, 4-1. They won the NL pennant for the first time in 13 years and will face either the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees in the World Series.

Let’s see how match 5 went.

Harper stay hot, get away with the HR clutch

Bryce Harper has been on a major streak pretty much throughout the playoffs. He didn’t get a hit in Game 1 of the Wild Card series, but he tied and scored on their comeback in the ninth inning. He had his first at bat in Game 2 and it was, as they say, on. Beginning in Game 2 of the first round, Harper has at least one hit in every game. He was hitting .444 with a .944 hitting percentage in his previous nine games heading into Game 5 on Sunday. He hit a single in his first game at bat, bringing his playoff hitting streak to 10 games. This ties Lenny Dykstra (1993) for the franchise record (by Sarah Langs).

Oh, and Harper hit the biggest home run of his life at the end of the eighth inning. The Phillies trailed 3-2 to start the inning. JT Realmuto picked a single, and then Harper came in to fight Padres setup man Robert Suarez. It was a battle. He committed a two-pitch foul with two strikes. And then, on a 2-2 count…

Just like that, the Phillies were back on top. It should be mentioned that Harper is earning every penny of his $330 million contract.

Hoskins went yard (again)

Rhys Hoskins hit a three-run home run in Game 3 of the NLDS and that’s what really, firmly tipped things in the Phillies’ direction for good in this series. He hit a two-run shot in the first inning of NLCS Game 4 on Saturday night, extending the Padres’ lead. Later in Game 4, he hit a two-run homer to tie the game.

On Sunday, he kicked off the scoring with another two-run home run:

He now has eight playoff hits and five of them have been homers. He brought home 11 points. The celebration by jumping the first baseline is also worth bonus points. Well done, Rhys.

Soto heats up… just a little too late

The party was in Philly after the Hoskins homer, but Juan Soto hit a solo shot to make the Phillies sweat in the top of the fourth. This brought the Padres to the board and forced the Phillies to operate with just a one-point lead and no cushion or room for error. It ended up counting and we’ll get to that in a second.

Here is the Soto bomb:

Soto also homered in Game 4. It was the first time he had dived in back-to-back games since hitting homers on both ends of a Nationals double on July 13. 8-9.

wheeler the dealer

Zack Wheeler took the win in Game 1 of this series after going seven scoreless innings and allowing only one hit. He wasn’t as dominant this time around. He went six innings and allowed two runs on three hits while striking out eight. He did not issue a single walk. That is to say, even though he was better in the first game, it was another outstanding performance.

He has now started four playoff games and has thrown a 1.78 ERA and .51 WHIP with 25 strikeouts and three walks in 25 1/3 innings.

He faced a batter in the seventh inning and allowed a single. And this is where things got really interesting…

Seranthony goes wild in the rain

Phillies reliever Seranthony Domínguez was terrific in the playoffs and closed a six-out save in Game 3. He came into this one and had no command at all. He entered the game with a front-row runner and the Phillies up front, 2-1, in the seventh inning in the heaviest afternoon rain in South Philly. He threw a wild pitch that moved the runner up to second, then gave up a brace from Josh Bell that tied the game. Then he threw a wild pitch to advance pinch runner Jose Azocar to third. Then he threw another one wild field to score Azocar and the Padres had a 3-2 lead.

Domínguez had just three wild pitches all regular season in 51 innings. He had yet to pitch one in the playoffs in his 6 2/3 innings of work. He threw three in the seventh inning of Game 5.

As the saying goes, every time you watch a baseball game, you get to see something you’ve never seen before. Domínguez made it ring true in this one.

Darvish with once again no luck

Yu Darvish allowed just two runs in seven innings of work in Game 1 as he was scored with solo homers by Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. He was the unlucky loser and it looked like a similar result was in store in game five.

This time it was a two-run Hoskins homer and that was it. He allowed two runs on four hits in six innings. Thanks to his late comeback, he looked like he was in line for the well-deserved win. Given how much of the bullpen had to be emptied in Game 4, you can’t give Darvish enough credit for his work in this one. The Padres’ season was on the line and he delivered.

And then Harper arrived. Darvish finds himself 0-1 in this series despite throwing like an ace.

Suarez closes things down

The Phillies went to David Robertson for the ninth with a one-run lead, but he walked two straight batters with one out. Then Phillies skipper Rob Thomson turned to No. 3 starter Ranger Suárez to get the final two outs.

Suárez was a front reliever and starter at the big league level. He was actually the closest for a very short time last season, recording four saves.

The first batter Suárez faced was Trent Grisham, and he laid down a bunt. He must have looked for a hit or he got it wrong and thought there were no outs. Either way, the Phillies just went out as Suárez pitched first. Austin Nola was the Padres’ last hope, and he lined up quietly for the finals with the go-ahead left stuck in scoring position.

Phillies manager Rob Thomson makes history

Remember, the Phillies were 21-29 through May. They won on June 1 but then fired manager Joe Girardi. Rob Thomson took over and they went 65-46 under him, a 95-win pace all season. They are now 9-2 in the playoffs as well.

Thomson is just the fourth manager in the LCS era to take over in the middle of a season and win the pennant. He joins Jack McKeon of the 2003 Marlins, Paul Owens of the 1983 Phillies and Bob Lemon of the 1978 Yankees. Both McKeon and Lemon won the World Series, so Thomson is looking to follow in their footsteps.

And after

For the Padres, they will return home for a big offseason. They will get Fernando Tatis, Jr. back at the start of next season and it will be interesting to see how that plays out. They will again be a serious contender, in all likelihood.

The most important right now is the National League champion, the Philadelphia Phillies. This is their eighth pennant, joining 1915, 1950, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009. They will hit the road for World Series Games 1 and 2, likely in Houston to face an Astros team that won’t haven’t lost this post-season yet. The Phillies will be big underdogs, but they were underdogs against the Cardinals, Braves and Padres and here they are.

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