SAN DIEGO – “Humor drop” and “bliss” seem to be fair descriptions of a first game win in the National League Series, no doubt for Philadelphia.
But Velez did not use those words to describe the joy of winning 2-0 safely. They were using it to describe Kyle Schwarber’s swing in the ranked opener against San Diego here on Tuesday night.
It was the start of the sixth inning, Zach Wheeler was dealing with the team and lead 1-0. Padres’ Yo Darvish fired a fast ball at 87 mph that stayed in the area and over the middle of the board. Schwarber smashed it like a wrecking ball into a rundown convict’s house.
It was a defining moment, a viral moment, and a time-stamped masterpiece all in one. The baseball landed on the second floor in the right field, at 488 feet, the longest home run here since Petco Park opened in 2004.
It was an extremely huge explosion that evoked remarkable terror in Phyllis’ lair. Bryce Harper is pictured on TV with his mouth open, his jaw apparently so low that he risked scraping the floor hidden.
“Man, when he first hit it, I was shocked at how high it went,” said mask JT Realmuto. “Then let’s see how far it flew. This was probably the hardest ball I’ve ever seen in person.”
First base captain Rhys Hoskins, who smashed Homer in three runs against Atlanta’s Spencer Stryder in Game 3 of the Premier League series, said achieving a major home sprint like this is “bliss”.
“It’s like moving hair,” said soccer player Nick Castellanos. “It’s something really inexplicable. It’s like a feeling.”
Castellanos noted that his former Detroit teammates, Prince Felder and Miguel Cabrera, hit some lunar shots but no further than the Schwarber explosion. It was such a smash, when he stepped in for two hits later, Realmuto asked San Diego catcher Austin Nola if he’d seen such a thing before. Nola, a teammate of Realmuto’s in 2014 at Class AA Jacksonville and in 2015 at Class AAA New Orleans, said none of the Padres have ever seen a home race fly to the upper deck in Petco Park’s right field.
“That ball was farther than I’ve ever seen,” Nola said.
As his enthusiastic Phillies teammates welcomed him back to the dugout, Schwarber, who had pulled a 1-for-20 post-season ledger with him to this NLCS, worked to keep his cool. But it wasn’t easy.
“A lot of people looked at me strangely,” he said sarcastically. “But yeah, it was awesome. Great moment.”
Schwarber let it out was probably the hardest ball he ever hit “the way it came out”. He also hoped it would help him get back on track for the rest of the post-season.
“It’s nice to be able to contribute there and start feeling a little better,” he said.
In fact, the more contributors, the more fun the 6-1 hot Phillies team so far this postseason and, impressively, 4-1 on the road. Although defensive back Brandon Marsh joked that Schwarber’s shot went so far that it “should have counted for two,” the Phillies know exactly what it’s worth both for their glamorous home run and a great Tuesday night. And that is, quite simply, one beautiful victory in the NLCS as they need to find three more to advance to their first World Championship since 2009.
They have done a good job so far by following their tried and true script. Thunder and Thunder have carried the Phillies through the post-season so far, and they seem happy to ride this chart into the depths of the month.
Harper, the hottest bat in this post-season, is now 11-for-27 with four owners, three doubles and seven RBI Wheeler fired seven knockout rounds against the Padres in this team’s first NLCS appearance since 1998. It was more than the same regular season or post Season: Wheeler entered the game with an 18-game unstoppable streak against the Padres, over seven regular career starts, 2.06 ERA
Although the Padres battled Wheeler through the first round of 24, he sailed through the next two stages, needing only 13 courts to get the six teams.
“After that first half, we were thinking, ‘Oh, man, it’s going to be a tough fight to get him past six. “We really have to put up with it,” Realmuto said. “And then all of a sudden he flies through the turns after five, six, seven runs.”
Padres manager Bob Melvin called it “a good promotional performance as we’ve seen all year.”
It wasn’t until Will Myers hit one middle with one on the fifth that Padres found the hitting column, and Myers was the second primary runner that Wheeler allowed after Juan Soto’s first run. It was also the last. Wheeler threw seven rounds with one stroke, hit eight, and reduced traffic as if all roads were closed. Padre didn’t even set foot on second base until the ninth inning, and that was only due to third baseman Alec Bom’s throwing mistake on a pulverizer by Juan Soto who came after Juricson Provar’s gait.
He gave Harper Wheeler all the breathing space he needed in the fourth inning by hitting a 1 and 0 fastball in the opposite direction over the left field fence. It seemed like an important moment for Harper because the last time before Tuesday he was at Petco Park’s mixture box, on June 25 Padres’ Blake Snell pinned him with a pitch and broke his thumb. Harper was sidelined for two months.
“I think any time you get hit or you break a bone or anything like that, those doubts might creep into your mind and you might not come back this year or what’s going to happen, how the team will react,” Harper said before the first game. .
It’s clear that Velez’s side have reacted well over the course of the season, and they’re clicking now. Wheeler and Aaron Nola combined to cover 52 percent (32 of 62) of Philadelphia’s post-season innings. Nola is the one who will start the second match on Wednesday afternoon. The novelty would be that he would face his brother, San Diego catcher Austin Nola – just as he did in the regular season game – which would surely put their parents in an emotional and confusing situation.
Another evolution of Game 2 will be Snell who starts from Padres and faces Harper. The Velez player cried, in pain and anger, at Snell after the pitch broke his thumb in June, but the two spoke soon after to calm things down. Harper knew that Snell was not casting him but was trying to work inside.
“I’m going to promote it the same way,” Snell said Tuesday. “I had no intention of hitting him. Still don’t. He’s pitching. I’ll pitch the view. If I hit him, I’m sorry. I’m not trying. You’re really a good hitter. I will continue to offer as I strive. Nothing changes.”
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