Phillies to the World Series for first time since 2009
Driving the news: Powered by Harper's big bat and a packed Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies clinched their first trip to the Series since 2009, when they lost in six games to the New York Yankees.
Catch up fast: Harper, who celebrated his 30th birthday this month, slugged a two-run home run in the eighth inning to put the Phillies up for good against the San Diego Padres in Game 5 of the playoffs.
- The homer was instantly dubbed the "swing of his life."
And yep: After the game, Phillies fans flooded downtown, shutting down streets, climbing traffic lights and shouting the team's playoff anthem "Dancing on My Own" at the top of their lungs.
The intrigue: In what has been an exhilarating and unlikely postseason run, the Phillies find themselves trying to join the few MLB teams to win a World Series after failing to win at least 90 games in the regular season.
Harper, Harper, Harper: The club has held its breath for this moment since signing the right fielder in 2019 for $330 million, a contract that many deemed nuts at the time. Not now.
- "As good as it gets," Phillies manager Rob Thomson told The New York Times, describing Harper. "I mean, he's proved to me over and over and over again that there's no moment that's too big for him, and he's come through so many times."
- Of Harper, a buoyant Phillies owner John Middleton told the Inquirer. "He's just committed to winning. He'll do whatever it takes."
What else they're saying: In a jubilant and champagne-soaked locker room after the game, Alec Bohm pointed at the camera and said, "I love this place."
- It was redemption for the third baseman. Earlier this year he was caught on camera mouthing "I f---king hate this place" after getting a sarcastic standing ovation from Phillies fans following an error-filled outing.
What's next: The World Series kicks off Friday at the home of the Astros after they swept the New York Yankees by winning Game 4 of their American Championship Series clash, 6-5, on Sunday.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the Astros' result.
More Philadelphia stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Philadelphia.