Philadelphia Phillies reach World Series — and a Canadian is managing them

Bryce Harper missed his fifth game of the season, a double explosion in the eighth inning transformed Citizens Bank Park into a madhouse, and the $330 million slugger assisted. The Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Diego Padres 4-3 on Sunday and entered the World Series for the first time since 2009.

Rhys Hoskins also hit the homer twice to spark Philadelphia’s inevitable achievement of winning the National League pennant and a shot at its first World Series championship since 2008.

Harper made the feat of hitting baseball looking effortless in the post-season and he easily took home the biggest hit of the Phillies’ four-year career.

JT Realmuto started the half with a single shot Robert Suarez and Harper lined an opposite pitch that sank 2-2.98 mph into the left row as another ticketed crowd of 45,485 fans did stadium shaking.

“I knew he was coming with his heater,” said the NL MVP twice in a television interview. “Just trying to do the best spin I can and can do damage with it.”

Harper swings a left hand connected to a right – the left-handed Padres is closer to Josh Hader warming up in the cowshed, but doesn’t bring him in.

The Phillies David Robertson reliever was withdrawn after a pair of walking either. Ranger Suarez made his first appearance of the season and retired Trent Grisham for a long time and was flown by Austin Nola – brother of Phils ace Aaron Nola – to end it to save a hug.

Harper, who turned 30 last week, is hitting 439 (18 to 41) with six doubles, five own own goals, 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored in 11 post-season games. He hit 10 in a row and made it to the base in 11 consecutive hits.

And the scared designated hitter can keep those streaks alive as he plays in his first World Series.

“To a certain extent it is being ignored because of who he is and his star,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said before the game. “He’s a guy who’s a big star delivered. Can’t say enough about that.”

Thomson, from Sarnia, Ont., led Philadelphia to a 65-46 record in the regular season after taking over from Joe Girardi in June, taking the club to its first playoff berth since 2011.

The 59-year-old is the first Canadian-born coach to lead an MLB team after the season.

Thomson was the first Canadian full-time manager since George Gibson of London, Ont., to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1934. Arthur Irwin of Toronto, who managed five teams from 1889 to 1899, was The only Canadian working full-time manager.

Philly, get ready.

Harper, Hoskins & Crew are about to win the most unbelievable World Series championship.

Houston took a 3-0 lead against the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Game 4 is Sunday night in New York. Fall Classic will begin Friday night at the AL champion’s home.

Philadelphia finished third in the NL East with an 87-75 scoreline, 14 games behind the Braves, which have taken 101 wins this season and were the last club in the professional leagues to reach the 12-team playoffs. Champion NL Central St. Louis in the MLB’s newly created wild round, the Phillies needed just four games to take out Atlanta, the defending World Series champion.


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