Sorry this took so long, I honestly fell asleep in the middle of writing it yesterday, and, well, other stuff was scheduled for today. Alas, you won’t mind reliving Sunday just one more time, right?

This one is really easy, friends. At least for the Heroes. Let’s jump right into it.

Reminder: I’ve updated the Heroes and Goats for every game so far these playoffs at the end:


1. Bryce Harper – This is the no-brainer of no-brainers. It was only the most iconic moment of the baseball season. Hell, it was arguably the most iconic moment in  Phillies history and maybe in Philadelphia sports history. If nothing else, it’s being etched on that Mount Rushmore as we speak (right Kinkead?)

What Harper is doing this post season is nothing short of incredible. He is an elite player elevating his game to even greater heights and carrying a team to a World Series appearance, if not further.

Yes, the Heroes and goats are a game-by-game thing, but just look at Harper this postseason:

46PA, 43AB, 10R, 18H, 6 2B, 5HR, 11RBI, 2BB, 7K, .1SAC .419/.444/.907 1.361OPS

The 18 hits in a postseason is a playoff record. He has a 10-game playoff hitting streak, which ties a franchise record and is the second-longest active hitting streak (Ozzie Albies, 11).

It’s like something we have never seen before in baseball.

In Major League history, there have been 722 players with at least 45 plate appearances in one postseason. Of those 722, only three have a higher OPS than Harper right now:

  1. Barry Bonds (SFG – 2002) 1.559
  2. Carlos Beltran (HOU – 2004) 1.557
  3. Willie Stargell (PIT – 1979) 1.362

Harper can certainly catch them in the World Series.

Oh, and you’ve probably watched this 3,000 times already, but a 3,001st time wouldn’t hurt:

2. Rhys Hoskins

Two weeks ago, there were some wondering if Hoskins’ time in Philadelphia is nearing it’s end. Who knows what the future holds still, but now, after this NLCS, regardless of what happens after the World Series, Hoskins has cemented himself as a Phillies legend. Sometime in the late 2030s or early 2040s, Hoskins will be the guy being honored on Alumni Weekend and having his plaque unveiled on the Phillies Wall of Fame.

Hit four home runs in a five game NLCS, and that locks you in, for sure, defensive issues aside.

Hell, were it not for the otherworldliness of Harper, Hoskins would have been the NLCS MVP.

Two homers in the comeback win in Game 3 and a two-run shot in Game 4 to put the Phillies ahead initially are epic moments in and of themselves.

Hoskins is two homers shy of tying Jayson Werth’s franchise record for homers in a postseason. If he stays locked in, he could tie that before the Phillies even come home with the short porch in left field in Houston.

It’s amazing what difference a couple homers can make.

3. Zack Wheeler

Wheeler continues to dominate games. He has faced 91 batters this postseason and allowed just 10 hits and three walks while striking out 25. He has a 1.78 postseason ERA in four starts so far, and he was great in Game 5, yielding three hits in 6-plus innings of work.

Should he start Game 1 of the World Series? Maybe. He has been losing some velocity at around 80 pitches, so maybe an extra day of rest would do him well, but regardless, he’s an ace who will keep you in any game and give you the best chance to win.

4. Ranger Suarez

Mr. Suave, his teammates call him. He was called up on to get the final two outs of the game and did so on two pitches. This after starting Game 3 on Friday. That’s two days rest, friends.

And he’s quickly becoming another post season icon for the Phillies.

5. J.T. Realmuto

The Phillies catcher with the big hit right before the Harper homer. It’s almost like we forget what sets up those big moments, but we shouldn’t. It was totally necessary for him to get on base to set up Harper. Oh, and he has the last line before every party starts. Yesterday it was “Four more Topper.”


1. Bob Melvin – The Padres manager had closer Josh Hader warming up in the eighth inning. He’s a lefty. He didn’t bring him in to face Harper. His excuse was he wasn’t getting more than an inning out of Hader. With the season on the line, that’s B.S. But, even if you buy that, he also had Tim Hill, a sidewinding lefty, rotting on the bullpen bench. You blew it, Bob.

2. MLB/Umpires – Look, I know the league was in a bind with the weather. They had no open dates for the game to be made up if it needed to be postponed and they didn’t want it to go too late in case the Padres won and the two teams had to fly cross-country to play the next day. But to allow the conditions to deteriorate so much that Seranthony Dominguez threw three wild pitches in the same inning when he had thrown three all season was a disgrace. Making matters worse, they only ordered the grounds crew to work on the field between inning so that when the Padres were on the field it was in better shape but not when the Phillies were on the field, is even worse.

3. Robert Suarez – Basically the best setup man in baseball all season, the Phillies showed he had a chink in the armor when Rhys Hoskins hit a homer off him in Game 2 – the first Suarez had allowed at Petco Park all season. Then, on Sunday, he gives up the homer to Harper – the first he had allowed to a lefty all season. Choke city.

4. Manny Machado – Went 0-for-4 when his team needed him most. Bryce wins.

5. Austin Nola – made the last out of the series with the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position. Also, won’t congratulate his brother – at least not right away.

Here are the Previous games:



Not much more than a simple list. I promise.




  1. Zack Wheeler – 6 1/3 shutout innings in his first postseason start.
  2. Jean Segura – Game-winning hit in wild ninth inning comeback.
  3. Juan Yepez – Pinch hit homer that should have won the game for the Cardinals.
  4. Jose Quintana – 5 1/3 shutout innings and should have had more were it not for poor management.
  5. Alec Bohm – Took a fastball to the shoulder in the ninth, stood right up and fired up the bench, keeping momentum going.


  1. Oliver Marmol – You can’t fuck up managing your pitching and bullpen more than the youngest manager in baseball did here.
  2. Andre Pallante – Shriveled under the pressure of pitching in high leverage situation in the playoffs.
  3. Jose Alvarado – As good as he’s been, gave up Yepez’s homer and nearly cost the Phillies the game.
  4. Ryan Helsley – Going more than one inning in the playoffs is a whole different animal, even if you can throw 105 MPH gas.
  5. St. Louis Fans – “Supposedly” the best in the sport, Baseball Heaven took the express cloud out of Busch before the game was over.



  1. Aaron Nola – 6 2/3 innings of beautifully pitched baseball, continuing to bury the naysayers.
  2. Seranthony Dominguez – Two huge strikeouts (Goldschmidt, Arenado) with two men on in the bottom of the eighth.
  3. Bryce Harper – The home run that set the table early was all Nola and his bullpen friends needed.
  4. Zach Eflin – Earning just his second career save (first in the playoffs) to send the Phillies to the NLDS.
  5. Albert Pujols – Two hits, including his last at bat, in the final game of a Hall of Fame career.


  1. Paul Goldschmidt – The probable NL MVP did nothing in these two games and came up small in a big spot in the eighth.
  2. Nolan Arenado – The probable runner-up to NL MVP and the rest of the note is the same as Goldschmidt.
  3. Tommy Edman – Had a chance to keep a ninth inning rally going, instead sent his team home for the winter with a lame popup.
  4. Brendan Donovan – 0-for-4 and 0-for-the series for the next guy the Cardinals were counting on after their two studs.
  5. Nick Castellanos – 0-for-4 and really looked lost at the plate again for the Phillies.




  1. Nick Castellanos – Atoned for his last game with three hits, three RBI and a potential game-saving diving catch in the ninth inning.
  2. Matt Olson – Got the Braves back into the game with the big homer in the ninth.
  3. Ronald Acuna Jr. – Three hits and wreaked havoc on base for Phillies pitchers the whole game.
  4. Alec Bohm – An RBI hit and a sac fly – and the Phillies needed both of them to win.
  5. Bryce Harper – Ho hum, just a three-hit game.


  1. Max Fried – Supposed to be the ace for the Braves, got shelled.
  2. William Contreras – Double play with the bases load in the bottom of the first left his team with a zero on the scoreboard.
  3. Connor Brogdon – lacked confidence and nearly cost the Phillies, giving up a pair of runs in the fifth.
  4. Austin Riley – Struck out three times and popped out – you expect more from the No. 3 hitter.
  5. Michael Harris – Probable NL Rookie of the Year – also took the collar.



  1. Kyle Wright – Pitched a masterful game for Atlanta. The best by any starter in the playoffs against the Phillies thus far.
  2. Matt Olson
  3. Austin Riley
  4. Travis d’Arnaud – These three guys all got hits off of Wheeler in a row to score the three runs for the Braves. Key hits all.
  5. A.J. Minter – Had the shutdown inning the Braves needed after they scored the three runs.


  1. Kyle Schwarber – Struck out three times and wasn’t heard from the entire game.
  2. Rhys Hoskins – Also 0-for-4. At least he didn’t strike out.
  3. Zack Wheeler – Was pitching brilliantly until two out in the sixth. He hit Acuna and walked Swanson then gave up those three hits.
  4. Alec Bohm – Empty day at the plate for him too.
  5. Bryson Stott – Has been so clutch for the Phillies – just not this game.




  1. Rhys Hoskins – The bat slam alone makes him No. 1.
  2. Aaron Nola – Another big game gem.
  3. Bryson Stott – Without his nine-pitch at bat and eventual RBI double to score the first run, Hoskins’ homer never happens.
  4. Phillies Fans – Could seriously be listed for every home game, but they got to Spencer Strider, and Marcel Ozuna, and Acuna…
  5. Rob Thomson – Despite questions about juggling his lineup, Philly Rob stuck to his guns, and his offense delivered.


  1. Brian Snitker – Did you really think that saying Philly was “not too hostile” an environment was smart?
  2. Spencer Strider – Crumbled under the pressure of Philly’s hostility.
  3. Marcel Ozuna – The “DUI” chants resulted in three strikeouts.
  4. Austin Riley – From MVP contender to almost invisible in the playoffs.
  5. Braves Bullpen – Couldn’t keep the score in the respectable range.





  1. Zack Wheeler – allowed just one hit and one walk over seven scoreless innings, striking out eight.
  2. Kyle Schwarber – with the longest home run ever hit in PETCO PARK (488 feet).
  3. Bryce Harper – a solo homer early to give the Phillies a lead they would never relinquish.
  4. Seranthony Dominguez
  5. Jose Alvarado – The two back end of the bullpen guys had two hitless innings to close out the game, with three Ks.


  1. Padres offense – One hit. One measly hit.
  2. Yu Darvish – Honestly he pitched well, but if you are going to win a showdown with Wheeler, you can’t make mistakes. Darvish made two, and that’s two too many.
  3. Manny Machado – O-fer. Sittin’ on that hefty salary, eh?
  4. Juan Soto – Wasn’t he supposed to be the kind of generational talent to make a difference in close games? 0-for-3 with 2 Ks.
  5. Josh Bell – Guy used to be a Phillie-killer. No more. 0-for-4 with 2 Ks.




  1. Brandon Drury – Dude just gives off Cody Ross vibes. And when he hits a big homer like this, it’s even worse.
  2. Juan Soto – That double was pure talent. It was a good pitch by Nola. To recognize it and get your hands through in time is special.
  3. Josh Bell – OK, maybe he still is a Phillie-killer.
  4. Austin Nola – Got the hit to knock his brother completely off his game.
  5. Rhys Hoskins – Hitting the homer late was window dressing, but proved that Suarez was susceptible to big hits. Hmmm.


  1. Brad Hand – He could have kept the score tied with any efficiency. He had none, and the lead got too far away from the Phillies for a comeback.
  2. Aaron Nola – The pitching line looks worse than the actual performance was, but you can’t blow a 4-0 lead in the playoffs. Just can’t.
  3. David Robertson – Giving up another run late really didn’t help.
  4. Bryce Harper – Hoskins homers to cut it to three then Realmuto singles. With no outs, you ground into a double play. Needed that rally.
  5. Blake Snell – Lucky your team came back to win, because getting behind 4-0 in the first inning isn’t the way to start a must-win playoff game.




  1. Jean Segura – Such a roller coaster game for the Phils’ 2B, but he came through both offensively and defensively when it mattered most. Definitely the player of the game.
  2. Alec Bohm – His double in the bottom of the sixth to give the Phillies an insurance run was huge.
  3. Kyle Schwarber – Leading off the game with a homer set the temp for what the next three games in Philly would be like.
  4. Seranthony Dominguez – The first six-out save by a Phillies reliever in a playoff game in 42 years (to the day). Stellar performance.
  5. Ranger Suarez – Under the radar performance. He allowed just two infield singles (one trickled onto the outfield grass), in five innings of work.


  1. Joe Musgrove – He pitched a one-hitter in an elimination game in New York. But this isn’t Citi Field, friend/
  2. Manny Machado – Was invisible again, and was hearing it from the fans after choosing San Diego over Philly in 2019
  3. Austin Nola – Was the tying run at the plate in the ninth, and whiffed. This was just a precursor, though.
  4. Josh Bell  – Runners on first and second with one out. Bell called on to pinch hit against a pitcher he’s had great success against, and grounded into a double play.
  5. Juan Soto – Somehow he’s a gold glove finalist in RF. Must have left the gold one on the plane and replaced it with his cement one.


You can read heroes and goats from this game in more detail here.