I should have started this sooner.

If I would have known the Phillies were going to be on the brink of the World Series, I absolutely would have. And although I was one of the few believers they could reach the NLCS going back to before the trade deadline, they could just as easily been done in the playoffs in two games.

Just because a good idea comes up late, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be executed.

And so, here, following Game 4 of the NLCS, is the official first, Heroes and Goats post on Crossing Broad.

But, before I get to Game 4, I will say, that as a result of it being a “you should have thought of this before,” after Game 5, I will list the heroes and goats that I would have written about for each of the nine previous playoff games.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the delayed debut of Heroes and Goats.


1. Rhys Hoskins

Fans don’t know how to feel about Hoskins. When he makes simple errors at first base or endures prolonged slumps at the plate he gets crushed with boos, and the Twitter pitchforks and torches assemble en masse.

But then he does something like he does Saturday, and he becomes a Phillies legend.

Hoskins became just the eighth Phillie to have a multi-homer game in the playoffs. And both were huge.

The first was in the bottom of the first after San Diego had dropped a four-spot on the Phillies. This one cut the Padres lead in half:


Then, after the team had finally tied the score in the fifth, only to cough it up again in the sixth on a homer by Juan Soto, Hoskins followed the Bryce Harper mantra of “We ain’t losing” and tied the game with his second 2-run blast:

You get a little cheat ahead to Harper there too, as NIck Piccone, who is incredibly quick at cutting up these calls and posting them to Twitter, posted Hoskins’ second homer as a reply to Harper’s double in the first.

Either way, you needed Franzke’s call, because it’s a classic.

“Nobody deserves this more than Rhys,” said Nick Castellanos. “He’s been here through all the losing and all the tough times and now he’s finally getting his chance and he’s taking advantage of it.”

2. Bryce Harper

Harper has played in 10 playoff games for the Phillies. He has a hit in the last nine. It is the second longest postseason hitting streak in franchise history (Lenny Dykstra – 10). He also has an extra base hit in eight of those nine games. His double to put the Phillies ahead in Game 4 is also legendary, not just because it fueled just the third comeback in franchise history in the playoffs when down by four runs, but also because of this reaction:

Harper is having a postseason like no one else in Phillies history right now. He is slashing .410/.439/.872 with a 1.311 OPS. He has four homers, SIX doubles and nine RBIs.

This is no joke when I say this, we may be watching the best player in Phillies history right now. Mike Schmidt is still ahead, but Harper is on pace to be better. Fans should appreciate his greatness.

3. Nick Castellanos

Two hits and an RBI for Nicky Singles, although it was his double in the fifth off Sean Manaea that tied the game initially at 4-4. Castellanos has owned Manaea in a short sample, so it was a surprise to see him to face Castellanos to lead off the fourth. But, Nick didn’t care.

“It’s not my job to decide if that was a good move or not,” he said. “Maybe he was trying to save some guys, I don’t know. But I know I’ve had success against that guy so I went up there looking for a pitch, found it, and just hit it man.”

Castellanos entered the at bat 4-for-6 with two homers.

Now it’s 5-for-7.

And it wasn’t a good pitch.

“Hey, it’s hard to play in the jungle, man,” he said. “It’s tough when you’re the opposition and you have to hear that crowd. Believe me, it has an effect. It has an impact. Philadelphia is bringing it and it’s working.”

4. Phillies fans

You guys can get a hero credit for every home game. The Phillies are 4-0 at home this postseason. They’ve scored 31 runs. The team is fueled by your energy. Don’t stop bringing the magic.

5. Connor Brogdon

Don’t lose sight in how important him throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings was for the Phillies. Yes, he gave up a single that scored the fourth Padres run when he came in, but it was a blooper on a good pitch. He then retired the next seven Padres he faced. The Phillies needed to stem the San Diego tide, and did thanks to Brogdon.

The only batter he didn’t face was Brandon Drury. He struck out Trent Grisham and Manny Machado. He got three fly outs to right in the second, including one from Juan Soto.

“I knew I might have to pitch early but I didn’t know how long until the game presented itself,” Brogdon said. “I just wanted to do my part to help the team win. The last couple outings I’ve felt better. Made some mechanical adjustments. So, I felt more like myself out there in this one.


1. Bob Melvin – O.K. Mike Clevinger shit the bed. So, you are on high alert to use the bullpen. Nick Martinez did a great job and got through three innings clean. But then he wanted to preserve his better relievers and rather than use Johnson, or Suarez earlier, to get to Hader, he turned to Sean Manaea. And did so at an absolutely awful time, with three of the next four batters in the lineup as lefty killers. It cost him as Manaea not only gave up the tying run once, but was still in the game when they tied it the second time and then yielded the iconic double to Harper before being pulled. Melvin shouldn’t have left him in that long – he needed to win that game. And gagged it.

2. Sean Manaea – Dude sucked. He faced nine hitters. He gave up five hits and walked two. He lost the Padres the game. Bad decision by the manager, yes, but sometimes, a player has to perform. He shit the bed.

3. Mike Clevinger – He didn’t record an out. Four batters, three hits, three runs and a walk. With the exception of Noah Syndergaard’s brief relief appearance, it was not a good day to be a pitcher with long hair.

4. Bailey Falter – Falter lasted 2/3 of an inning. He and Clevinger became just the second pair of starters in postseason history to not complete one inning – and you had to go back 90 years to find the last time it happened.

5. Brad Hand – Fans were livid that Rob Thomson went to Hand in the top of the fifth rather than Syndergaard. But my tweet basically explained his rationale and what needs to happen there:

The Phillies may need Hand again as he’s their only other lefty option in the pen besides Alvarado. He’s got to get himself straightened out.