PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillies enter this weekend’s series against the San Diego Padres one game out of the National League’s second Wild Card spot thanks to one grand swing from Bryce Harper that still has fans buzzing at Citizens Bank Park less than 24 hours later. Harper’s walk-off grand slam on Thursday night sent Phillies fans home happy and the internet into a frenzy.
It was the bottom of the ninth inning with the Phillies trailing 5-3 with one out when Harper hit a second-deck bomb to right field to secure a 7-5 win over the Chicago Cubs. The Phillies swept the Cubs to cut Chicago’s lead for the NL’s second Wild Card spot to one game.
John Kruk’s “OH MY GOD” the moment Bryce connected is hilarious. (Bryce sprinting around the bases: also really good.) https://t.co/o48IkRn3zs
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) August 16, 2019
Harper’s walk-off grand slam came in the same week that Charlie Manuel returned to the Phillies as the team’s hitting coach.
Many Phillies fans hope the adrenaline that now oozes in the team’s dugout with Manuel’s return and Harper’s grand winner can turn into a postseason run.
“That’s one of the wins that can change your season,” Phillies fan Justin Diaz said. “They just came back from a tough road trip, but to get the sweep and to get it in that fashion — with it by Bryce — I don’t see why we can’t go on a run right now.”
“I think [Harper’s] living up to the hype. I think it’s a lot of money for doing what he’s doing this year,” Phillies fan Kotie Hawbaker said, “but I don’t know. It’s a good season.”
“I think Charlie is a big move to shake things up and get something — a little spark,” Phillies fan Mike Vito said. “I was a big fan of Charlie back in ’08 when they had their run. Harper came and gave him a big hug last night. I think the players like playing for this guy, so we’ll see what happens here.”
Harper’s walk-off grand slam Thursday is his second walk-off hit as a Phillie. He has seven homers and 15 RBI in 12 games in August.
In 120 games this season, Harper has 25 home runs, 42 doubles and 87 RBI with a .253/.374/.490 slash line.
With 41 games left and one game back of a Wild Card spot, the Phillies are hoping to ride the wave from Thursday’s heroics provided by their $330 million man.