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Bryce Harper Claims NLCS MVP Honors



bryce harper

The Philadelphia Phillies are heading back to the World Series after slugger Bryce Harper claimed NLCS MVP honors after a dominant series that was capped off by Harper’s Game 5 performance to eliminate the San Diego Padres.

Harper batted .400 with two home runs and five RBIs during the series, but two-run homer in the bottom of the eight inning provided the Phillies to a 4-3 victory over the Padres and sent them to their first World Series since 2009.

It will be Harper’s first Fall Classic.

“I didn’t want to get back on that flight back to San Diego” Harper said, according to ESPN’s David Schoenfield. “I just didn’t want to get on a 5½-hour flight,” Harper said. “I wanted to hang out at home and enjoy this at home with these fans and this organization and this fan base.”

“That’s the reason we signed [Harper], the city loves him, and you can’t say enough about the guy,” Phillies Game 5 starter Zack Wheeler said. “He just has the thing in him. He just has that in him where he steps up in big moments. I don’t know, he’s always been a dude. It was always fun to compete against him, but it’s a lot more fun when he’s on your team.”

Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins described the scene revolving around Harper’s huge homer as “pure chaos. I don’t think anyone was surprised. This guy has a knack for coming up in big moments. It is what he has done his whole career. We have seen it so many times, obviously not on this stage. MV3.”

“I think everybody was ready for him to face anybody who came in,” Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin said. “I’m not a manager, I’m a pitcher. But you know what, it was so much fun watching J.T.[Realmuto] get that base hit and Harper coming up after him. We knew they were in trouble.”

“It is the dream,” Hoskins said. “As an athlete, it is all about winning. Winning makes everything better. You go 0-for-4, 0-for-5, give up a homer, Phils score more, it doesn’t matter.”

The Phillies made their improbable run after firing Joe Girardi mid-season, and longtime Girardi coach Rob Thomson took over. The club responded so well that Thompson was named official manager moving forward.

“I think our manager has a really good ability to keep things going, to keep things going the right way,” Harper said after Game 4. “Never panics, never really sits there and thinks, oh, I need to move this guy or I need to move this guy. I feel like he believes in his players. I think when you have a manager like that that believes in you and has an organization that believes in you, it just makes you that much better of a player.”

“This is great, to be able to be the last National League team standing right now. The Philadelphia Phillies, we’re here. We’re ready to go in that next round. We’ve got four more. We’re going to enjoy this as a team, as a group, but we’ve got four more.”

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.