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Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and Phillies react to making playoffs

HOUSTON — Across the Phillies, it was merely often known as The Drought, 10 years of no playoffs. It hung like a weight across the group’s neck and received heavier and heavier the previous few seasons as possession wrote large verify after large verify for high free brokers, solely to see different groups play in October.

So when the Phillies received there with a 3-0 win in Houston on Monday evening, it was cathartic. There have been hugs, there have been tributes and there was champagne.

“Wow,” Rhys Hoskins mentioned between swigs. “What a very long time coming. Too lengthy. However that is the very best.

“And all that (crap) about Aaron Nola in September. I feel that may go away now.”

Hoskins took one other swig, grabbed Kyle Schwarber and hugged him.

“Does this man know methods to have an enormous recreation, or what?” he mentioned.

Hoskins made a few good factors. Nola had a few poor Septembers in current seasons and that damage the Phillies’ playoff possibilities and the drought grew. Although Nola was pitching on the third day of October on Monday, it was nonetheless the ultimate month of the season. He did not simply look that outdated narrative within the eye and stare it down, he punched it within the face and blackened its eye by retiring the primary 20 batters he confronted, 9 by strikeout.

And Schwarber, nicely, he drove in two of the Phillies’ runs with a pair of homers within the largest win of the season.

“Forty-six!” Hoskins exclaimed.

Nola had everybody pondering he was going to pitch an ideal recreation for some time.


“I assumed so,” Schwarber mentioned. “I used to be like, ‘Man, that is going to be unbelievable.’ That may have been an excellent one for everybody to carry on to.”

It nonetheless was.

“Trustworthy to God, I assumed he was going to throw an ideal recreation, I actually did,” supervisor Rob Thomson mentioned. “And after I went out to take him out (with two outs within the seventh), I assumed he was going to chew my head off. He simply had that look in his eye. However all evening he had that look in his eye, like I’ll get this factor carried out. And his stuff was nice. And he simply mowed them down. 

“I feel we are able to cease all that September speak now.”

Schwarber continued to marvel at Nola’s effort.

“I’ve solely seen him as an opponent and being his teammate this yr,” Schwarber mentioned. “If I may label him and say how necessary he’s as a pitcher and a teammate and simply to a company, it could be this recreation. You depend on him. You want him. And he goes out and does that.”

Nola was usually soft-spoken and humble after the largest win of his life.

Excellent recreation?

“I simply wished to get a win, man, actually,” he mentioned within the din of the Phillies’ victorious clubhouse. “That is an important factor. It will be nice to pitch one, however I imply, have a look at this. Cannot get higher than this proper right here. A win’s a win. That is all that issues.”

A second later, Nola clenched his fists by his aspect, checked out his celebrating teammates and mentioned, “We lastly made it.”

Schwarber has been an enormous distinction maker for this staff all season. His large June — 12 homers and 27 RBIs — helped flip a useless staff right into a contender. He hit two big homers in a vital win Saturday evening and two extra within the clincher Monday, the primary one on the primary pitch of the sport. How’s that for saying, ‘Get on my again, boys’?

“You have to love enjoying in video games like this,” Schwarber mentioned. “That is what it is about. That is why you play the sport, to get into place to be in one thing that the entire league will not be going to be in. That is why you play. And also you play to get to that final objective, which is the World Collection and we took care of that first step tonight.”

Schwarber went on to discuss all of the challenges the staff confronted this yr.

“That is very satisfying as a result of you already know what — it is a long-ass season,” he mentioned. “It is unbelievably lengthy and to see the issues that we went by way of as a staff, the place you undergo a supervisor change, you undergo (Bryce Harper) being down, you undergo (Jean Segura) being down, you undergo (Zack) Wheeler being down, you undergo the naysayers saying we won’t catch the baseball, it makes it that rather more satisfying to be the place we’re at. And you already know what — the September that we had, it wasn’t the September that we wished it to be, however to be within the place we’re and be capable of have a good time on the finish of the yr, that is what it is all about.”


Harper spoke about that managerial change, the one the place Thomson took over for Joe Girardi with the staff seven video games underneath .500 in June.

“Rob Thomson does an excellent job for us,” Harper mentioned. “He is our chief on the high. He is carried out an excellent job ensuring that all of us keep even-keeled every day. That while you go on a profitable streak or shedding streak you simply hold going, you flush the day earlier than and also you perceive that you’ve an increasing number of every day. I feel he is an enormous cause why we’re right here proper now.”

That quote appears like a letter of advice. Thomson is, in spite of everything, nonetheless the interim supervisor. The interim supervisor is 21 video games over .500 and headed to the postseason.

The Phillies do not but know who they are going to play within the first spherical of the playoffs. They could possibly be in St. Louis on Friday evening or New York. They’ll play the best-of-three collection on the street. Their objective is to get again house for a playoff recreation.

The Drought is over.

“We knew it was there, we knew it coming into the season,” Schwarber mentioned. “Our followers wished us to be right here and so they tell us that. 

“We wish to get it carried out for them. We’re not out right here attempting to screw issues up. We’re out right here attempting to win. And now that we’re right here, we will attempt to deliver this again to Philadelphia and get these individuals within the seats and listen to what this factor is all about. I wish to see it. I wish to hear it. I’ve seen movies. It seems to be unbelievable and I wish to see it with my very own eyes so it is our job to get it again to them now.”

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