Who won the week in Philly sports: Bryce Harper reaches immortality


I’ve been doing this “who won the week in Philly sports” feature since I started at PhillyVoice. Never has there been an easier choice for this. Bryce Harper, on the biggest stage of his career, showcased that he’s worth every penny of that $330 million the Phillies are paying him with postseason heroics for the ages. Harper owns Philadelphia right now. A Phillie doing that while the Eagles are undefeated may be even more impressive than him hitting .400 in the NLCS.

“Where were you for Bryce’s homer?” will be a question Phillies fans ask each other for the rest of their lives. Something tells me revisionist history will say that there were closer to 450,000 people down there at Citizens Bank Park, not 45,000. A go-ahead, two-run home run in the eighth inning to propel the Phillies into the World Series? You could live a lifetime and never see a bigger blast for this franchise. 

A home run of that magnitude is something that will live on far longer than Harper’s time in red pinstripes. It is now a capital “M” MOMENT for the city, akin to Wilbert Montgomery’s dash against the Cowboys, Allen Iverson’s step over, Matt Stairs ripping one into the night and Patrick Robinson scurrying into the end zone. 

Touch ’em all, Bryce. You’ve locked yourself into legendary status in Philadelphia. 

Not that I need to convince you, but let’s lay out what’s made Harper’s postseason so special…

THE SWING OF HIS LIFE 🎙️

A great play needs a great call. Those Stairs and Robinson moments live even larger in my mind because Joe Bucks did a hell of a job on both. FOX Sports’ Joe Davis was up to the task on this one:

“HARPER… THE SWING OF HIS LIFE!” 

I’ll hear that a million more times in the years to come and I can’t imagine it’ll ever stop giving me chills. 

MVP 🏆

Harper was named MVP of the 2022 NLCS. His playoff numbers are bonkers:

 Stats NLWC  NLDS  NLCS 
 G 2  4
PA  18  20 
BA  .286  .500  .400 
OPS  1.089  1.592  1.250 
HR   1 2
RBI   1  5 

These are “MVP Baseball 2005” stat lines. 

Harper has a 1.351 OPS this postseason in 46 plate appearances. That’s the fourth-highest OPS in history for a single postseason (minimum 46 PAs). 

Here’s the top 10 (via Stathead):

Rank   Player Team  Year  OPS 
1  Barry Bonds Giants  2002  1.559 
 Carlos Beltran  Astros 2004  1.557
Willie Stargell  Pirates  1979  1.362
Bryce Harper   Phillies 2022  1.351 
Paul Molitor  Blue Jays  1993  1.318 
Alex Rodriguez  Yankees  2009  1.308 
7 Albert Pujols  Cardinals  2004  1.286 
David Ortiz  Red Sox  2004  1.278 
 Rand Arozarena Rays  2020  1.273 
10  Miguel Cabrera  Tigers  2011  1.261 

That list includes three Hall of Famers, two of the best players to ever live, two future first-ballot Hall of Famers and more. Not bad company!

The King of Pandering 👑

I got a couple angry emails before when I talked about how much Harper panders to Philly fans. Let’s not get it twisted: It’s amazing. It’s so easy to connect with Philadelphians. There’s a winning playbook to endear yourself to the city. Harper is turning in one of the greatest postseasons in the history of the sport and can’t shut up about how much he loves playing in Philadelphia: 

The dude just smashed his way into the Fall Classic and is getting choked up talking about Philly. Hey, I was in the stands on Sunday afternoon. I shed some tears. What a time for the Phillies, but, more importantly, what a time for this city. People pouring into the street, arm-in-arm, screaming cheering, cursing, partying. It’s incredible. 

“Let’s give them something to remember tonight.”

That gives me the same vibes as Tim Riggins saying, “Let’s touch God this time, boys.” 

There are an infinite amount of possibilities in this world and we ended up in the one timeline where Bryce freaking Harper is hitting playoff home runs for the Phillies. 

Last week’s winner: Rhys Hoskins

Who Won the Week 2022 Tally

Bryce Harper: 4

Rhys Hoskins: 4

Howie Roseman: 4

Rob Thomson: 2

Phillies: 1

Haason Reddick: 1

Jalen Hurts: 1

Eagles fans: 1

A.J. Brown: 1

Nick Sirianni: 1

Avonte Maddox: 1

Eagles: 1

Kyle Schwarber: 1

Tyrese Maxey: 1

Tobias Harris: 1

Joel Embiid: 1

Ray Didinger: 1

Phillies bullpen: 1


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