Harper's walk-off lifts Phillies to big win over the Dodgers

Harper provides game-winner to lift Phillies past Dodgers
Bryce Harper has done everything right in his time in Philadelphia and on Tuesday night he delivered his biggest hit while wearing Phillies' pinstripes.

Down two-runs after having led by five at one point, Harper delivered a walk-off two-run double that lifted the Phillies to a much needed 9-8 win over the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park.

"After yesterday's loss, how brutal that was for us, and in some ways embarrassing ... nobody quit," manager Gabe Kapler said (see video below). "I think that's the calling card for our team. We get knocked down, we get back up."

Hector Neris allowed a three-run homer to rookie pinch-hitter Matt Beaty in the top of the ninth, allowing the Dodgers to take an 8-6 lead. Boos cascaded around the park and fans headed for the exits. It looked like another disastrous end and another blemish on a season already full of negative storylines.

Things turned around though for the Phils as Andrew Knapp, who entered the evening hitting just .155, roped a double down the right-field line with one out in the bottom of the ninth off Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen. Cesar Hernandez followed with a single to put runners on first and third before Scott Kingery hit a pop-up single that fell in front of outfielder A.J. Pollock.



“Once I saw the ball hit, I just went,” Knapp told reporters afterward. “If he makes an incredible play and he throws me out at home, we still have first and second. I figured take that chance.”

Harper then took the stage and provided perhaps the most memorable moment of the season, cracking the first pitch he saw from Jansen back up the middle where it skidded past Pollock and rolled to the wall, allowing Hernandez and Kingery to score. Harper was mobbed by teammates as he rounded second base.

"It was a huge moment for Bryce and you could see it coming off the field after everybody was celebrating on the field, how important that was to him," manager Gabe Kapler said. "It meant a lot to him. He was clearly emotional and I understand there had been a lot of buildup that led to that moment. It was quite a release for him."

The Phillies will aim to keep the momentum going on Wednesday as Nick Pivetta takes the mound to face Kenta Maeda.

"You live for those moments," Harper said. "That's what it's all about. Going in there, Jansen, one of the best closers in all of baseball, Dodgers-Phils. When you're facing the best in baseball, it's always a blast."
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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