Bryce Harper
There's something special about Bryce Harper and how he produces on baseball's biggest stage, and there can be little doubt now that his ability to deliver in the clutch is downright extraordinary. 

"He's a Hall of Famer," said Braves skipper Brian Snitker. "I mean, he's one of those guys that loves that stage. He's always been very -- you know, he's a special player. You put him in the spotlight, and he's going to shine."

Harper delivered a pair of dingers in Game 3 on Wednesday night, including a three-run blast in the third inning that broke the contest open, as the Phillies cruised to a 10-2 win over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. 

The win gives Philadelphia a 2-1 advantage over Atlanta and moves the club to within a game of advancing to the National League Championship Series. The victory also allows the Phillies to close things out at home on Thursday with Ranger Suarez on the mound. 

Nick Castellanos put the Phillies on the board in the third, bopping a 1-0 slider into the seats in left to even the game at 1-1. Brandon Marsh and Trea Turner each followed with a pair of singles, setting the table for Harper to deliver his three-run homer. 

It was a majestic blast, traveling 408 feet and landing in the second deck with an exit velocity of 109.5 mph, per Statcast. The 45,798 fans in attendance erupted into a frenzy as 'MVP' chants rattled around the park. Adding to the chaos, Harper stared at Braves shortstop Orlando Arcia as he rounded second base; this after Arcia reportedly mocked Harper for making the final out in Monday's Game 2 loss in Atlanta. 

"Yeah, I stared right at him," Harper said. 

J.T. Realmuto chipped in with a two-run double to close out a six-run inning for the Phillies. 

Atlanta starter Bryce Elder, making his postseason debut, failed to finish the frame and was responsible for five hits and all six runs. 

Harper delivered an encore in the sixth, hitting a solo shot to become just the seventh player in franchise history to have a multi-homer game in the postseason. Castellanos added a solo homer to open the eighth, meaning he and Harper are one of only four duos in postseason history to hit multiple homers in the same game. 

Aaron Nola pieced together a solid outing, surrendering two runs over 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and whiffed nine. He departed in the sixth to a thunderous applause and tipped his cap in appreciation. 

"Yeah, I just want to soak it in as much as possible," Nola said. "Fans were awesome tonight, as usual, and coming off the mound earlier, felt like they turned up the notch a little bit, which was pretty awesome, pretty special. So I wanted to tip my cap and thank them. That's why they're the best, man. From pitch one to the end of the game, they were standing up. It was fun. It was an amazing atmosphere."

The solid outing not only helped the Phils secure the Game 3 win, but it also preserved some bullpen pieces that could see action on Thursday night.

"Even if those guys pitched tonight, they'd be available tomorrow," manager Rob Thomson said. "But just giving an extra day is better for them. And those added runs in the eighth inning were really big for us."

The Braves entered the postseason with a historically good offense, but it was the Phillies on Wednesday who combined for six homers, tying a postseason record set by the Cubs in Game 3 of the 2015 NLDS. 

Brandon Marsh finished 3-for-4 with a homer and a double, while Trea Turner went 2-for-4 with a homer and a pair of runs scored.

"The thing is about this club is -- and I've said it all year long, they're resilient," Thomson said. "We lose a tough ballgame in Atlanta the other night, we get behind 1-0 in the third inning, and they just keep fighting. And they fight till the end, and I'm proud of them for that."

That fight begins with Harper, from his heroics on the diamond to his adoration for Philadelphia. 

"I love this place. Flat out, I love this place," Harper said. "There's nothing like coming into the Bank and playing in front of these fans. Blue collar mentality, tough, fighting every single day. I get chills, man. I get so fired up. Man, I love this place.

"I signed here for a reason. To do everything I could to bring back a trophy to this town, to Mr. Middleton, to this organization. I got chills thinking about it, because that's what it's all about. I love this place." 

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