Harper, Machado tangle in wild-card NLCS between Phils, Pads

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Both Bryce Harper or Manny Machado will likely be taking part in within the World Collection this 12 months.

Harper’s Philadelphia Phillies will face Machado’s San Diego Padres in an all-wild card NL Championship Collection beginning Tuesday night time at Petco Park. It’s not precisely the matchup most followers would have predicted, however neither slugger is about to apologize about their groups making thrilling October runs as the 2 lowest seeds.

“I believe, truthfully, we’ve bought the 2 greatest groups going up in opposition to one another, and it’s going to be a enjoyable week for certain,” stated Machado, who had an MVP-caliber season as he carried the Padres within the absence of star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.

The 89-win Padres, who’ve benefited from veteran supervisor Bob Melvin’s calm model throughout his first 12 months as their skipper, went to New York and beat the 101-win Mets within the wild-card spherical. Then they eradicated the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball’s greatest staff with a franchise-record 111 wins, by profitable three straight video games after shedding the opener on the highway.

The 87-win Phillies are the No. 6 seed. They downed the NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals within the wild-card spherical after which beat the defending World Collection champion Atlanta Braves, who took the NL East title with 101 wins, within the division sequence.

That despatched the Phillies and their scorching bats to San Diego, which was again to being sunny and 72 levels for Monday’s exercise after a uncommon October rainstorm drenched the ballpark in the course of the electrical Recreation 4 clincher in opposition to the Dodgers on Saturday night time.

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“Individuals type of counted us each out, proper?” stated Harper, who missed two months after breaking his left thumb when he was hit by a pitch by San Diego’s Blake Snell at Petco Park on June 25. “I believe it was L.A. or the Braves or the Mets are going to win as a result of these three groups are so dynamic they usually had such nice common seasons, as they all the time do.”

“I believe it will be an ideal sequence,” Harper added. “It’s going to be plenty of enjoyable. I do know we’re wanting ahead to it as a staff and the chance to come back in right here and win a sport hopefully and get dwelling.”

Proper-hander Zack Wheeler is predicted to begin for the Phillies in Recreation 1, and 36-year-old Yu Darvish takes the mound for the Padres. Darvish would have gone on three days’ relaxation if the Padres had been compelled to play Recreation 5 of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium on Sunday night time. However they completed the Dodgers with a five-run seventh inning in a 5-3 victory in Recreation 4.

A lot of the focus will likely be on Harper and Machado. They have been teammates on the 2009 under-18 U.S. nationwide staff that received the Pan-Am championship. Harper was the highest total choose within the 2010 newbie draft by Washington whereas Machado was the third choose by Baltimore.

They made their massive league debuts three months aside in 2012, Harper as a 19-year-old and Machado shortly after turning 20. Seven years later they signed huge offers as the highest free brokers going into the 2019 season; Machado bought a $300 million, 10-year contract with San Diego, and Harper went to Philadelphia for $330 million and 13 years.

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“We have been two of the highest free brokers,” Machado stated. “And he went to a metropolis that wished to carry a championship again, and I went to a metropolis that’s by no means received a championship. Right here we’re a pair years later, we’ve carried out that, two organizations, and we’ve helped the organizations out massive time.

“It’s going to be enjoyable. He brings an power. He’s the most effective gamers within the sport.”

Harper stated Machado “is a superb expertise. He’s the most effective defenders within the sport. He can swing the bat very properly. He’s having an ideal 12 months this 12 months. I’m excited to have the ability to share the sphere with him.”

The Padres are within the NLCS for the primary time since 1998, proper earlier than they have been swept by the New York Yankees within the World Collection.

The Phillies are within the playoffs for the primary time since 2011, once they capped a five-year run that included a World Collection championship in 2008 after which losses within the World Collection in 2009 and the NLCS in 2010.

Philadelphia, which outscored Atlanta 17-4 at dwelling within the ultimate two video games of the NLDS, has had some memorable moments this postseason.

Harper has hit three playoff homers, together with two whereas going 8 for 16 in 4 video games in opposition to the Braves. Rhys Hoskins had an epic bat spike on a monster homer in opposition to the Braves, and J.T. Realmuto turned the primary catcher in postseason historical past to hit an inside-the-park dwelling run.

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Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber received the NL dwelling run title with 46. Rob Thompson took over as supervisor on June 3 after Joe Girardi was fired and led the Phillies to the playoffs. He was rewarded with a two-year contract.

Harper, in the meantime, performed for some San Diego journey ball groups years in the past and is aware of a bit concerning the metropolis.

“I count on this place to be fairly rowdy tomorrow night time,” Harper stated. “They’re a metropolis that loves their baseball.”


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