ATLANTA — A historic, improbable double play sparked by Michael Harris II gave the Braves a dramatic series-tying comeback victory in Game 2 of the National League against the Phillies on Monday night. Foundation.
The Braves rallied from four runs down to take a 5-4 lead in the ninth with Bryce Harper at first base and Nick Castellanos at first. A hit with the base runner out. Castellanos hit a fly ball to deep right-center field that would have been a home run in five major league ballparks and had an expected batting average of .610 according to StatCast.
Harris read the article quickly, though, telling reporters after the game: “I knew from the start that the game was going to be close to the fence, so I knew once I got back, I wasn’t going to stop. I would do anything. “I can wear gloves. “
Harris jumped to catch the ball, hit the outfield wall, then immediately found his feet and sent the ball back to the infield and toward second base. Harper was about five steps from second base when Harris caught the ball.
“Usually you don’t cross the bases,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “You stand in front of the ball and make sure it doesn’t get caught. But he thought the ball was clearly over his head and didn’t think he was going to catch it. Harris made a great play. Unbelievable. He tried to come back. Then he slipped, but usually you stay in front of second base.”
Second baseman Ozzie Albies tried to catch Harris’ pitch, but third baseman Austin Riley backed up Albies between second base and the mound. That’s not by design.
“I think the only reason I’m in this position is because I was screaming and just the momentum kept pulling me in that direction,” Riley said. “Ultimately it was just being in the right place at the right time.”
Riley backhand scooped the ball and threw it to first base in one motion, like he was guarding a slow grounder at third base. At the end of the game, the team completed an 8-5-3 double play at any time in the playoffs for the first time in Major League Baseball (MLB) history. It was also the first time in history that an outfielder completed a playoff double play.
Harris said after the game that he didn’t know where Harper was, which is why he threw the ball toward second base.
“We just saw a Slomo here (at the clubhouse),” he said. “I didn’t know he was past second, so I threw it in… I guess Riley was just in the right spot to throw the ball and make an unbelievable throw.”
Harper praised Harris’ performance.
“Just trying my luck,” he said of his baserunning. “Michael made a great play and double-teamed me. Tough way to end it.”
The Phillies took a 4-0 lead in the sixth and a 4-1 lead in the seventh when Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud scored on former Mets battery teammate Zach ·Zack Wheeler hit a two-run home run to tie the score to 4-3. Wheeler had a huge night, striking out 10, walking one and allowing just three hits.
“We tried to stay as positive as possible in the dugout,” Riley said of the Braves’ mentality before the home run. “Everyone says we have to keep going, we have to keep going. (Wheeler) had an unbelievable night. He was very dominant. … Once we get the crowd back, good things will happen occur”
Riley hit a home run off Jeff Hoffman for the win.
“I just wanted to put a bucket on the ball,” he said. “That’s it. It’s definitely my top (home run).”
The series now heads to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4. The Phillies will start Aaron Nola on Wednesday. Manager Brian Snitker said he will likely announce the Warriors’ Game 3 starters on Tuesday.