PHILADELPHIA- The Phillies now hold a 2-1 series lead over the Astros after winning Game 3 in convincing fashion.
Hosting their first World Series game at home since 2009, Philadelphia put on a show in front of a sell-out crowd at Citizens Bank Park.
“They keep us going, they keep us fired up,” Harper said of the home crowd after the game. “They believe in us, and we believe in them.”
Eager to bounce back from a sluggish outing the previous game, the Phillies offense blitzed Astros starter, Lance McCullers.
Phillies Offense Explodes at Home
Through the first nine at-bats, the Phillies launched three home runs into the stands.
Bryce Harper kicked things off with a towering two-run blast in the bottom of the first inning. The reigning NL MVP got a hold of a hanging curveball and quickly turned it into a souvenir, turning Philly into a madhouse in the process.
“I’ve said it multiple times, if we have 46,000 people in the stadium, that’s 46,026 cause we’re all in this together,” Harper said of playing in Philly. “No matter what, where they’re at, who they are, where they come from – if you’ve got Phillies across your chest and you’re a fan, you’re part of our team. You’re part of our organization and you fight with us each day.”
At first glance, one may accuse Harper of pandering here, but it genuinely appears as though the Phillies feed off the Citizens Bank Park crowd.
So far this postseason, the Phillies are a perfect 6-0 at home. In playoff games played at CBP, the Phillies have a +27 run differential.
“These home playoff games are the best baseball atmosphere I’ve ever played in,” Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos said during the NLCS.
At home, the Phillies are simply overwhelming opponents. Each home run is magnified by the roar of the Philly crowd and the homer-happy Phillies are taking full advantage.
In Game 3, the Phillies scored seven runs, all of which were scored on home runs. The five home runs hit by the Phillies in Game 3 tied the record for most home runs in a single World Series game.
“This has been such an incredible experience,” J.T. Realmuto told Yahoo! Sports. “The way the fans have packed this stadium out every game this postseason has been a lot of fun. They have been incredible at creating an atmosphere for us to go out there and do what we do.”
Home Field Advantage
After selling out just three regular season games, the Philly crowd has given the team a second wind in the postseason. Invested in every playoff moment, the crowd at Citizens Bank Park has become one of the biggest advantages in the postseason.
Now, with only two wins needed to clinch the World Series, the Philly crowd may witness history yet again. Games 4 and 5 of this series will be played at CBP, where the Phillies look to end their final homestand of the season with championship glory.
“We’ve got to keep it going for the next two days and do our job, and hopefully end it here at home,” Harper said postgame.
Two down, two to go. Stay tuned, Philadelphia.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke