Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber breaking the Bank in Philly. Yordan Alvarez launching moonshots in H-Town. Dusty Baker trying for a most elusive win. Justin Verlander, too. A fired-up Harper and All-Stars JT Realmuto and Zack Wheeler, stepping onto baseball's biggest platform for the first time. Yo! The Philadelphia Phillies, of all teams, are headed to the World Series. Against those back-for-more Houston Astros, y'all. A pretty tasty matchup starting Friday night at Minute Maid Park, a Fall Classic full of vibrant sights, scents, and sounds, the AP reports. Think cheesesteaks, hoagies, and water ice vs. BBQ brisket, Tex-Mex, and Blue Bell ice cream.
The Phanatic and Phils fans need a late rally at Citizens Bank Park? Dial up something from Rocky. Want to party in Houston? Sing and clap along with mascot Orbit to Moe Bandy's bouncy “Deep in the Heart of Texas” during the seventh-inning stretch. Harper already has hit five home runs this postseason. In the signature swing of his career, his eighth-inning drive against San Diego on Sunday in Game 5 sent the Phillies into the World Series for the first time since 2009 and earned him the NL Championship Series MVP. The Astros are 7-0 this postseason after finishing off a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series. Alex Bregman's go-ahead single keyed a 6-5 win Sunday night.
This marks the Astros' fourth trip to the World Series in six years and their only title in 2017 was tainted by an illegal sign-stealing scandal. Last season, they lost to Freddie Freeman and the underdog Atlanta Braves in six games. As for Philadelphia, the Phils lost to the Yankees in their last trip this far. A year earlier in 2008, closer Brad Lidge capped off his remarkable year of going 48 for 48 in save chances to close out the Phillies' second title as a team led by Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard. They beat Tampa Bay in five games. Spurred by their rollicking home crowd, Harper and this bunch of Phils hope to add another banner this year.
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