Is Harper's postseason run the best we've ever seen in Philly?


In Philadelphia, we have seen some legendary postseason performances over the past quarter-century. Allen Iverson in 2001, Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard in 2008, Nick Foles and company in Super Bowl LII, just to name a few.

But where does Bryce Harper’s 2022 postseason fall in the pantheon of Philadelphia playoff lore?

For an individual moment, it’s difficult to understate Harper’s 8th-inning two-run homer off Robert Suarez to launch the Phillies to their first N.L. pennant in 13 years. 

You can easily argue that it’s the single biggest home run in Phillies playoff history. And that seismic blast only added to the ridiculous heater he has been on in this postseason.

With the 2022 World Series still yet to be played, Harper is already the Phillies’ single-season record holder for hits (18), total bases (39), and extra-base hits (11). He is already tied for fourth – along with teammate Rhys Hoskins – among all Phillies with five homers in a single postseason.

His 11 XBH is three shy of the MLB record for a single postseason, held by David Freese from the 2011 Cardinals, and Randy Arozarena two years ago for the Tampa Bay Rays.

His OPS for these playoffs is 1.351. For perspective, he led all of baseball in the 2021 season with a 1.044 OPS. It currently ranks as the sixth-best for a player with at least 40 plate appearances in a single postseason. The rest of the top ten need no introduction.

Bonds. Beltran. Rickey. Molitor. Stargell. Mr. October. A-Rod. Pujols. Papi.

Five Hall of Famers, two more who will be there soon, and the jury remains out on Bonds and Rodriguez. The bottom line is that Harper is making the biggest plays on the biggest stage, night after night in this postseason. He is in some rare air.

This is what Bryce Harper was brought to Philadelphia to do. John Middleton sought him out to lead the Phillies to, and carry them through, moments of this magnitude. Preparation met opportunity late Sunday afternoon in South Philadelphia.

And who knows? Perhaps Harper will remain white-hot as we head into November’s bitter cold, and continue to build on what has been one of the best postseason runs we’ve ever seen from a Philly athlete.

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