Bryce Harper and the hammering Philadelphia Phillies clearly are enjoying a home-field edge at Citizens Bank Park.
More like a homer field advantage.
Harper started the Phillies’ World Series record-tying barrage of five home runs Tuesday night in a 7-0 romp over the Houston Astros for a 2-1 lead.
The rout boosted the Phils’ mark to 6-0 at home this postseason, fueled by the 17 homers they’ve hit in those wins.
”It’s tough to play here. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the Astros,” Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos said.
”They just have zero breathing room,” he said. ”And that’s a good thing.”
The Phillies are 22-9 all-time at the Bank in the postseason since hosting their first playoff game there in 2007.
”The fan base, I mean, it’s just so much fun. They showed up tonight knowing that we needed ’em, and they continue to do that,” Harper said.
Alec Bohm hit the 1,000th home run in World Series history Tuesday night, and the Phillies quickly went to work on launching the next thousand.
Harper, Bohm and Brandon Marsh teed off early against Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. in Game 3 of the 118th World Series. Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins hit back-to-back drives to finish McCullers in the fifth inning and make it 7-0.
The five home runs tied a World Series record done three previous times – by the 1928 Murderers’ Row New York Yankees when Babe Ruth hit three and Lou Gehrig also connected, by the Bash Brothers-led 1989 Oakland A’s in the first game after the Bay Area earthquake, and by the sign stealing scandal-tainted Astros in 2017.
McCullers became the first pitcher in postseason history to get tagged for five home runs in a game.
”I don’t really get hit around like that, so I was a little bit in disbelief,” he said.
Cristian Javier pitches next for the Astros in Game 4 on Wednesday night. He won his last start, holding the New York Yankees to one hit in 5 1/3 shutout innings in the Bronx during the AL Championship Series.
Aaron Nola starts for the Phillies. One of their aces, he was done after giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings in the World Series opener.
SERIES SCHEDULE (All times ET)
Game 4: Wednesday in Philadelphia, 8:03 p.m., FOX
Game 5: Thursday in Philadelphia, 8:03 p.m., FOX
Game 6 (if necessary): Saturday in Houston, 8:03 p.m., FOX
Game 7 (if necessary): Sunday in Houston, 8:03 p.m., FOX
Phillies supporter and first lady Jill Biden is expected at Citizens Bank Park for Game 4, a day after President Joe Biden took a playful swing at Philly’s infamously ornery sports fans – including the one in his own home.
”Phillies fans are the most virulent, obnoxious fans in the world,” he said while campaigning in Florida.
The president often kids about the first lady being ”a Philly girl” and her rooting interests in the local teams.
”Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” Biden joked in September when he hosted the 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves.
Biden added Tuesday, however, that if he didn’t root for Philadelphia teams, he’d be sleeping alone.
BP WITH BEATS
The Philadelphia Phillies are keeping the hits coming at this World Series — on the scoreboard, and from Billboard.
The homer-happy Phillies have hired locals Mr Hollywood DJ and DJ Smooth to spin tunes during batting practice. The pair has a turntable that gets set up near the home dugout, where they crank out hits from a playlist created by backup catcher Garrett Stubbs.
”A lot of the guys have the music they like, and then I just ended up just putting it all together,” Stubbs said.
On Tuesday, some players occasionally shimmied between swings as they prepared to play the Houston Astros. They sure had their timing down by first pitch, crushing five homers in the first five innings.
”They kind of wanted to pump it up a little bit more, bring the energy,”Mr Hollywood DJ said. ”The players love it. They have a good time.”
Many fans wondered how well the Houston Astros could fill their shortstop hole this year after All-Star Carlos Correa signed with Minnesota. Turns out Jeremy Pena did just fine.
Pena added to his AL Championship Series MVP award when he won an AL Gold Glove – he was the first rookie shortstop to win a Gold Glove, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
”I heard that today and I was in shock because I didn’t know that was a thing,” he said. ”But it’s pretty cool.”
Houston outfielder Kyle Tucker also won in awards announced Tuesday before Game 3 of the World Series. Philadelphia catcher J.T Realmuto won for the second time – his honor was announced to the crowd, and he drew a rousing ovation.
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