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Bring on the Braves: Phillies show World Series elements in Cardinals sweep

st. Lewis — All but one were there. Goggles were on, music was playing and corks were blaring from his 12 shots. The postseason’s biggest wild cards gathered behind the visiting clubhouse, waiting for the cue.

A few minutes after 11:00 p.m., the hosts arrived, half an hour after the Phillies scored the biggest finals in the franchise’s last 11 years. Rob in red his october his t his shirt and cap slightly tipped his thomson his thomson the players gathered around him in a semicircle with a bottle of champagne in hand I saw.

He spoke in his usual calm tone, and I could hear him well enough. He talked about the teams they beat and how they beat them.

» Read more: Phillies sweep Cardinals behind Aaron Nola. After NLDS, Braves

But first, he lifted the bottle and said six words that probably didn’t need to be spoken at all.

“I’m so proud of you guys,” said Thomson.

They knew it, and he knew they knew it, yet he said it because it was the most important thing on his mind. The Phillies not only swept the Cardinals with a 2-0 win at Busch Stadium on Saturday night, but also qualified for the National League Division Series. His previous three-and-a-half hours were living proof that many of them had risen from the grave.

Five months ago, Alec Baum hated his city. Perhaps hating himself, his 3-error game in mid-April left him wondering how the Phillies could survive a season with such a responsibility at third base. had robbed the Cardinals of his two doubles on the left field line.

Two months ago, Zach Eflin wore a knee brace and wondered if his knees were right. Forget the season. How’s his career going?On Saturday, he recorded his second clinch save in a week and threw his scoreless ninth to clinch this best of his three series. Did.

Aaron Nora? He won another big game that many claimed was out of his reach.

Bryce Harper? His two home runs gave them the breathing room they needed to give him the first playoff series win of his career.

Oh yeah, Thomson was there too. Has the 59-year-old interim manager spent his life in the game and consistently decided he was incapable of an eventual leadership role? Well, he was definitely there, too.

» Read more: Return from injury was a ‘grind’ for Phillies’ Bryce Harper – until Game 2 home run

“He’s a baseball life,” Bohm said. “He is on the field before everyone else and he is there after everyone leaves. He is truly our heart and soul. I think he’s the right person to lead us, and he’s been wonderful to us.”

Payback is Blythe.

and Nora. and Wheeler. and bohm.

Eleven years after the Cardinals ended an era with two wins at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies stepped foot into Busch Stadium, giving way to two, perhaps three, St. Louis legends of their own misfortune. rice field.

In the champagne-soaked visiting clubhouse, no one thought about Yadier Molina or Albert Pujols. They weren’t thinking about whether Adam Wainwright would retire and join them, they weren’t thinking about his 2011. But from the perspective of the Phillies’ organization as a whole, it’s hard to distinguish what his current 26-man roster accomplished on Saturday night with a shock defeat to the Cardinals in the National League Division Series 11 years ago. is not possible.

They didn’t cast out demons. Let’s be clear about that. This was just the first step, a slow, small step towards a return to greatness. Still managed. something very progress. that was it.

This is an entity that has been in critically short supply for most of the last 11 years. At times I wondered if it was even possible. The infinity nature made it all but certain that the Phillies would return to postseason relevance at least once before the Earth hit the Sun. The inevitable still felt like light years away.


» Read more: Phillies World Series odds after advancing to NLDS

By defeating the Cardinals, the Phillies ensured that their first postseason since losing to St. Louis would include a home playoff game.

“It’s huge,” said Thomson. “It really is. They’ve been waiting a long time. And finally we’re going home and we have a diehard fan by our side, so there’s a lot of people involved. Organizations, cities.” , and the players, a lot of these guys haven’t been in this situation, and that’s what I’m really proud of, there’s so many players who’ve never played in the playoffs, and they’re really I mean, they played great, and you see, the moment didn’t play their best, and I’m happy about that.”

They can beat the Braves.

They are? Probably not mine, but I’d bet your money on it. And no one could have felt the energy Saturday night as the Phillies spilled out of the visitors’ dugout.

“I can promise you that no one is excited to play for the Phillies right now,” said catcher JT Realmuto. “So we are in a good place.”