Harper's speed, youngsters' clutch hits power Phils' walk-off win

July 26th, 2023

PHILADELPHIA --  flew around the bases on Tuesday night, just like he flew around the bases on Monday.

Except this time, he scored easily.

And this time, the Phillies won.

Harper scored the game-tying run on ’s two-out double into the right-field corner in the ninth inning. Stott then came around to score the winning run on 's walk-off single to left to secure the Phillies' 4-3 victory over the Orioles at Citizens Bank Park.

Bohm rounded first base and tossed his helmet to the side as soon as he saw Stott touch home plate, then he led a mob of teammates into right field to celebrate.

“It’s just a bunch of guys that are comfortable playing in big games,” Bohm said.

It was a badly needed victory for a team that had lost five of its previous six games, including three one-run losses. Philadelphia (54-47) is a half-game behind Arizona and San Francisco for the second and third NL Wild Card spots.

The top six hitters in the Phillies’ lineup were a combined 1-for-20 when Harper stepped to the plate with one out in the ninth. Harper’s home run to right in the sixth tied the game at 2-2. In the ninth, he took a 2-0 changeup on the outer half of the plate from Yennier Cano and singled to left to give Philadelphia a glimmer of hope.

Nick Castellanos struck out looking for the second out, but Stott turned on a first-pitch sinker, sending the ball into the right-field corner.

Harper ran hard from the jump.

“I thought he could score,” Stott said. “I knew he was going to try to score, regardless.”

“You can tell by the way he’s running, he’s not stopping,” Bohm said. “That guy wants to win as much as anybody. You could tell right away he was scoring.”

Harper ran from first to home in 10.68 seconds, reaching a sprint speed of 27.7 feet per second, according to Statcast. He ran just as fast on Monday, when he was thrown out at the plate trying to score the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. The Phillies lost that game in the ninth, 3-2.

“He put it in the perfect spot,” Harper said about Stott’s double. “I was ready to score. I thought it was a good opportunity to chug along again and see what happens.”

The Orioles did not have a clean relay, which turned what might have been a close play at the plate into no play.

Harper was pumped.

“I was more pumped for Bryson,” Harper said. “He’s such a baller out there, man. It’s so much fun to watch. I know he’s one of my best friends, but I can’t say enough about how he goes about it, the way he does it. At-bat by at-bat, situation by situation; it doesn’t matter where he’s hitting the lineup, what he’s doing. It’s just fun to watch. He’s going to be a star, man. It’s a lot of fun to see him do his thing. I think my friend-ness came out in that situation, because I was just so fired up for him.”

J.T. Realmuto kept the inning alive when he hit a chopper to Orioles shortstop Jorge Mateo, who double clutched before he threw. Realmuto beat the throw because he ran hard down the line.

“J.T., one of the best in the game and one of the fastest catchers in the league, if not one of the fastest guys,” Harper said.

Bohm watched the play unfold from the on-deck circle.

“They challenged the play, so I actually had a second to think,” Bohm said. “I was really just trying to put the barrel on the ball. He’s throwing sidearm, 97, a lot of movement, all that stuff. I was really just trying to touch something, honestly.”

Bohm hit a 1-1 changeup to win it. It was the third walk-off hit of his career.

“A lot of the older guys have played a lot of big games in their careers,” Bohm said. “That’s kind of worn off on some of the younger guys. We’re comfortable in those situations. We just find a way to win. Those older guys have done a good job of teaching the younger guys how to win a baseball game.”