Phillies

Bryce Harper blasts a walk-off grand slam to beat the Cubs in series finale

Bryce Harper blasts a walk-off grand slam to beat the Cubs in series finale

After being dominated for seven innings by Chicago Cubs starter Yu Darvish on Thursday night, the Phillies rallied for seven runs against the Cubs’ bullpen in the final two innings and pulled out a dramatic 7-5 win at Citizens Bank Park.

Bryce Harper won it with a grand slam with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

He sprinted around the bases and was mobbed at home plate by his delirious teammates.

The Phillies are 2-0 under new hitting coach Charlie Manuel.

The win gave the Phillies a series sweep of the Cubs, who entered the game tied for the NL Central lead.

The Phillies (63-58) had not swept a series since late June.

Harper’s grannie came against lefty Derek Holland. It was a high-arching drive down the right field line.

The Phillies entered the game two games back in the NL wild-card race.

Harper has seven homers and 15 RBIs in his last 12 games.

Funny game

Harper ultimately delivered with runners in scoring position and the Phillies finished the game 4 for 15 with runners in scoring position. But the Phils began the night 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

Darvish shines

The Phils were shut out over the first seven innings by Darvish.

The Cubs’ right-hander did not walk a batter. He scattered four hits and struck out 10. It was one of his best outings of the season.

Darvish threw mostly four-seam fastballs and cutters and he got 16 swings and misses while throwing 92 pitches. His heater topped out at 96.7 mph.

No Smyls

The Phillies did not get a good start from Drew Smyly. He allowed seven hits and five runs over five innings. He gave up two homers. He gave up three long balls in 5 2/3 innings in his last outing. Over his last two starts, he has been tagged for 10 extra-base hits.

Up next

The Phillies open a three-game series against the San Diego Padres on Friday night. Vince Velasquez (4-7, 4.30) gets the ball in the opener. He will oppose right-hander Chris Paddack (7-5, 3.26).

Right-hander Zach Eflin (7-11, 4.49) will face right-hander Dinelson Lamet (1-2, 3.86) on Saturday night.

A pair of lefties, Jason Vargas (6-6, 4.03) and Joey Lucchesi (7-7, 4.25) will pitch in the series finale Sunday afternoon.

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At the Yard podcast: Reacting to the huge Zack Wheeler news

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NBCSP

At the Yard podcast: Reacting to the huge Zack Wheeler news

Ricky Bottalico and Corey Seidman react to the big news of the Phillies agreeing to a five-year deal with Zack Wheeler on the latest At The Yard podcast.

They also discuss the possibility of the Phillies signing Didi Gregorius, Cole Hamels heading to the Braves, and much more.

• Initial impressions of the signing
• What the guys like most about Wheeler
• Was this the right price?
• Bittersweet day with Hamels to Braves
• Phillies still need to add another good SP
• One Wheeler concern
• The market for Anthony Rendon



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Rhys Hoskins stoked for early Zack Wheeler gift from Santa Klentak, Mets fans irate

Rhys Hoskins stoked for early Zack Wheeler gift from Santa Klentak, Mets fans irate

Christmas came early for free-agent pitcher Zack Wheeler in the form of a five-year, $118 million contract from the Philadelphia Phillies.

But Wheeler isn't the only one to celebrate today. His new teammates are also stoked about the addition of a hard-throwing righty to follow Aaron Nola in the rotation.

First baseman Rhys Hoskins took to Twitter to share his excitement about Santa coming early this year.

While Philadelphia seems quite pleased with the move, we thought it only fair to check in with New York Mets fans to see how they felt about their former starter joining a division rival.

They're taking it ... not so well over at the Metsrefugees.com message board. A sampling:

This is the worst possible scenario

lol of course. He's gonna dominate the Mets now.

We deserve this.

And one more **** *** to Brodie and the Wilpons for not signing this man -- who badly wanted to stay here -- to a much cheaper extension a year ago, when they had the chance. I hope he makes them pay for that decision. Sincerely. Best of luck to Zack.

This infuriates me

So things are going well in New York this holiday season, which is nice.

But it's not all sunshine and rainbows in the NL East. The Atlanta Braves got some Cole (Hamels) before Christmas.

Plenty of shopping days remain. Will Matt Klentak and John Middleton really go crazy this year, blow through the luxury tax, and show up to spring training with a new Stephen Strasburg with a red bow on 'em?

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