Bryce Harper and Alec Bohm weren't the only two reasons why the Phillies swept a doubleheader for the first time in eight years Friday but this was a huge day for the two- and three-hitters.
Phillies hitting coach Joe Dillon was ejected in the bottom of the sixth inning in Game 2 against the Blue Jays for arguing a called strike three to Andrew McCutchen. The pitch was low and slightly below the zone. A tough, but not irregular call.
The pitch could have changed the complexion of the inning and game. The Blue Jays were ahead 7-5 and the Phillies were down to their final four outs.
Instead, Harper crushed a game-tying two-run double off the top of the wall in left-center, missing a homer by inches. He went 4 for 6 in the doubleheader with a homer, two doubles and four RBI.
Bohm followed with a single that caused an errant throw that allowed Harper to score the go-ahead run in an 8-7 win. It was a groundball single that would have been directly at the second baseman if the Blue Jays weren't shifting. Not sure that you can shift against Bohm. He hits the ball everywhere, on the ground or on a line.
Bohm went 3 for 6 in the doubleheader. He's hitting .326. He has to be the NL Rookie of the Year frontrunner right now. More here on the race.
Harper's caught fire in these last 10 games, hitting .343 with five doubles, four homers, seven RBI and several more walks than strikeouts.
"He's worked really hard to try to work out of this thing. There are nights I'd hear him hitting in the cage after a game," manager Joe Girardi said.
"To hit that ball the way he did, against the wind — on a normal day, that's out. This guy works and works and works and wants to win so bad and that's part of what makes him great."
The Phillies entered the day 3-9 in 2020 doubleheaders. They ended it 5-9. It's the first time they've swept a doubleheader since September 9, 2012.
How long ago was that?
• In between games of the Phillies' last doubleheader sweep, Michael Vick hit Clay Harbor for a game-winning touchdown to lead Andy Reid's Eagles past the Browns.
• The second-to-last season of Breaking Bad ended a week earlier.
• Matthew McConaughey's career renaissance was in its infancy.
• The apocalypse predicted by the Mayan calendar was still three months away.
The Phillies are 26-25 with nine games to play. They ended the night a half-game behind the Marlins for second place in the NL East and can wake up Saturday no worse than eighth in the eight-team playoff field.