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The Phillies have advanced within two World Series wins - and there's nothing routine in the way they do it

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PHILADELPHIA – There are siblings competing against each other in the National League Championship Series. You’ve probably heard of it. Nola’s parents have become well-deserved media darlings, as her sons, Austin, of the San Diego Padres, and Aaron of the Philadelphia Phillies, head deep into the postseason with several sad series to find themselves here: a pitcher and a catcher. The last two NL teams standing. He’s cute.

In the seventh inning of Game 3 of the NLCS, notorious Phillies fans pondered this family connection and saw an opportunity to stunt the opponent, making fun of Austin Nola repeatedly for “Aaron is better”.

Not they falseper word – I hope you exist in constant contrast to your more successful, younger brother doesn’t spoil his experience of being a great post-season baseball player – but the Padres made Even the series in one game by scoring six goals from Aaron Nola on Wednesday in San Diego.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter much to a fan base that’s a bit wild by nature and rabid with anticipation. Eleven post-season baseball-free years in Philly have given way to a team that is as disappointing as it is often delighted, where a team that crashes into the abyss of a pennant plays only two games at home in almost a month. They finished the season on a 10-game run, infiltrated a newly expanded postseason and have not had the home advantage since. st. Louis, they clinched their division streak against the home reigning Braves after splitting the top two in Atlanta, and finally returned to Citizens Bank Park with the NLCS this weekend. He got knotted in a game after playing two on the west coast.

Yep, Phillies fans got it when given the chance to brag a little about their man.

Also, they could tell themselves it worked.

This brought the Padres’ short-back Ha-Seong Kim into the spotlight. You can’t call it a routine game, and even if you could, routine is exactly the kind of game that the Phillies have always been lousy about. This time, however, Segura caught the bouncing ball, jumped to her feet, and fired first to disable the finale.

At this point, he made a mistake (one of the two for the night team), successfully choking the sharply hit ground ball for the second round, hitting a ball just inches above the ground to drive on the front runs and taken from the first base. Now this? As the game went into commercials, the broadcast marveled at Segura’s “rollercoaster night going on”. It’s on top of the mountain right now.”

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Oct 21: Jean Segura is one of the Philadelphia Phillies teammates after winning Game 3 of the NLCS between the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Friday, October 21, 2022, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. . (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

After a rollercoaster season, the Phillies are approaching the top of the mountain. They were 21-29 at the end of May and started June with nine consecutive wins. They were under .500 in the final month of the season, but managed to finish the season with just one game left for the final wild spot at the Milwaukee Brewers.

And now, with a 4-2 win over the Padres on Friday night, they’re just two wins away from their first World Series game since 2009. Just two of them are exactly how many more games they will play at home this weekend. At the end of the season, they haven’t lost yet.

“I’m just not surprised by the atmosphere,” said first baseman Rhys Hoskins of a post-game statistic that describes the Phillies’ historic playoff success in home games. “I think it’s 100% a factor, I probably felt it tonight.”

As 45,279 fans had before the game even started, a home run from NL’s home leader Kyle Schwarber—the first Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove had given up in four games—sent the place to pandemonium. To say that the Phillies have never fully surrendered the lead makes the game seem like it’s easy—or at least simple—when nothing.

If you’re tired of the lack of action in 2022 punctuated by the game-changing main players (and the game-changing and not-so-changing hosts) in the American League championship streak, you’ll love the mess Friday’s created. Night in South Philly is very exciting. The Phillies and Padres have teamed up for 51 throw-ins in 69 plate matches—that’s 51 opportunities for small ball goals, star defense, or costly bobbles.

He’s had his fair share of each and every one of the Padres, but I bet they don’t hold their breath every time a ball approaches one of their fans. Will they prove they belong in this scene along with other unlikely champions, or will they justify season-long jokes about how their power-centric roster falters when precision is needed?

It seems that the Phillies contain a large number that manage to do both in one game. This is probably why they spend so much time emphasizing the importance of letting go of mistakes.

“We talked about it; We can get frustrated about it whenever things don’t go our way, but that’s where it ends,” says Schwarber, who played for his third different team in his seventh postseason game. “I feel like we did a really good job on that over the last season.”

The Phillies aren’t particularly brash—they have the fourth-highest payrolls, with only the New York and Los Angeles teams spending more this season—but they’re playing it. Maybe he’s proudly sneaking out of the blue-collar clubhouse and fighting even more proudly about sports cities. Or maybe it’s because winning is fun and waiting can make you happy to be here or starve you for more.

When the playoffs began, the Phillies had the top two players with most regular season appearances and no season-end appearances: JT Realmuto 1,005 and Segura 1,328.

Regardless, they’ve already beaten that lead, overperforming at the end of the season and overcoming the mistakes they made in the summer. The team that won 87 last year couldn’t even play after 162. So maybe this is a chip on their shoulder, or maybe it’s just the luck they need.

“I’ve been waiting 11 years for this opportunity, I won’t be back,” Segura said. “I will do my best to keep crushing this, to continue helping the ball club and to bring something positive every day. I’ve waited so many years for the opportunity and I don’t want to let it go.”