After defeating the Atlanta Braves in the Division Series this year, a team that won a Major League Baseball record 104 games in the regular season, the Philadelphia Phillies players celebrated with champagne in the clubhouse after the game and shouted “atta boy” at center fielder Bryce Harper, 31. The phrase means “good job,” and some players even wore T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase.
The incident dates back to Game 2 of the National League Division Series (NLDS) between the two teams on Oct. 10, when the Phillies lost 4-5 and Harper was on first base with one out in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Nick Castellanos hit a big fly ball to the outfield, and Harper sprinted for home. But Atlanta center fielder Michael Harris II made a jumping catch in front of the fence and threw to first base, forcing out Harper at the plate. A rare ending double play.
After the game, it was reported by Fox Sports and others that Atlanta shortstop Orlando Arcia said “Atta Boy Harper” in the clubhouse. Harper heard the comment. Harper, a proud man, didn’t take it lying down. After hitting a game-winning three-run homer in the third inning to tie the game 1-1 on Dec. 12, he circled the bases and glared at Arcia. Harper stared back at Arcea again in the sixth inning after his blast. “I did look at him,” Harper said in his postgame interview, after leading Philadelphia to a 10-2 victory. “I found out about his comments through my teammates. He told me what he said and asked me what I was going to do about it.”
According to The Athletic, after Game 3, Phillies players said Arcea’s taunts provoked Harper. “I think Atlanta woke him up,” said Philadelphia starter Christian Walker, while fellow starter Zack Wheeler said, “Disrespecting a great player is throwing gasoline on the fire. A guy like Harper is dangerous without adding fuel to the fire.” “I thought he was going to explode because of what Arcia said,” said outfielder Jake Gabe.
Harper went 1-for-2 with a home run and two walks in Game 4, helping the Phillies to a 3-1 victory. The Phillies (90-72) won 14 fewer games in the regular season than Atlanta (104-58), but pulled off the upset in the NLDS, going 3-1. For the second straight year, the Phillies swept Atlanta in the NLDS, 3 games to 1, to advance to the NLCS.
Harper exploded in Game 4 of the NLDS, going 6-for-13 with three home runs, five doubles, five RBIs, a .611 slugging percentage, a 1.154 OPS and a 1.765 OPS. In last year’s NLDS, he also rattled Atlanta in four games, going 5-for-16 with two homers, five RBIs and a 1.592 OPS, and his career OPS against Atlanta in the postseason is 1.675.
According to MLB.com’s Sarah Lance, Harper’s numbers are the third-highest all-time against a specific team in the postseason. Behind Barry Bonds (1.994) against the Los Angeles Angels and Babe Ruth (1.694) against the St. Louis Cardinals. For Atlanta, 바카라사이트 the pressure is on Harper, whom they will likely face more often in the NL East in the future.
As it turned out, Arsenault’s taunting words provoked Harper and spurred Atlanta’s elimination. Arsenault, who was involved, was mortified. “It was something he shouldn’t have said. It was in the clubhouse,” he said, expressing frustration with the local media for relaying to the outside world what he felt comfortable saying to Saddam in the privacy of his own home.
Atlanta catcher Travis d’Arnaud added: “It makes you not want to talk to the media. It affects people who have done good things for us this year.” Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kevin Gausman also took to social media to argue that “reporters shouldn’t quote players without talking to them or what they’ll hear in the clubhouse.”
But according to The Athletic, the phrase “Atta Boy Harper” was repeated loudly and repeatedly in the Atlanta clubhouse after the game, even after it was open to the media. There was also laughter. This was said with the knowledge that there were reporters with cameras and recorders, so it wasn’t just Saddam. It was too much of a slip of the tongue to blame the press. It’s been a nightmare fall in more ways than one for Arrieta, who is batting just 1-for-5 in the NLDS with a 2-for-13 record and a .368 OPS.