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October 03, 2022

Phillies clinch first playoff berth in 11 years

Phillies MLB
Kyle-Schwarber-Bryce-Harper-Phillies-Playoffs-2022 Erik Williams/USA Today Sports

Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper celebrate a home run.

The longest playoff drought in the National League is over! The Phillies, for the first time since the Golden Era of 2011, are back in the MLB postseason. With a 3-0 win over the Astros in Houston, the Phils have clinched a Wild Card spot in the National League.

Kyle Schwarber led off the most memorable Phillies night in forever with a big ol' Schwarbomb:

He crushed another one in the eighth too:

That's why the Phillies opened up their wallets for Schwarber this past offseason: to hit a million dingers and get them back in the playoffs. Schwarber's 46 homers so far this season are the sixth most in a season in Phillies history (via Stathead):

 PlayerHRs Year Rank 
Ryan Howard 582006 1st 
 Ryan Howard482008 t-2nd 
Mike Schmidt 48 1980 t-2nd 
Ryan Howard 47 2007 t-4th 
Jim Thome 47 2003t-4th 
Kyle Schwarber 46 2022 6th 
Mike Schmidt 45 1979t-7th 
Ryan Howard 45 2009

Among other highlights of the evening, Bryson Stott hit a solo homer in addition to Schwarber's two bombs. Aaron Nola took a perfect game into the seventh inning, finishing with nine strikeouts, two hits and zero walks in 6.2 innings of work. 

The Phillies will have their first postseason game in 4,018 days, exactly 11 years to the day, on Friday. If they stay in the third Wild Card spot they currently occupy, they'd head to St. Louis for a three-game set with the Cardinals. It was the Cards, of course, who eliminated the Phils in the 2011 NLDS. If the Phillies are able to jump the Padres for the second Wild Card spot, they'd face the Mets, who now hold the top Wild Card seed in the NL. 

The Phillies would need to win that best-of-three road series to advance to the NLDS proper. 

Here are the Wild Card standings as of this writing:

 TeamWin Loss Games Back 
 Mets9861  +11.5
 Padres 87 72 +0.5
 Phillies 87 73 

This is something I've never been able to write and publish in my journalistic career: It's going to be a Red October this year. 

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