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Braves’ Historic Double Play Caps Game 2 NLDS Comeback Win

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The Braves‘ thrilling comeback to tie the series was completed with an extraordinary and unlikely double play that was started by Michael Harris II in Game 2 of the National League Division Series on Monday night against the Phillies.

With Bryce Harper at first base and Nick Castellanos at bat with one out in the ninth inning, the Braves were clinging to a 5-4 lead after overcoming a four-run deficit. In five major league ballparks, Castellanos’ fly ball to deep right center field, for which StatCast predicted a.610 batting average, would have been a home run.

Harris jumped to collect it, sending it crashing into the outfield wall, and then he promptly planted his feet to throw the ball back to the infield in the direction of second base. Harper was roughly five steps past second base as Harris caught the ball.

Third baseman Austin Riley was backing up second baseman Ozzie Albies when he failed to catch Harris’ throw while standing between second base and the mound. That wasn’t on purpose.

Similar to fielding a slow roller at third base, Riley quickly scooped the ball with his backhand and delivered it to the first baseman. In addition to being the first double play featuring an outfielder to ever conclude a postseason game, it was also the first 8-5-3 double play in MLB postseason history.

Harris claimed following the game that he threw the ball in the direction of second base because he didn’t know where Harper was.

Harper praised Harris for his performance.

When Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud blasted a two-run homer off of former Mets teammate Zack Wheeler to make it 4-3, the Phillies were leading 4-0 in the sixth inning and 4-1 in the seventh. Wheeler had a great night overall, striking out 10 while walking just once and giving up just three hits.

Riley delivered the decisive blow with a home run off Jeff Hoffman.

The next two games of the series will be played in Philadelphia. Aaron Nola will make his Phillies debut on Wednesday. The Braves’ Game 3 starting will likely be announced on Tuesday, according to manager Brian Snitker.

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