Braves vs. Phillies preview: How Bryce Harper could decide the NLDS

On the visitors’ boat in St. Louis, immediately after his team’s victory, Phillies Manager Rob Thomson turned to catcher JT Realmuto. He had to give the veteran backstop a heads up. The club were ready to celebrate, but before they popped the champagne, the manager planned to ask how many games they had left to win. He wanted Realmuto to be the one to give the answer: 11.

That’s how many wins it would take to get from this wild-card win on Saturday to the end of a hypothetical World Series.

There were other players Thomson could have asked to provide the answer: Some reasonable choices might have been one of the talented first basemen who led the team all year, Zack Wheeler or Aaron Nola, or the slugger who delivered the critical game in the second game. , Bryce Harper. But Thompson has a soft spot for Realmuto’s spot on the roster — “I’m an old catcher,” said the manager, a former minor league backstop — and besides, he hoped he’d have more opportunities to ask that question later, with different players. they could respond as the number of wins remaining dwindled. But for now; He would stick with the catcher.

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