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What intel Bryce Harper shared with Phillies teammate Alec Bohm before Game 3 HR off Astros’ Lance McCullers Jr.

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The Phillies love to be at home. They homered in each of the first two innings of Game 3 of the World Series (twice in the second), with Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, and Brandon Marsh all going yard off Lance McCullers Jr. to jump out to a 4-0 lead.

Harper’s was a two-run shot off a knuckle curve, Bohm homered off a sinker, and Marsh hit a slider out.

Intriguingly, the lefty Harper pulled the righty Bohm aside before his at-bat and told him something, which led to Bohm jumping on a 93.2 mph sinker and taking it 373 feet for a home run.

LIVE: Follow live updates from Astros vs. Phillies Game 3 of the World Series

“That’s between us,” Bohm told Ken Rosenthal on the broadcast in the dugout after the home run. He added he had noticed a lot of first-pitch sinkers to right-handed batters. Rhys Hoskins and Nick Castellanos both saw sinkers on the first pitches of their respective ABs.

Was Lance McCullers tipping pitches?

Bohm is playing it close to the vest, but it’s entirely possible it was simply a reminder about the Phillies’ approach to McCullers, who has been shying away from his fastballs. Going back to the regular season, McCullers threw 186 curveballs to lefties and three against right-handed batters. He’s almost exclusively sinker-slider against righties.

There’s also a question surrounding whether McCullers was tipping his pitches early, as Steve Johnson — aptly named “LegKickNationOG” on Twitter — pointed out he had more hitch to his and kept his back leg straighter when throwing a breaking ball.

Obviously everything is speculative without Bohm or Harper divulging what it was, but the Phillies very clearly saw something in what McCullers was doing early. Marsh’s home run, for what it’s worth, was off a rare slider to a left-handed bat from McCullers. He threw just 20 sliders to left-handed batters all regular season.

McCullers went on to give up another two home runs: One to Kyle Schwarber and one to Rhys Hoskins. He gave up five home runs after giving up just four in 47 2/3 regular seasons innings, with those five home runs being a World Series record for home runs given up by a pitcher.

The Phillies have been incredible at home this postseason, with 17 of their 22 home runs coming within the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park. 

Whatever Harper told Bohm, it clearly worked. Even though it doesn’t look like we’re going to find out exactly what it was. Bohm’s homer was the 1,000th in World Series history, a notable milestone in and of itself. Perhaps Harper will lobby for an assist  if that ever becomes a trivia question in the future.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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