Michael Harris II's Heroics Propel Braves To Dramatic Victory In NLDS Game 2

Photo: Instagram/Michael Harris II

In the MLB playoffs of 2023, the Atlanta Braves found themselves in a dire situation, trailing two games to none in the NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The pivotal moment came in the ninth inning when Michael Harris II, the Braves' center fielder, made a jaw-dropping play that would resonate for years to come. Center field is a place of solitude and anxiety, especially when a ball is soaring over your head at over 100 mph.

Harris's leap against the center-field fence changed the course of the game, ultimately allowing the Braves to level the series. The Braves had been lackluster in the previous 15 innings, surrendering Game 1 without a single run.

Photo: Instagram/Michael Harris II

Game 2 saw the Phillies' Zack Wheeler no-hit the Braves until the later innings. Given the ominous anniversary of a past playoff disaster, hope was dwindling for the Braves. However, the Braves mounted a remarkable comeback, erasing a four-run Philadelphia lead over three innings.

Harris admitted they started slowly, needing time to shake off rust after a string of off-days. In the top of the ninth, the Phillies still had a chance to snatch victory, but Harris's spectacular catch denied them.

The ball traveled 392 feet into Harris's glove, just inches from the 8-foot-8-inch-high fence. The play didn't end there. Bryce Harper, underestimating Harris's range, tried to advance but was caught in a double play, sealing the Braves' win.

Harris's moment of heroism was a culmination of a lifelong dream, having grown up watching Braves legends like Andruw Jones. Harris, who had only recently debuted in the majors, had already proven himself as a valuable asset to the team.

While his game-ending double-play may not surpass the legendary moments in Braves' postseason history, it certainly added to the excitement surrounding the 2023 Braves' campaign. With the series shifting to Philadelphia, the momentum had swung in favor of the Braves.

The Phillies were eager to capitalize on home-field advantage, but the Braves now knew they could fight back from the brink. This NLDS, initially predicted to be a fierce battle, had turned into an unpredictable and thrilling contest, making it anyone's series to claim.

Read Next: Alek Thomas' Epic 14-Pitch At-Bat Makes Playoff History With Jaw-Dropping Homer

Source: Yahoo Sports 

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