It’s April 17th. Game 1 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) is here. The Phillies and the D-backs are facing off. The stage was Citizens Bank Park (CBP) in Philadelphia.
In the first inning, the home team led 1-0. Bryce Harper, number three, comes to the plate. The first pitch is hit in the stomach by pitcher Zack Gallon. It’s a 93.3 mph four-seam fastball. It’s an unforgiving pitch. He swings hard and misses. The ball flies out of the zone. It disappears over the fence. A home run with an exit velocity of 109.4 mph, a distance of 420 feet, and a launch angle of 30 degrees.
It’s the moment. All 45,396 spectators are on their feet. A thunderous roar lifts CBP off the ground. We salute the ingenuity of the MLB office. I have my equipment ready for this moment. A sound level meter. Here are the results of the first inning’s highlights
Nick Castellanos home run = 103 decibels
Last out of the 9th inning = 106 decibels
Kyle Schwarber home run = 108 decibels
Bryce Harper home run = 111 decibels
Anything over 100 decibels is considered to be in the danger zone. Continuous exposure for more than 30 minutes can cause hearing damage. That’s about as loud as an MP3 player at full volume. It was especially loud during Harper’s home run. It was the highest of the day. It wasn’t much different than a jet taking off (120 decibels).
“I thought my ears were going to fall off,” the MLB staffer who measured and filmed it posted on social media.
The Phillies are exploding. They exploded for big hits in every game. They exploded for three in Game 1 of the NLCS and three again in Game 2 to jump out to an early lead. This gives them a 2-1 series lead. They have an 84% chance of advancing to the World Series.
The trend started in the Division Series. They fired six cannons in Game 3 against the Braves. They had three more in Game 4. In the last four games, they’ve driven in 15. That’s the most in a postseason in major league history. Exceeded his previous four-game homer total of 13. Only Solopo has hit 13 in a row.
It’s worth noting the timing of the explosion. There was one event, the “Atta Boy Harper” incident.
It was in Game 2 of the NLDS. The Phillies were down 4-5. A bunt in the ninth inning was crucial. The opposing outfielder made a jumping catch, and Harper, a sprinting first baseman, couldn’t make it back. The game was won on a game-ending double play.
The Braves were celebrating a dramatic victory. They went into the clubhouse laughing, celebrating, and talking. “Atta Boy Harper,” someone chuckled, “Atta Boy” being a child’s term for a pat on the back. It means something like “good boy, good boy. So it’s a mockery of Harper.
Several journalists were present. One of them analyzed the recording. The voice was identified. It was shortstop Orlando Arcia, and the story broke. The next day, before Game 3. The Phillies’ nines were starting to boil over.
It’s a shame about the parties. It’s a shame about the brawl. I’m not afraid of ejections and benches. How dare you? My blood is boiling. Before a match, I’m always silent. ‘Have you seen the news’, ‘How are you feeling’ …. No comment to reporters’ questions.
But when the playball is called, his eyes change. Finally, he explodes in the third inning. He hits a three-run shot to break the 1-1 tie. As he rounds second base, he glares at Bianchi. It’s not over. In the sixth, he seals the win with a solo home run. This time, he used his second shot.
“I was definitely looking at him (while rounding the bases). My teammates told me about it before the game, and they asked me, ‘What’s he going to do? What are you going to do with him?” Atta Boy, pronounced “Adder Boy” [ˈadəˌboi], said after the game.
The division series ended in Game 4. A wild party broke out in the clubhouse. Goggles were on, tops were off. Champagne popping everywhere. Beer is spilled, and that’s just the beginning. One newcomer’s outfit catches my eye. He’s wearing a T-shirt with “Atta Boy Harper” emblazoned across the front.
The fashion-conscious rookie is bullpen pitcher Orion Kirkering. “A friend gave it to me, saying he found it somewhere.” The shirt was an instant hit. “We couldn’t sell them in Philadelphia. One shop owner said he ordered 500 shirts and sold out in less than a day.메이저사이트
Phillies fans are famous. No, notorious. In a good way, they’re passionate. In a bad way, they’re polarizing. They’re also known as Philliegans (Phillies+Hooligans). It’s even been said that “Philadelphia is where they boo Santa Claus” (although that’s a reference to their football team, the Eagles).
No wonder the MLB staff brought a sound level meter; their home stadium, CPB, is a raucous place. This time, it was Game 1 of the NLCS, with the Harper issue. It’s not hard to see that something was up. And it showed in the numbers.
111 decibels is a lot to take in. Not because it’s deafening. It’s the overwhelming, murderous atmosphere. The intimidation of the opponent is unimaginable. Yesterday, Meryl Kelly started game two. It was time to warm up before the game. The bullpen is surrounded by Phillies fans. Lasers shooting out of everyone’s eyes. Harsh words are spoken here and there. It’s almost intimidating.
The truth is, the D-backs didn’t do anything wrong. The Braves did it in the first place. A little tongue-in-cheek teasing. That’s what set off the hotheaded Harper and the polarizing Phillies, and that’s what’s heating up the NLCS.