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Rockies capitalize on Brewers’ loss to secure a wild card spot

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Thanks to the Cardinals’ timely 7-6 win over the Brewers on Saturday, the Rockies will return to the postseason for the first time since 2009. The Brewers fell out of postseason contention despite an impressive run on Saturday, putting up five runs in the third inning to secure a two-run lead over the Cardinals.

Orlando Arcia got things started for the Brewers with a sac fly in the second, but was left stranded when Brett Phillips flew out to end the inning. Things weren’t so easy for Cardinals’ rookie Luke Weaver in the third inning. Ryan Braun clubbed an RBI double, his 27th of the season, while Shaw collected an RBI single and scored on Domingo Santana‘s first-pitch, two-run blast:

Leading 6-0 in the bottom of the third, it looked like the Brewers were poised to hang on for at least another day (barring a Rockies’ win on Saturday night, that is). The Cardinals had other ideas. Paul DeJong and Jose Martinez cut Milwaukee’s advantage down to two runs with a pair of doubles, and Stephen Piscotty returned in the eighth to tie it up with a two-run single.

Harrison Bader took care of the rest, plating Piscotty for the go-ahead run while Juan Nicasio effectively quashed the Brewers’ attempt to rally in the ninth. Following the Cardinals’ win, the Rockies will advance to the wild card tiebreaker against the Diamondbacks next Wednesday. The winner will go up against the Dodgers in the NLDS, who entered Saturday’s contest against the Rockies with a league-best 102-58 record.

Bryce Harper letting his haters be his motivators

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When the Phillies go on the road, and even sometimes at home, outfielder Bryce Harper is a magnet for hecklers. Fans have been chanting things like “overrated” at him. But it hasn’t really been working.

Last night, Harper was being booed and ridiculed by fans at Fenway Park according to MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato. Harper shut them up with a two-run home run in the fifth inning which gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead, the score by which they would eventually win. Manager Gabe Kapler said, “I thought it was really interesting. There were some hecklers. I don’t know if they were Red Sox [fans] or who they were, but they were on him pretty good up until that moment. That was a pretty explosive moment for the dugout celebration.”

It is not the only time Harper has been heckled only to homer shortly thereafter.

Last week, Harper was 0-for-3 in a game against the Cubs. On his way back to the dugout, a fan yelled, “$330 million, 0-for-3.” Per TMZ Sports, Harper responded, “Shut the f–k up, stupid!” He would go on to hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Two weeks ago in San Francisco, fans chanted “overrated” at Harper. He promptly hit one of his two home runs in the Phillies’ 9-6 victory.

Harper was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2009, when he was 17 years old. Tom Verducci compared him to LeBron James, a comparison that has stuck with Harper ever since. He was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 draft. He’s more than used to being in the spotlight and more than used to hearing a little criticism. He lets his haters be his motivators. Maybe his detractors should approach it from the opposite angle — try killing him with kindness. Yelling, “Bryce, you have great hair!” might get him to go on an 0-for-54 skid.