They say every playoff series has an iconic moment and the Atlanta Braves may have just provided one of the best of all time. Matt Olson's reaction to the end of this game is unlike anything fans have ever seen from the lefty first baseman.
Atlanta found themselves down in the series after a game one loss on Saturday as they were shut out by the Phillies. Zach Wheeler was throwing a no-hitter against them early in game two on Monday night.
Bryce Harper drew a walk in the top of the ninth against A.J. Minter to give the Phillies a shot at coming back. Raisel Iglesias came into the game and got the first out of the inning.
Nick Castellanos stepped to the plate next and tried his best to tie things up and crush the hearts of every Braves fan. Nick launched a ball deep into the night sky sending Michael Harris II on a sprint toward the Atlanta bullpen.
Michael Harris II Immortalizes the Braves in Playoff History
Bryce Harper took off as it appeared the ball was going to bounce off of the fence and score him easily. Unfortunately for Harper, he forgot who was patrolling center field for the Braves.
Despite being in a dead sprint, Harris II was tracking the ball the entire way and seemingly had it the entire way. He leapt at the right moment robbing Castellanos of a game-tying hit.
Bryce Harper was caught in a position where he needed to get back to first base and it appeared that he might make it back as Harris' throw eluded Ozzie Albies. However, Austin Riley snuck in at what felt like the last possible moment with a perfect laser beam to Matt Olson at first base.
The throw narrowly beat Harper back to first and the usually stoic Matt Olson exploded with more emotion than we've seen from him all season. Olson pumped his fist triumphantly and you could hear him yelling after making the final out of the game. This was also the first 8-5-3 in MLB postseason history.
That kind of reaction right there shows just how important that catch was and what it meant to Matt Olson and every single member of Braves Country. Olson being that pumped up just added to the excitement I felt during the moment. This changed the perception of the entire series after things looked bleak early on.
Not only was Harris' catch one of the best playoff catches of all time but it was also a season-saving catch for the Atlanta Braves. If they lost game two of the NLDS, it would have felt like a death sentence heading into Philly for game three.
Instead, Harris breathed new life into the Atlanta Braves and may have given them the momentum boost they have been desperately looking for. Every player on this team realizes just what that catch signifies and Matt Olson embodied the reaction of every Braves fan watching this game.
The team felt deflated with no life and everyone looked lethargic. The first run of the series seemed to break the ice and the dominoes began to fall from there. Atlanta hit two massively important homers to take the lead and even those pale in comparison to the emotion the final two outs provided to everyone in that stadium.
Even Travis d'Arnaud shared his elation with the way this game ended. You won't see a catch like that every day. That was a special play from a special player. Atlanta Braves fans won't soon forget this night.
"We got Money Mike making a crazy catch on the wall and us doubling up Harper to close it out. It was really emotional, especially the way we came back. So that was one of my favorite postseason games ever."- Travis d'Arnaud
Atlanta now heads to Philadelphia with a chip on their shoulder and the fire needed to win a playoff series. Citizens Bank Park is a hostile environment but with momentum on your side, you feel even better about making the trip there.
Michael Harris II will certainly be enshrined in MLB history for making such an incredible catch. That is something you will see for years to come exemplifying just how big the playoffs are.