The Phillies scored five runs in their final five innings—one in each frame—to pull away from the Reds for a 9-4 win and extend their lead in the NL East to 2.5 games. The youngest team in baseball appears to be no fluke, or at least, they’re starting to be confident they’re not, which is maybe sort of kind of like the same thing.
“Start believin’,” Rhys Hoskins tweeted earlier this week, and first-year manager Gabe Kapler is buying in.
“I saw that tweet and I saw the hashtag [#BeBold],” Kapler said. “What that told me is that that clubhouse — because Rhys is just a representation of the clubhouse — is especially confident. They believe. The field staff has continued to believe, and I think the city of Philadelphia is definitely beginning to believe as well.”
Eight of Philadelphia’s nine runs came via the long ball, with Hoskins, Maikel Franco, and Nick Williams each homering twice, and Carlos Santana once. “It feels like we’re kids at recess,” Williams said of the Phillies’ recent run, which includes winning five of seven since the break. If dingers are your thing, here are the dingers:
Franko, Hoskins, and Williams became the first trio of teammates to each go deep twice in a game since 2003, when Jason Varitek, David Ortiz, and Bill Mueller did it for Boston. And the seven home runs ties a Philadelphia franchise mark set way back on Sept. 8, 1998 against the Mets.
That ‘98 game makes a particularly fun box score, as far as these things go, even though the game itself was relatively stakes-less. The Mets were on their way up—they’d make the NLCS the next year and the World Series after that—and the Phillies were pretty miserable, in their fifth of seven straight sub-.500 seasons. And yet I have devoted some nonzero amount of long-term memory and processing power to Remembering Guys on both rosters; both are replete with That Guys from the late ‘90s. In the game, Rico Brogna, Bobby Estalella, and the immortal Kevin Sefcik each had two homers, with Marlon Anderson chipping in one as the Phillies took the game 16-4. (Edgardo Alfonzo and Jermaine Allensworth homered for the Mets.) Paul Byrd got the win and Hideo Nomo took the loss and Mel Rojas allowed three home runs in two innings of mop-up duty.
And now you have Remembered Some Guys too. Thanks, Phils!