For the ninth consecutive season, the end result of the Phillies’ regular season was not ideal. That doesn’t mean we can’t highlight a few memorable home runs from the pandemic-shortened 60-game stretch.
The Phillies hit 82 home runs, good for sixth in the National League. Bryce Harper led the way with 13 with J.T. Realmuto, (11) Didi Gregorius, (10) Andrew McCutchen (10) and Rhys Hoskins (10) not far behind.
Here are the 10 best “long drives” of the 2020 season.
No. 10: July 25 – Phil Gosselin two-run home run vs. MIA
Phil Gosselin was a longshot to make the 2020 Opening Day roster — that is until “Barrels” became the hottest hitter in baseball during summer camp. He earned the last spot on the bench and his hot streak carried into the regular season.
The Malvern Prep grad’s two-home run day was one of the few feel good stories of the 2020 season.
No. 9: Aug. 25 – J.T. Realmuto three-run home run at WAS
This was the point of the season in which we all thought this Phillies team had a chance to overcome their obvious flaws and make something out of themselves. Even a gimmicky bounce off the right-field wall went their way.
The expected batting average on that ball was just .260. Realmuto definitely lucked into that one.
No. 8: Aug. 23 – Alec Bohm’s first career home run at ATL
Alec Bohm’s bat is legit and he looks like he’s here to stay in the middle of the Phillies’ lineup for the next six years.
It took him ten games to hit his first home run but he did it on a national stage in what was one of the bigger games of the season. Bohm also has a memorable story to tell along with it.
The ball landed in a pond in center field, so it was only fitting for the rookie to receive the ball in a cup of water. Unfortunately, he couldn’t take the cup with him on the plane.
No. 7: Aug. 29 – Rhys Hoskins three-run home run vs. ATL
Hoskins’ 421-foot blast to left-center field was his first home run of the season at Citizens Bank Park and his first in 349 days in Philadelphia.
In a 162-game season, a home run like this might not make the cut in the video yearbook. In the context of where the Phillies were in the standings, this was one of the biggest hits of the season. Just a week after Joe Girardi held a closed-door meeting, the Phillies were on a roll. Their five-game winning streak was their longest in two years and after the win, they were tied with Atlanta in the loss column.
For Hoskins, he was finally starting to figure it out at the plate. After losing a six-game hit streak the previous game, the 27-year-old rebounded with one of those triple shy of the cycle games.
No. 6: Aug 10 – Didi Gregorius grand slam vs. ATL
Fun fact: Gregorius hit three grand slams this season. The first one was off JoJo Romero during an intrasquad game at summer camp and the second one, which actually mattered, broke the game against Atlanta wide open for the Phillies. That is until the bullpen came in relief of Aaron Nola, which is a story for another day.
Gregorius is currently tied for eighth among active players in grand slam home runs. Nothing will probably top the one he hit with the Yankees during Game 2 of the ALDS but this one had to feel good nonetheless.
No. 5: Sept. 17 – Bryce Harper solo home run vs. NYM
Harper came into this game knowing something had to change. After a red hot start to the season, he was stuck in an extended slump. With a playoff spot slipping away, the superstar had to deliver a jolt of energy to the lifeless Phillies.
His answer was to attack the ball as violently as he possibly can. It resulted in a 433-ft. home run to center field in the first inning and another homer that almost reached the third deck in right field in his second at-bat. He hit it off the same sign Barry Bonds did 14 years ago.
He has only 11 more years left to put a little more power into his swing and join Ryan Howard in the 300-level. I’m not sure if he has enough time to get that done.
No. 4: Aug. 28 – Scott Kingery three-run walk-off home run vs. ATL
It was a brutal year for Scott Kingery but at the very least, fans can relish in his first-career walk-off home run. Kingery, who came into the game in the 10th as a pinch-runner, jumped on a high-and-inside fastball from Mark Melancon on a 3-2 count. It was the only walk-off home run the Phillies had all season.
McCutchen stole the show with his celebratory breakdance.
No. 3: Sept. 7 – Jean Segura two-run home run at NYM
If the Phillies decide to move Jean Segura this offseason, they will surely miss his timely hits against the Mets. In 10 games against the Mets in 2020, Segura went 16-for-43 with a 1.439 OPS. Like Kingery’s walk-off, Segura’s two-run home run in the 10th inning masked a pathetic display from the Phillies bullpen.
Hoskins told Segura before the game that he needed five hits from him today. He gave him four hits along with five RBIs.
No. 2: Aug. 22 – Bryce Harper two-run home run at. ATL
All Harper did on Aug. 22 was launch the second-longest Phillies home run of the Statcast era. The honor of having the longest home run of the past five years still belongs to Maikel Franco, who blasted a 471-ft. home run on May 4. 2018. Ironically enough, Harper’s longest career home run (473 ft.) came off Nick Pivetta.
It’s never a good idea to miss high with an 89-mph fastball when you’re facing one of the best hitters in baseball.
Of course, this game coincided with Brandon Workman’s first blown save as a Phillie. Phillies fans were gifted two beautiful milestones in one night.
No. 1: Sept. 18 – Rafael Marchan three-run home run vs. TOR
Rafael Marchan’s three-run home run was by far the top moment of the 2020 season for the Phillies. A 21-year-old rookie catcher like Marchan wouldn’t even sniff the majors in a normal season. With an injury to Realmuto and the Phillies parting ways with Deivy Grullón, an opportunity awaited the Venezuela native.
In his 847th professional plate appearance, Marchan finally came through with his first home run. The staff didn’t have a cardboard cutout of his headshot on hand, so they went and placed a stick figure where the ball landed. By the way, the home run, which came in one of the biggest games of the season, tied the game up at five.
It was a special moment in a mostly painful 60-game stretch of baseball.
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