August began with Nick Castellanos belting a two-run, go-ahead home run to beat the Marlins in Miami. It ended with Bryce Harper nearly pulling off yet another miracle.
The month will go down as one of the most memorable in Phillies history.
To go along with a 17-10 stat line, the Phils hit a club record 59 home runs. That’s the third-most of any team in baseball history. Many brought the Phillies back from deficits that would have crushed them in the season’s first four months, continuing to electrify a Citizens Bank Park throng that’s grown to love this team like few others.
The homers. My goodness, the homers. The Phils hit nine more in August than the next closest team (the Braves), and averaged 2.18 bombs per game — with many of them coming at home.
Harper and Kyle Schwarber had 10 each. Trea Turner, who began the month mired in a season-long death spiral and apologized to the fans after a crucial error led to an extra inning loss, finished with nine homers after the now-famous standing ovation prior. Castellanos quietly had eight, with Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm each adding five.
Harper, of course, capped the month by hitting one of the most dramatic: his career 300th home run. It temporarily brought the Phils back from a 7-6 deficit in the 8th inning of Wednesday’s 10-8 loss to the Angels.
Even better, 35 of the month’s dingers came with runners on base. Before this, from Opening Day through July 31, the Phillies had hit only 61 total homers with runners on base. Even more incredibly, through the first four months of the season, the Phils hit just FIVE three-run homers. They hit TEN in August alone.
The memorable four-baggers piled up.
- On Aug. 1, Castellanos broke a 1-1 tie in the 9th with a two-run shot to give the Phillies a 3-1 win over the Marlins.
- On Aug. 5, the day after the first standing ovation, Turner justified the fans’ applause by launching a stunning three-run home run to give the Phillies an 8-6 lead over the Royals in the bottom of the 6th. It was perhaps the most dramatic home run of the month.
- On Aug. 8 against the Nationals, Schwarber hit the longest home run of the month, a 447-foot moon shot that was his second of the game and the 30th of the season. It went very far.
- On Aug. 9, Weston Wilson hit a home run in his first MLB at-bat after 2,836 PAs in the minors, the first since Marlon Anderson in 1999, and Nick Castellanos hits his 200th career HR.
- On Aug. 11, rookie center fielder mashed his first career blast, albeit off a position player lobbing the ball over the plate, but it counts!
- On Aug. 19, the Phillies explode in the 8th inning of an 11-3 win in Washington as Trea Turner became the 3rd Phillie ever to hit 2 HRs in the same inning – Von Hayes (1985) and Andy Seminick (1949).
- On Aug. 21, Harper raced around the bases for an inside-the-park HR in a 10-4 win against the Giants in a huge series where the Phillies two 2 out of 3.
- On Aug. 29, in further proof that Harper is indeed #OneOfUs, he dedicated his 299th career home run, hit on Tuesday, to frequent WIP caller Chuck from Mt. Airy.
- Also on Aug. 29, Alec Bohm hit a go-ahead, three-run home run after Harper was intentionally walked in front of him to give the Phils a 5-4, 6th-inning lead.
It all culminated in Turner’s three-run go-ahead blast and Harper’s heroics in the series finale on Wednesday, when it was a shame the bullpen was unable to secure the victory.
But life isn’t perfect, although the Phils’ homer barrage in August sure made it feel like a perfect month of baseball in the city of Philadelphia.