DENVER — Kyle Schwarber’s home run in the sixth inning on Wednesday landed in the first row in the third deck in right field at Coors Field.
Baseballs do not land there often.
It was a projected 468-foot moonshot, the second-longest home run in baseball this season, the third-longest home run of Schwarber’s career and the third-longest Phillies home run since Statcast began tracking them in 2015. But the blast was more than just a “wow” moment. It tied the game when the Phillies desperately needed to win. It sparked them to a 9-6 victory over the Rockies.
“We’re a really good team,” Schwarber said afterward. “We should expect really good things out of us. Obviously, that comes with work, that comes with preparation. But I think that the more we can just take the pressure off a few bad games, we have to be able to put it behind us. We have to turn the page. We have to know that at the end of the day this is a really good team that can do some really good things.”
The Phillies entered Wednesday having lost seven of their last eight to fall to 4-8, making it their worst start since 2017. Nobody wanted to call the series finale a must-win, but it felt like it. It would have been a long flight to Philadelphia without a victory.
Instead, the Phils flew home with positive vibes and positive developments:
Everybody remembers the home run he hit in the first inning on Opening Day. He struggled after that. He batted .094 (3-for-32) with one homer, three RBIs and a .413 OPS in his first eight games. Joe Girardi dropped him from the leadoff spot.
But Schwarber, who hit sixth the past two games, batted .333 (5 for 15) with three homers, six RBIs and a 1.345 OPS in his last four games.
“I felt like the last couple games have been good at-bats for me personally,” Schwarber said. “But I think the biggest takeaway from the series was the at-bats from the whole team the last two games were really impressive. That’s something we should all be building off.”
Schwarber downplayed his homer in the sixth. A home run is a home run, he said. His teammates disagreed.
“Oh my gosh,” Johan Camargo said. “I said, ‘Is this the Home Run Derby or what?’”
It is impressive to see how well Alec Bohm has responded from his three-error game against the Mets on April 11. He did not play third base again until he played two innings there on Sunday in Miami. He played the entire Rockies series at third.
Bohm charged a ball and made a nice bare-handed throw in the fourth inning on Wednesday. He also hit a two-run homer in the fourth and hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh, which gave the Phillies a two-run lead.
“From an individual aspect, yeah, I’m happy with the way things have gone,” Bohm said. “Because last year it probably would have gone differently. I probably would have handled it differently and it probably would have gone differently. I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in that aspect, for sure.”
Bohm is batting .476 (10-for-21) with two doubles, one homer, seven RBIs and a 1.197 OPS. He is fifth on the team in hits and third in RBIs, despite being 11th in plate appearances. Last week, you wondered when Girardi would give Bohm another opportunity. Now, it is getting difficult to keep him out of the lineup.
“He’s handled himself really well,” Schwarber said. “To see him doing what he’s doing now, I don’t think that people should be shocked. He’s a really good hitter. … Everyone has those kinds of games in the field sometimes. They can just happen. I think that’s behind him and he’s ready to go over there and he’s ready to go whenever his name is called.”
Camargo played shortstop in place of Didi Gregorius, who is sidelined with a bruised left hand. He went 4-for-5 with a three-run home run in the seventh inning. He is batting .382 (13-for-34) with one home run, five RBIs and a .946 OPS. He is playing well defensively, too.
Like Bohm, it is getting difficult to keep Camargo out of the lineup.
“Make it hard,” Girardi said.
“Obviously it’s a great opportunity,” Camargo said. “I want to give my best every day. I’m going to play my heart out.”