Schwarber's 2 homers latest in Phils' historic run of solo drives

Offense smashes record-setting 16 home runs in five-game span: 'We've got a lot of firepower'

October 18th, 2023

PHILADELPHIA -- There's a belief in baseball that solo home runs alone won't necessarily beat you -- but that adage goes out the window when they're being hit at a historic rate.

The Phillies continued setting home run records in their 10-0 win over Arizona in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Trea Turner went deep in the first inning before Kyle Schwarber homered in the third and sixth innings -- all of the solo variety.

In fact, each of Philadelphia's past 13 homers has come without anyone on base, marking the longest stretch of solo homers in postseason history. Overall, the Phillies have smashed 16 home runs in their past five games, the most by any team in postseason history in a five-game span.

“The pitching is really good at this point of the year, don't get me wrong,” said Schwarber, who also hit a leadoff homer in Game 1. “But the biggest thing is just, when we get our hitter's pitch, we don't want to miss it.”

They haven’t missed many of those in the past week.

After tying the single-game postseason record with six homers in Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Braves, the Phils hit three more in their series-clinching victory in Game 4 -- then did the same in Games 1 and 2 of the NLCS.

"It's definitely a contagious thing right now,” said Brandon Marsh, who helped blow the game open with an RBI double as part of a four-run sixth inning. “Just passing it down to the next guy in the order.”

The 2023 Phillies joined the ‘08 Rays as the only teams in postseason history to go deep at least three times in four consecutive games. Coincidentally, current D-backs third baseman Evan Longoria was not only a member of that '08 Rays team, but he had one homer in all four games of Tampa Bay's record stretch.

As if that wasn't enough, the Phillies have outhomered their opponents 19-4 this postseason. That plus-15 differential is the largest in a single postseason.

"I feel like once they start hitting, they can't stop,” said Phillies starter Aaron Nola, who tossed six scoreless innings for the win. “We've got a lot of firepower. We've just got a bunch of studs one through nine, man.”

Schwarber's second homer in Game 2 was also his 18th in the postseason, placing him in a tie for seventh most in MLB history with Carlos Correa, Nelson Cruz, Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle.

On an individual level, Schwarber's two-homer game against the D-backs was Philadelphia's fourth multihomer game this postseason. Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos each recorded one in Game 3 of the NLDS, while Castellanos made some history of his own by doing it again in Game 4.

The 2023 Phillies' four individual multihomer games are also tied for an MLB postseason record, matching the '09 Phillies (Chase Utley and Jayson Werth, twice each) and '02 Angels (Troy Glaus twice, Tim Salmon and Adam Kennedy).

“When you can get the homer ball from four, five, six different people in your lineup, that's a big deal,” Turner said. “It's game-changing; those are game-changing moments."

The Phillies have often talked this year about the potential for this lineup if everyone is rolling at the same time -- and they just might be doing that on the biggest stage.

As a team, Philadelphia has a .575 slugging percentage through eight games this postseason. To put that in perspective, only five players slugged that well during the regular season: Shohei Ohtani, Corey Seager, Matt Olson, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mookie Betts.

Yet that’s the level the Phillies’ entire offense is playing at this postseason.

"We're super fortunate that it's all coming together right now in October,” Marsh said. “It's just a whole lot of fun right now. It's perfect."

That offense, coupled with dominant starting pitching, has resulted in the Phillies leading at the end of 57 innings and trailing at the end of only two. Philadelphia has faced only 19 pitches while trailing, compared to 860 pitches while holding a lead.

"Those are all cool things, for sure,” Marsh said. “But essentially, none of that means anything if we don’t finish the job. We've just got to move on to Game 3 in Arizona."

Following Wednesday’s off-day, the Phils will look to continue teeing off on Thursday afternoon at notoriously hitter-friendly Chase Field. They are already tied for the most homers in a one-game and two-game postseason span, and they hold sole possession of the record for homers in a three-, four- and five-game span.

It would take another three-homer effort on Thursday to secure the record for most in a six-game span.

“Offense comes and goes,” manager Rob Thomson said. “We have to stay on it.”