Phils bash 7 homers thanks to ... 'bird poop'?

June 2nd, 2021

Rhys Hoskins spoke of something like this happening.

The Phillies finished May on Monday with a bad loss to the Reds, and Hoskins said afterward that he believed Philadelphia's offense, which had disappointed through two months, would improve. Something is going to happen, he said. Something big is going to happen, and everything is going to click. The Phils' bats clicked in Tuesday night's 17-3 victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

"It's refreshing for everybody," said. "The team, myself, everybody."

Could a game like this … ?

"God, I hope so," Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm not even going to let you finish the question."

The Phillies scored a combined 13 runs in their previous six games. They had not scored more than three runs in a game since May 24 in Miami. They entered Tuesday ranked 21st in the Majors averaging 3.89 runs per game.

It has not been fun to watch.

But then the Phillies tied a franchise record with seven home runs. Maybe it was something as simple as Philadelphia being due. It was only the second time this season it scored 10 or more runs and the first time the Phils scored 17 since July 6, 2018, in Pittsburgh.

Maybe it was the calendar flipping from May to June. Bohm said players talked before the game about the fresh start a new month can bring.

"It was just kind of the mood today, you know?" Bohm said. "Deep breath, new month, let's go. We can't do anything about April and May, so why worry about it? Worrying about it is just going to drag us down more. Move on and let's just try to dominate this month."

Maybe it was the birds.

"In the first couple innings, we had a bird poop on a couple of us," said. "That had to be some type of luck. Something's going to change. So, we went off that and scored 17 runs."

Good-luck bird droppings are a thing, huh?

"Hey, you've got to take whatever you can," McCutchen said. "It happened to a couple of guys. Not just one guy. A couple of guys. We were like, 'Yep, it's changing. Here we go. It's going to be a great game tonight.'"

started the homer barrage with a solo homer down the left-field line in the third inning to cut the Reds' lead to 2-1. It was Torreyes' first home run since July 30, 2017, a span of 1,402 days and 288 plate appearances.

"That lifted everybody up," Bohm said. "A guy like Toe gets one, it juices everybody up for sure. Brad Miller called it before the game. We're hitting in BP. It was me, Brad and Toe. He said, 'I've got Toe going deep today.' Sure enough, his first at-bat."

"That can definitely jolt a dugout when the guy you least expect to hit a big homer comes up and starts it off," McCutchen said.

followed two batters later with a solo homer to center field to tie the game.

Bohm's two-out single to left in the fourth scored J.T. Realmuto to make it 3-2. It was Bohm's first RBI since the sixth inning on May 21 against the Red Sox. Bohm was 1-for-25 with five walks and eight strikeouts between RBI hits. He finished with three hits.

McCutchen, Herrera and Hoskins each homered in the sixth to give the Phillies a seven-run lead. McCutchen hit a three-run homer to left field in the eighth to make it 13-3. hit a grand slam in the ninth against Reds utility player Alex Blandino to put up the final four runs.

Now the Phillies just need to keep it going.

"We have so much baseball left ahead of us," Bohm said. "You think back to the Nationals team that won the World Series. They didn't have a very good record at this point. That's a team that got healthy and took off. It's not about how you start, it's about how you finish. We've struggled the first couple months. We haven't played our best baseball, but so what? We've got about 100 games or more left. Let's attack those ones and not worry about the ones that are behind us."

And maybe find a bird trainer.