ATLANTA -- A little help?
Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco is known to lose his helmet taking healthy swings from time to time, but he lost his bat taking an aggressive cut in the fifth inning of Philadelphia's 3-1 loss to the Braves at SunTrust Park on Thursday. The bat slipped from his fingers and sailed into the netting behind home plate, becoming lodged above the on-deck circle next to the visitors' dugout.
Franco needed that bat back. After all, it wasn't his.
"Freddy [Galvis] gave me one," he said, noting Galvis' bat is an ounce lighter than his. "That's what I've been using the last two days."
Franco has been stuck in a season-long slump, so Galvis told him to use his bat before Wednesday's game. It seemed to work. He went 1-for-3 with a walk, hitting balls 105, 105 and 103 mph, according to Statcast™. He lined out twice on balls with hit probabilities of 82 and 77 percent.
Franco then went 1-for-4 with an RBI single on Thursday, hitting two balls at 95 and 96 mph.
"When I got three hard contacts and a base hit I said I want to use it again today," Franco said. "So tomorrow it's going to be the same thing."
Fans seated in the first row first tried to shake Franco's bat -- make that Galvis' bat -- loose, but it would not budge. A security guard on the field then tried to pull the netting down far enough to grab it. He made some progress but couldn't quite get there.
Some Braves ballpark employees drove a cart with a ladder from the center-field gate, but soon after they assembled the ladder, another security guard behind home plate had jumped up and knocked it loose.
The bat fell harmlessly onto the field. Franco flied out to center field, but he got his bat back.