488 feet! Schwarber drops jaws with upper-deck Petco HR

Phillies slugger smashes 2nd-longest postseason homer tracked by Statcast

October 19th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- For a brief moment on Tuesday night, we were all two-time National League MVP Bryce Harper: speechless.

That’s because Kyle Schwarber blasted a baseball into orbit -- a Statcast-projected 488 feet, to be exact -- in the sixth inning of the Phillies’ 2-0 victory over the Padres in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. It was the longest homer hit at Petco Park since Statcast tracking began in 2015.

“Well, first off, I would have taken it if it went in the first row,” Schwarber said. “I really don't care -- a point is a point. It doesn't feel like anything, I guess. That's probably the good thing, is that your hands don't hurt at the end of it. To be able to put up a run there and extend the lead, it was nice.”

Schwarber’s modesty is fine and all, but what did his teammates think of the homer, which was the second longest in the postseason since Statcast tracking began in 2015?

“I think I said, 'Holy [cow],' and we did our handshake," outfielder Nick Castellanos said.

“Oh, man. When he first hit it, I was shocked at how loud it was, and then to see how far it flew, that's probably the hardest ball I've ever seen hit in person," catcher J.T. Realmuto said. "And then I asked a couple of the guys on their team, and they said they'd never seen a ball in the upper deck like that. So that was pretty incredible.”

“It looked like someone on the driving range taking the driver. Seriously," first baseman Rhys Hoskins said. "The ball got so small, so fast. One of those you don’t need to look at, you kind of just hear it. But man, I’ve been coming here for five years and I don’t think I’ve seen anybody sniff the second deck.”

“I'm always down the stairs, kind of out of the noise and all that, just so I can keep my head. But I heard everybody sort of take off," right-hander Zack Wheeler said. "So I ran up the stairs and I saw it land, and that was pretty crazy. I've never even seen that done in batting practice or anything.”

With Philadelphia ahead, 1-0, Schwarber jumped on right-hander Yu Darvish's first-pitch cutter to open the sixth and catapulted it to the second deck in right field. It came off the bat at 119.7 mph. Only the Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton, the Angels' Shohei Ohtani and the Pirates' Oneil Cruz hit a ball at least 119 mph in 2022.

Juan Soto, Schwarber's former Nationals teammate, didn't even move in right field, as the ball soared through the Southern California air.

“The Schwarber home run, that’s on me,” Darvish said. “That’s my mistake. I knew he was waiting on something offspeed, and the ball kind of went into the middle there. He got the most out of that at-bat.

“He's a friend of mine. Every time we meet, we greet each other and all that. Next time I meet him, I might have to punch him.”

Here are all of the Statcast rankings for the moonshot:
Second-longest postseason homer since Statcast tracking began in 2015
• Longest at Petco Park tracked by Statcast
• Longest and hardest-hit Statcast-tracked HR by a Phillies player
• Hardest-hit postseason batted ball tracked by Statcast
• Fifth-hardest-hit home run tracked by Statcast
• Career highs for distance and exit velocity for Schwarber
• Longer than any of the homers hit by Schwarber in his two Home Run Derby appearances ('18 and '22)

An eight-year big league veteran and a World Series champion with the Cubs in 2016, Schwarber is no stranger to the big stage. Tuesday night’s homer was his 10th in 42 postseason games. One of those was a rocket that landed on top of the right-field scoreboard at Wrigley Field in Game 4 of the '15 NL Division Series against the Cardinals.

But Schwarber, who clobbered an NL-high 46 homers in 2022, entered the NLCS 1-for-20 this postseason. Clearly, his bat is starting to wake up, as he reached base in each of his first three plate appearances to open Game 1: a first-inning walk, a third-inning single and then the homer.

“Even when he's struggling with it -- he's going bad or anything like that, or he's up and down -- you always know that he's one swing away -- one swing away from hitting a double, or one swing away from hitting a homer like that or putting us ahead or just having a really good at-bat,” said Harper, whose fourth-inning solo homer marked the game's first run. “I think he's had some pretty good at-bats, it just hasn't rolled his way. I thought he had really good at-bats today all together, and hopefully, he takes that into tomorrow."