'Seriously, uncle': Schwarber's June boom on display

Turner's return celebrated with standing ovation in Phils' 18-hit drubbing of Padres

June 18th, 2024

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies rolled out a lineup featuring their typical top four hitters for the first time in six weeks on Monday night -- and the results could not have been better.

Philadelphia celebrated 's long-awaited return by collecting a season-high 18 hits en route to a 9-2 victory over the Padres at Citizens Bank Park. Turner settled right back into the No. 2 spot with a pair of hits and a run scored.

“Trea's an unbelievable athlete,” manager Rob Thomson said. “He had really good at-bats, really good swings. It looked like his timing was good -- and that says something about a guy who hasn't had an at-bat in a long time.”

The top of the order was happy to have him back, too.

Each of the Phillies' first four hitters -- , Turner, Bryce Harper and Alec Bohm -- turned in a multihit effort. Schwarber's latest June surge continued with a pair of homers, two walks, four RBIs and a pair of runs, while Bohm stayed red-hot with a three-run shot of his own on a three-hit night.

“When you have [Turner] back in the two-hole, it just makes the whole lineup so much deeper,” Schwarber said. “There’s going to be threats throughout the whole lineup.”

That was certainly the case on Monday. Rookie catcher Rafael Marchán went 4-for-4 out of the No. 9 spot (and unleashed a J.T. Realmuto-esque throw on a caught stealing), while Nick Castellanos -- who had struggled filling in at No. 2 of late -- added a pair of hard-hit doubles. Eight of Philadelphia's nine starters had at least one hit. The lone exception was David Dahl, who had a 385-foot flyout to the warning track.

“I'm just happy,” Marchán said. “Just happy and grateful to be part of [a game like] that. To come here and work with these guys is just making me feel confident right now.”

It was a welcome treat for a Phillies team that was suddenly searching for offense upon returning from a disappointing 3-5 intercontinental road trip. Philadelphia entered Monday averaging just four runs per game in June while posting a .673 OPS. That came after leading the Majors with 5.2 runs per game and ranking fourth with a .749 team OPS through the end of May.

"June Schwarber" is doing his best to single handedly put an end to that trend.

He has five home runs over the past seven games, including a pair of multihomer performances. Over the past four seasons, Schwarber has 10 multihomer games in the month of June -- and 10 in every other month combined during that span. He’s now averaging one home run every 10.3 career at-bats in the month of June, placing him ahead of Babe Ruth (10.6) for the best mark in MLB history (minimum 500 at-bats).

So what’s the secret?

"I wish I could have an answer,” Schwarber said.

So does the opposition.

“Uncle. Seriously, uncle,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “This dude, going back to my days when he was in Chicago -- I don’t know Kyle well and I hear nothing but great things and he’s a really, really talented guy -- but he does not have to hit a home run in every game that I manage. It’s just … uncle. He’s a real talent.”

And Schwarber isn’t the only Phillies hitter giving opposing managers fits right now.

Bohm improved to 11-for-18 (.611) with four extra-base hits, eight RBIs, one stolen base and only one strikeout over his past four games. Only three other Phillies have ever matched each of those numbers over a four-game stretch: Jimmy Rollins (2006), Tony Gonzalez (1962) and Hall of Famer Chuck Klein (1933).

The latest big nights from Schwarber and Bohm overshadowed the best all-around game yet from Marchán, who was on base every time Schwarber stepped to the plate.

“That's just him,” said Phillies starter Cristopher Sánchez, who bounced back with seven innings of two-run (one earned) ball. “He's always been a good player -- good catcher, good hitter. That's just who he is.”

And “June Schwarber” might just be who Schwarber is.

“Some guys start out hot, some guys finish hot,” Thomson said. “But this is just what he does, I guess.”