MIAMI — A few days ago, when the blissful Phillies caught another wave of energy, they kicked off a new celebration for every hit. “I can’t say enough about our celebration,” backup catcher and lead entertainer Garrett Stubbs said Friday afternoon. Does anyone know how it started. No one wants to take credit for themselves. Silly and hilarious, that’s the Phillies. Some people in the clubhouse didn’t know what it was or why they were doing it, but they had an idea.That gesture is suggestive enough to guess without knowing Its origin is “Major League II””
“What about the spelling?” the Phillies player asked after winning 13 straight road games. It was a game we shouldn’t have won. job. Some hitters are more demonstrative than others when juggling imaginary balls. In the film, teammates challenge Pedro Serrano’s fortitude during his slump. He takes it personally. He asked the manager to pinch hit in the ninth inning, and Serrano hit the game-winning home run on the first pitch. He turned to the dugout. he dances
Cristian Pace is a 24-year-old former top prospect who was let down by MLB’s worst team in the preseason. He was one of the worst hitters in modern baseball before 2023. He’s an elite fielder, so he stayed at bat. That’s why the Phillies acquired him the day before the start of the season.
Pache had hit nine times in the past 14 days. It had been almost a week since he last appeared at bat. But on Friday night, he pinch-hitter in the ninth inning with two outs and second base. He pitched the first pitch. He then hit the slider deep inside. Patche raised his right arm as the ball hit the midfield wall. Many of his teammates jumped onto the field.
Phillies 4, Marlins 3. Eighty-seven games into the season, the defining moment has arrived. Patchy tasted it.
“No one is going to keep him,” Alec Bohm said. “You think that helps the players play their best, right? If you’re not trying to act a certain way or try to do a certain thing and you’re happy to be yourself. Be yourself, and I feel like it definitely helps me and a lot of the young players here.”
He ran it as Patche floated toward third base. “Unbelievable,” said Dusty Wasan, the third base coach closest to Patche. He performed a big ball dance with more emphasis than previous Phillies players.
“I knew I hit it well,” Patche said through a team interpreter. “It was a real man who hit that ball.”
It will never feel like it did last October, because that’s the way it is. For months, the Phillies have been talking about resisting comparisons to 2022. A return to the summer was not guaranteed, as it fell behind again. Then they leaned over it. After the win, they started playing “Dancing On My Own” again in the clubhouse.
The Phillies are 23-7 in their last 30 games. In 2022, the Phillies have never had such a strong 30-game streak. These Phillies did not hit a single Bryce Harper home run in 43 days. They’ve pitched better in the last 30 games than they’ve had in a long time. The bullpen are elite, keeping a clean sheet in 25 1/3 inning streaks, making them the most consistent team on the team all season. It’s not just Harper, the Phillies haven’t been able to hit power and many nights the offense sleepwalks.
It didn’t matter.
“It’s a good vibe,” said Zach Wheeler. “We’re just riding. Try to keep riding as long as possible until the (All-Star) break and hopefully keep it going after that. We’re playing good baseball.”
“It’s definitely a reminder to just keep playing,” Bohm said. “You can get hot in an inning and make a difference in the game. Winning definitely lifts your spirits. I look forward to coming every day and we are enjoying ourselves.”
So here is the patch. He spoke earlier in the season about how welcome he felt inside the Phillies clubhouse. He then tore his meniscus in his right knee, was placed on the disabled list, and returned as a backup player. He has talent, but if he hasn’t played and has no track record of success, it might feel inappropriate to show it.
“He’s starting to open up more,” Bohm said. “He was quiet at first.”
When the Phillies were facing the Rays at Tropicana Field, Patche made a bold prediction.
“I told the boys that when I hit the ball out of the Miami park, I was going to jump and have fun,” Pache said. “And on my first at-bat, I actually hit it out of bounds. I just wanted to jump because it looks sexy.”
Brandon Marsh, who was pinch hitter for Patche, heard the answer. He laughed, then went to tell his teammates what Patche had just said. everyone laughed.
But it required real work. Pache was teammates with Marlins left-hander closer AJ Pook last season in Oakland. He knew him a little. In the bottom of the seventh, the Phillies coach instructed Patche to prepare for a puke. “Before that at-bat, I went to the cage to get ready and watched a video to see how[Pook]was attacking a right-handed hitter,” Pache said. He wanted to stay inside the ball and attempt a hit to right-center.
He hit a 397-foot ball to right-center.
“Honestly, I’m still figuring myself out as a hitter,” Patche said. “I have[Phillies hitting coach]Kevin Long on my side. It’s just amazing to work with him every day.
The Phillies are happy they got the chance. Whatever happened next, they won the trade with the A’s. Phillies manager Rob Thomson said, “It’s been a great recovery in the front office.” “It really was.” Somehow, everyone the Phillies bring to the quirky clubhouse finds a way to accommodate them. Some people embrace chaos. Others encourage it. Some are content to sit on the sidelines.
And then there’s Patchy. A real man hit that ball and danced to prove it.
One Philly said, “I love that he went around third base and did that.”
(Top photo: Jim Rassol / USA Today)