When the Phillies entered the bottom of the fifth inning, Wednesday afternoon, trailing the Angels 5-2, it looked like they had them right where they wanted them. The defending NL champs have made a habit of coming back lately and they've been riding the long ball in doing so. It nearly happened again, twice, as the Phillies got big home runs to take the lead from Trea Turner and Bryce Harper. Still, the Angels stormed back and won a wild one, 10-8.
Let's zero in on the Harper homer and the Phillies homers as a team, though.
This shot from Harper, while clutch, was actually a career milestone:
That was the 300th home run of his career. He's the 12th active player to get to 300, joining Miguel Cabrera (the leader with 510), Nelson Cruz, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Evan Longoria, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Freddie Freeman, Manny Machado and J.D. Martinez.
Harper is also in his age-30 season and if that seems quick to get to 300 homers, it is. The list of players to get to their 300th home run before the end of their age-30 season is now 28 hitters long (non-Harper list here). From that list, 15 players reached 500 career homers, a hallowed mark in baseball history, as you all know. Harper still has the rest of this season to tack on, obviously, and then he's signed with the Phillies through 2031.
The Phillies as a group are crushing the long ball. The Harper home run was the 59th Phillies homer in the month of August. That's the most ever in August by a National League team (the 2019 Yankees hit 74 homers, which is outrageous) and it's a Phillies record for any month.
This run also nears the top of the list for most home runs by any team in a month in MLB history. Here it is:
1. Yankees, 74 home runs, August 2019
2. Braves, 61, June 2023
t3. Phillies, 59, August 2023
t3. Rays, 59, April 2023
t3. Twins, 59, August 2019
t6. Yankees, 58, June 2022
t6. Astros, 58, September 2019
t6. Mariners, 58, May 1999
t6. Orioles, 58, May 1987
The Phillies have Thursday off, so that number for the month of August is complete.
With the loss Wednesday, the Phillies fall to 74-59. They are still comfortably in the top NL wild-card spot. They advanced to the World Series last season from the third wild-card spot. At this point last year, they were 73-60.