June 7, 2023

Kyle Schwarber adds exclamation point to Phils’ already historic win


Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY

It was already a historic night for both the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Diego Padres. The Padres were celebrating their first berth in the National League Championship since 1998, and the Phillies are in their first championship series since 2010. And thanks to the new playoff format, it’s the first time in MLB history that two Wild Card teams are going for the NL Pennant.

Kyle Schwarber, though, added to the historic night. He added 488 feet, to be exact. The 2022 regular-season home run leader crushed a first-pitch cutter from Padres’ ace Yu Darvish, giving the Phillies an insurance run heading to the bottom of the sixth. The home run left Schwarber’s bat at 119.7 miles per hour, and the ball traveled 488 feet, per StatCast.

Since the StatCast era began in 2015, Schwarber’s solo shot was the longest homer in Petco Park history, the second-longest postseason home run, and the hardest hit baseball in postseason history.

And not only was it the farthest-hit ball of his career, but it was also farther than any of the balls he hit in the two home run derbies he participated in.

“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.”

Zack Wheeler got the start for the Phillies, and he was no disappointment. Wheeler threw seven scoreless innings and allowed just two base runners. His fastball had enough run to deceive Padres hitters, and he was locating his breaking balls with perfection.

“I was able to keep the crowd quiet as much as I could, Wheeler said. But it didn’t compare to the crowd at Citizens Bank Park.

At the beginning of the game, Bryce Harper narrowly snuck his fourth postseason home run out of the ballpark, putting the Phils on top early. From there, the crown was deflated just like the Padres’ offense.

After Wheeler, Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado came in to finish the game. Dominguez threw a quick eighth inning, and Jose Alvarado was able to escape trouble in the ninth to secure the game-one win.

The Phillies and Padres will be playing game two of the best-of-seven series at 4:35pm ET on Wednesday.

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