On August 30, Bryce Harper emerged from the dugout after a momentous trot around the bases. He kissed the “Phillies” script across his chest, showing his appreciation and adoration for the City of Brotherly Love. Yells, screams, whistles, and hollers could be heard throughout Philadelphia in not only the stadium, but in living rooms, restaurants, and man caves in the Delaware Valley. Harper’s home run, a 105.7mph laser off former Phillie Matt Moore, gave the Phillies a lead ahead of the ninth inning. Citizens Bank Park is always loud, but it had some extra energy on Sunday. Harper’s long ball was the 300th of his career, and it could not have come at a better time: At home, when down a run, and right in the midst of a playoff chase.
Typically, that would be the highlight of the month, but in August 2023, it was just one small part of an accolade-rich month that will be ingrained in the city for years to come.
If you somehow need a reminder, here are a couple of memorable moments from the month:
- August 1: Nick Castellanos hits a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning of his son’s birthday.
- August 4: Trea Turner receives a standing ovation and hits a clutch RBI single.
- August 5: One night after his ovation, Turner hits a go-ahead, three-run homer and receives a curtain call.
- August 9: Michael Lorenzen throws the 14th no-hitter in Phillies’ history.
- August 9: Rookie Weston Wilson homers in his first major league at-bat.
- August 9: Nick Castellanos hits his 200th career home run.
- August 11: Johan Rojas hits his first major-league homer.
- August 19: Trea Turner becomes the third Phillie to homer twice in the same inning.
- August 21: Bryce Harper hits Phillies’ first inside-the-park HR since the 2022 NLDS.
- August 22: Trea Turner scorches walk-off single vs. all-star closer Camilo Doval, clinching a series win against wild-card rival SF Giants.
- August 30: Bryce Harper belts 300th career home run.
- Overall: The Phillies hit 59 home runs in August, the most that any Phillies team has ever hit in a single month.
As you might expect, memorable moments produced some memorable quotes, so here are the top ten Phillies quotes from August:
10. Johan Rojas on Catching the Final Out of Michael Lorenzen’s No-No: August 9th
While skimming through articles about Lorenzen’s no-hitter, you may have glanced over this quote without giving it much thought. But each time I reread it, his words seem more impactful. To me, Rojas’ confidence tells me a lot about him as a person and player, especially for someone who’s just 23 years old. Again, it may seem insignificant to you, but his confidence and competitive nature are exemplified by this quote, so I think it’s deserving of the No. 10 spot.
“I wanted that fly ball… If it comes to me, I definitely have to catch it. Doesn’t matter if it’s an easy play or a hard play. I wanted the last out to be mine.”
9. Bryce Harper Panders After a Win: August 16th
Philly loves Bryce Harper, and, clearly, the feeling (or should I say, “pheeling”) is mutual.
“I love August, I love September, and I definitely love October.”
8. Bryson Stott on Turner Responding to Fan Support with Clutch HR: August 5th
Bryson Stott has only been with the Phillies big-league club for two seasons, but he has seen firsthand how far a little bit of support can take someone.
“Outside of the playoffs, obviously, I think that was one of the coolest things I’ve seen. In the media and all that, all you hear is how this place is terrible, you don’t want to play here, they don’t like their players and blah, blah, blah… I was like, ‘There. This is Philadelphia. And this is why we love playing here.’”
7. Rob Thomson Sums up the Nats-Royals Homestand: August 9th
Ever since Rob Thomson took over, postgame manager interviews have been a lot more, well, manageable. Needless to say, Thomson’s upbeat attitude and dry sense of humor was very refreshing after a monotone, seemingly lackadaisical Joe Girardi bored reporters for nearly two years. We ride with Philly Rob!
“During this entire homestand, there are so many storylines. The Trea Turner standing ovation, the no-hitter tonight, Weston Wilson coming up. Baseball is a wonderful game, and there are so many magical moments… Our fans are off-the-charts passionate. It makes you just love the game.”
6. Bryce Harper Shows His Love for Philly: August 6th
Keep pandering, Bryce! We’re here for it.
“I wouldn’t want a fanbase any other way. They want you to work hard, they want you to play hard, and they want you to perform. They’re spending their hard-earned dollar to come watch you play every night. But they have feel. They have feel for it all. I just have so much emotion toward it. I absolutely freakin’ love it. I don’t want to play anywhere else. I wish I started my career here.”
5. Nick Castellanos on the Phillies’ Desire to Win: August 1st
Nick Castellanos is one of those guys that “just gets it.” Not only is he very, very mentally sharp, but he always knows what to say, and this is a quintessential example.
“…[S]ometimes, baseball does not go the Phillies way… [but] you’re not going to find a group of guys who care more and want to win for each other than the guys in this dugout… That matters the most because not every dugout is like that.”
4. Michael Lorenzen Talks About His No-Hitter: August 9th
It may be overshadowed by the 59 home runs and his recent struggles on the mound, but Michael Lorenzen’s first two starts as a Phillie were jaw-dropping. And his journey was not easy.
“Don’t let other people tell you what you can and can’t do. I worked insanely hard to make this dream come true. I’ve watched every single one of Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters because I have always wanted to throw a no-hitter… You have to keep going for it. Keep working… This game has punched me in the face so many times. This is my ninth season, and I’ve yet to have a year I am happy about.”
“That was the coolest moment of my career—going out there for the ninth… Just walking out of the dugout and hearing the fans go wild, it gave me the chills. It gave me that boost of energy that I needed for sure.”
3. Bryce Harper Homers for Chuck From the Radio: August 30th
Bryce Harper is a serious guy on the baseball field; that’s not up for debate. Let’s be honest, we all saw what happened to Hunter Strickland. But off the field, he’s a super funny, down-to-earth guy, right, “chat?”
“I’m driving in today and listening to WIP, like I do a lot at the 2 o’clock hour, and a guy named Chuck called in. He calls in a lot. He’s hilarious. He was talking about our team, talking about me, and I walked into the training room and was like ‘I’m going to go deep tonight for Chuck,’ That guy had me fired up, man.”
2. Nick Castellanos Comments on Fans’ Reactions to Trea Turner’s Struggles
I said it before, but it needs to be reiterated—don’t let Nick Castellanos’ college-less resume fool you; he’s sharp.
“…let’s put something into perspective, right? Trea Turner signed an 11-year contract to play for Philadelphia. So when Trea’s playing his last year here, I am going to be in the bar with Liam [Castellanos’ son] having a drink, so he needs to feel comfortable. He needs to feel welcome… Baseball is a hard game. Not everybody can do it, not everybody can play it, especially every day. And every dollar Trea has signed, he’s earned. And he’s worth it, right? Like, he hits a ball into the second deck in left field, and he has 250 stolen bases in his career, so that shows you the talent that he has. Now, it’s just a matter of him feeling comfortable in a Phillies uniform for it to show every day.
1. Trea Turner Addresses His Costly Mistakes: August 2nd
Unlike some of the others, it was not funny, and it was not heartwarming. At the time, it was actually pretty demoralizing. But at the end of the day, these three sentences changed the entire narrative surrounding the Phillies’ 2023 Campaign.
“Obviously, I am the reason why we lost that game… I am frustrated, but I only know one thing: to keep working. So that’s what I am going to do.”