The Phillies beat up on Reds pitching Thursday night in Cincinnati, blasting seven home runs and tying a franchise record in the process. Rhys Hoskins, Maikel Franco, and Nick Williams each homered twice and Carlos Santana homered once in the Phillies’ 9-4 victory. The only other time the Phillies hit seven homers in a game was on September 8, 1998 against the Reds when Rico Brogna, Kevin Sefcik, and Bobby Estalella each homered twice and Marlon Anderson homered once.
With the offensive explosion, the Phillies improved to 58-44. The Braves lost 8-2 to the Dodgers, so the Phillies increased their lead over them to 2.5 games in the NL East. The third-place Nationals defeated the Marlins 10-3 and remain seven games behind the Phillies.
Hoskins, Franco, and Williams are all on hot streaks:
- Hoskins, since July 10: .308/.400/.712 (1.112 OPS), 6 HR
- Franco, since July 9: .291/.328/.691 (1.018 OPS), 7 HR
- Williams, in July: .333/.412/.573 (.985 OPS), 5 HR
With Hoskins and Williams performing well, and Odubel Herrera‘s spot entrenched, the Phillies may not feel the need to acquire an outfielder ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The club had been linked to the Orioles’ Adam Jones. Additionally, with Franco also swinging a hot bat, third base may not rank as high on the Phillies’ list of priorities as it once did. The Phillies were thought to have had some interest in the Royals’ Mike Moustakas and the Twins’ Eduardo Escobar, among others.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.