WATCH: Maikel Franco Keeps Hitting Huge Homers for the Phillies
Things haven’t been fun, baseball-wise, in South Philadelphia recently. A seven-game losing streak meant the Phillies ended May with the second-worst record in baseball. Ruben Amaro angered fans with his comments. Only around 25,000 fans are going to each game.
But the last two nights have been good — both for the Phillies now and for the future. Maikel Franco, the third baseman called up on May 15th, has homered in back to back games. These weren’t just any homers: Tuesday night’s came with the Phillies down 2 runs in the bottom of the eighth. Last night’s was even bigger: Franco hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 4.
Making things even better, Franco had actually broken up Mike Leake‘s no-hit bid in the seventh inning. The Phillies won a game in which they trailed 4-0 going into the ninth and didn’t have a hit for six-plus innings. Not bad!
Both times, the Phillies won the game on a walkoff not long after Franco’s homer: On Tuesday Darin Ruf singled home Odubel Herrera in the 9th, while Cody Asche scored on an error in the 11th last night.
Franco also got a shaving-creme pie in the face last night (unfortunately, there was no Tomas “Pie Man” Perez).
Franco is only hitting .225. But he now has four hits in the last two games after going just 2-for-27 during the Phillies 7-game losing streak. But what’s most encouraging is this: He has only played in 34 Major League games (18 this year) and had just 134 at-bats. But already he’s hitting long homers in big spots for the Phillies.
His numbers are not dazzling in the few weeks since he’s been called up. But he’s just 22. And the last two nights, he’s given Phillies fans something to watch.
Follow @dhm on Twitter.