Rafael Marchan was an extremely unlikely home run hero for the Phillies on Friday.
Rafael Marchan played in 210 Minor League games before being called up to the Phillies. In his second appearance for the team, he hit his very first professional home run.
Maybe he was just saving his best swing for the right moment.
Marchan’s blast into the right-field bleachers scored three runs and tied the game between the Phillies and the Blue Jays at 5-5.
The Phillies broadcast team could hardly believe it.
Tom McCarthy said what most were thinking: “2020 is crazy!”
John Kruk’s laughter was relatable as well: “This is awesome.”
Maybe the best part of Marchan’s nonchalant trot around the bases as though he hadn’t done something incredible.
In a 5-5 game in a playoff chase, the promising prospect must have been more focused on the next task at hand.
Rafael Marchan hadn’t hit a ball so sweetly in 850 professional plate appearances.
Marchan started playing professional baseball at the age of 17 with the Phillies Dominican Summer League affiliate. Now 21 years old, the catcher spent four years in the Minor Leagues and didn’t hit a single home run in 846 plate appearances.
When the Phillies called him up on Sept. 13, they certainly weren’t doing so for his bat. He was brought in as extra insurance after an injury to J.T. Realmuto.
Philadelphia ended up starting Marchan on Sept. 14 and he logged his first hit in the Majors, but he had an otherwise quiet outing in the 6-2 loss to the Marlins.
Friday was quite a bit different.
It was a night of firsts in more ways than one. Just before Marchan came to the plate, Mickey Moniak had his first career MLB hit.
Philadelphia is 25-25 and looking to sweep the Blue Jays while defending their wildcard berth. With the Cardinals right on their heels, they need every unlikely contribution they can ask for.