CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

J.T. Realmuto stepped on home plate, traded celebratory jabs to the gut with Rhys Hoskins, and high-fived other waiting teammates. And all around them, Citizens Bank Park rocked with a two-syllable chant that went straight through your television and into your living room.

The place hadn’t been so loud since, well, since when? At least since the season’s opening weekend, when the Phillies, so full of hope and promise, swept three games from the Atlanta Braves. No, this felt even louder. This felt as loud as the days when Charlie Manuel was here in uniform and Cole Hamels stood atop the mound.

Retro was all the rage Wednesday night, as Manuel returned to the Phillies’ dugout to begin what amounts to an interim stint as hitting coach and Hamels came back to town to start a game for the first time since he was traded away on July 31, 2015, albeit for the visiting Chicago Cubs.

And, wouldn’t you know it, the Phillies turned back the clock with an offensive outburst that was so common back in those salad days of 2007, 2008, and 2009. Bryce Harper crushed two home runs, Realmuto clocked a grand slam, and the Phillies demolished the Cubs, 11-1, marking the most runs they scored in a game since June 30.

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Every p;layer in the starting lineup had at least one hit. Hoskins, elevated to the leadoff spot despite his 2-for-28 slump, led off the game with a hit and added a sacrifice fly. The Phillies scored two runs in the first inning, two in the second, then poured it on with six in the third, all at the expense of Hamels and all in support of Aaron Nola, his successor as the Phillies’ ace, who scattered three hits and faced three batters over the minimum in seven innings.

After his second homer, Harper brought Manuel a cup of water. No need for the hitters to cool down, after all.

“He was working so hard and everybody was cheering his name,” Harper said. “I think Charlie has never seen a homer he didn’t like. It’s fun to have him.”

Before the game, Manuel predictably downplayed his potential impact on an offense that has underachieved all season but much catch fire if the Phillies have any prayer …read more

Source:: Daily Times


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Bryce Harper homers twice, Phillies break out for 11 runs to rout Cubs in Charlie Manuel’s first game as hitting coach

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