Thanks to a seven-run eighth inning rally, the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Miami Marlins in exhilarating fashion on Tuesday — while on the backs of another stellar outing from Zack Wheeler.
The last time the team scored seven or more runs in the eighth inning or later was six seasons ago against the Washington Nationals. But was their rally sparked by extra “men” on the field?
Phillies fans have returned to Citizens Bank Park this season in limited capacities, and they have made their presence known — for better or for worse. As if the persisting Eagles chants weren’t enough to draw polarizing attention, things went one step further on Tuesday.
Crowd Distraction, Late Phillies Rally
The Phillies trailed the Marlins in the top of the eighth inning with Jesus Aguilar at the plate. The at-bat was stopped because a fan jumped from the stands and sprinted through the outfield. He made an attempt to dodge security that was truly doomed from the start.
Once wasn’t enough. The incident spurred another fan to do the same thing in the bottom of the eighth inning with Rhys Hoskins at the plate. John Clarke of NBC Sports Philadelphia compared this fan’s wobbling and incoherent running to that of Daniel Jones across the street at Lincoln Financial Field in October.
This bizarre occurrence continues to happen at professional sporting events — and at Phillies games in particular. Fans used to run onto the field and try to slide on the tarp during rain delays at Veterans Stadium every so often, before the team moved to Citizens Bank Park in 2004. Early in the 2010 season, a Phillies fan that ran on the field was infamously tasered following his violation.
The Phillies sleeping bats awoke almost immediately after the second incident during Tuesday night’s game. Alec Bohm, Nick Maton, and Bryce Harper all contributed key hits in the type of game that the Phillies always seem to lose to the Marlins.
Did it spark the rally?
The Phillies won tonight because their offense delivered at key points in the game, something they haven’t done enough this season. It’s somewhat refreshing to be able to discuss bizarre occurrences at the ballpark after a season of empty stadiums in 2020 — but this distraction is a little bit over the top.
Full capacity crowds will return to Phillies games beginning on June 12 against the New York Yankees. Tickets to a game at Citizens Bank Park used to be hard to come by. The Phillies’ reign of dominance in the NL East from 2007-11 was aided by sellout crowds and some of the MLB’s most passionate fans. It would be nice to see that type of atmosphere again.
Breaking the law is not correlated with establishing home field advantage, but it did catch the attention of everyone in attendance at Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies victory in the first game of this week’s series against the Marlins.