Phillies rookie Luke Williams is off to an unforgettable start to his MLB career.
With two outs and trailing 1-0, the Philadelphia Phillies were in danger of falling to 28-32, the same record as their disappointing 2020 season.
Rookie utility player Luke Williams — who was called up Monday and making his first career start after an impressive showing to help Team USA clinch a spot in the Summer Olympics — had other plans.
With Andrew McCutchen on first base after walking earlier in the bottom of the ninth, Williams hit a clutch, two-run home run for his first walk-off, professional home run.
“You can’t make this up,” Williams told reporters after the game. “It’s pretty incredible … It hasn’t been the easiest journey, but this is pretty awesome… It felt like a dream… it’s a pretty indescribable feeling. I just wanted to be here and help the team win.”
According to Ryan Spaeder, Williams is the first Phillies player to hit a walk-off home run with the team trailing and down to their final out since Pat Burrell in May 2008. In addition, the rookie is the first to do so while scoring the Phillies’ first run(s) of the game since Bob Dernier in May 1989.
Only five players in the last two decades have hit a walk-off home run in their first big-league start, Elias Sports reports. The most recent were Carlos Perez (2015), Ben Francisco (2007), Miguel Cabrera (2003), Esix Snead (2002) and Josh Bard (2002). But in the storied history of the Philadelphia Phillies, the oldest continuous (same city, same name) franchise in MLB, Luke Williams is the first to achieve this feat, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports.
Williams’ walk-off not only helped the Phillies earn their 29th win, it also prevented the Braves from getting over .500 for the first time this season. The blast was also one of only five hits for the Phillies in the entire game; the team had gone hitless dating back to Williams’ first-career double in the bottom of the fourth. Best of all, Williams’ family was in attendance to see the magical moment.
Williams debuted in Tuesday’s series opener and earned his first hit in his first at-bat with a bunt single. He advanced to third base on the same play due to a Braves error.
All in all, you couldn’t write a better script for the rookie, who is slashing .600/.600/1.400 through his first two career games.