7 bright spots from the Phillies' 2023 season

While the season ended on a low note for the Phillies, there were plenty of high points during 2023.
Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Bryce Harper goes the unconventional route to round the bases

On Aug. 21 against the San Francisco Giants, Bryce Harper stepped to the plate in the bottom of the fifth with his team up 4-2. He sent the fourth pitch he saw into center field. While he barely missed a traditional, over-the-wall long ball, he decided he wouldn't be cheated out of a homer.

With some help from some bobbling from Wade Meckler in center field, Harper was able to make it a round-trip affair, staking the club to a 5-2 lead while pulling off one of the most exciting plays in baseball.

"I saw it was over [Meckler's] head. Any time after that, it hits that wall, it gets a pretty good kick, you have a pretty good chance. I was thinking, 'I really don't like hitting triples, so I might as well try to get to home.' I was just watching [third-base coach] Dusty [Wathan]," Harper said when walking through the play after the game, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

Speaking of bases, it'd be a shame not to give catcher J.T. Realmuto — who happened to have the last inside-the-park home run for the Phillies in 2022 — a brief mention here as well.

If you look at the result from June 12, you'd see a 9-8 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. If you take a look at the box score, you'll see the makings of a rare feat. Realmuto went 4-for-4 on the day with a single, double, triple and home run, becoming only the 17th catcher in baseball to hit for the cycle. It was the first time a Phillies player accomplished it since David Bell pulled it off in 2004.