Tommy Joseph didn’t get the fastball that he expected. Instead, he saw a slider bending over the plate and jumped on it.
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It was the first pinch homer of the season for the Phillies. For Joseph, a rookie, it was the 10th homer of the season but his first career homer in a pinch.
Joseph, batting for starting pitcher Vince Velasquez (8-2), drove a 1-1 offering from Jake McGee (0-3) over the left-field wall to cap a four-run seventh for the Phillies, who snapped a five-game losing streak to the Rockies.
“I was on the railing cheering,” said Velasquez, who had found out moments before the blast that Joseph was batting for him. “Next thing you know, he’s hitting a home run.”
Colorado’s Jon Gray kept the Phillies in check until the seventh when he issued a leadoff walk to Cameron Rupp and a one-out single to Freddy Galvis. McGee relieved Gray and gave up an RBI single to Cesar Hernandez for the Phillies’ first run.
That brought up Joseph, who delivered a searing blast that soared over the left-field fence.
“No-doubters, you don’t feel’em,” Joseph said. “You just get to watch it. And for it to stay fair, even better.”
McGee said he made a mistake by throwing Joseph a slider.
“Probably should have been stuck with my best pitch, the fastball,” McGee said. “But I made that pitch and I hung it over the plate.”
Joseph said he thought he would get the fastball but was able to adjust to the breaking pitch.
“Any hard-throwing guy, you’ve got to look for his heat because you don’t want to get your doors blown off,” Joseph said. “I was looking for the heat and just saw it in the middle of the plate.
“Obviously, you’ll take a pinch-hit homer whenever you can get ’em but to do it in a game like this and to put the team ahead, it felt great.”