Tag Archives: Rhys Hoskins

Confession of a Phillies fan who left the Harper walkoff slam game early

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I have a confession to make. I’m a lifelong Phillies fan. A partial season ticket holder. I write about the team frequently here at my website.

I was at Thusday night’s game in which the team rallied scoring seven times in the final two innings to come from five runs down and win on Bryce Harper‘s walkoff grand slam.

And I saw none of it. None of the runs. No part of the rally. Not live and in person anyway.

I gave up, and I left early.

To set the stage for you, this was perhaps the eighth game that I had been to this season. After an early season hot streak, things had deteriorated, for me and the ball club.

In each of the previous two games that I had been to, the Phillies had been blown out. Not only that, but they had not even shown up. Both times they were nearly shutout, had few hits, and the games were over by the middle innings.

Thursday night was much the same. The Phillies were down 5-0 when the top of the 8th inning rolled around. They had just four hits. Yu Darvish of the Cubs was dominating, striking out ten batters over seven innings.

So, as the 7th inning rolled around, I turned to my daughter with whom I was attending the game and told her that we would give it one more inning.

Really, I wasn’t hoping for much from the Phillies at that point. The club was down 5-0 on the scoreboard and showing no life. This night on the field appeared to be solely for the many Cubs fans in the stands, including one who was seated directly behind us and had been chirping all night long.

No, I was willing to stay through the 7th inning to see, of all things, the Phillie Phanatic. Hey, the big green furry guy puts on a nice show in that frame, dancing on the Phillies dugout roof. He didn’t disappoint, doing a nice number with a dance troupe from Temple University.

And so, as the action got underway in the top of the 8th, we left.

There was a good crowd at the ball park on a beautiful night. More than 37,000 showed up. Many left, both before us and as we were leaving. But there were still many who stayed. Those who stayed to the end would be the lucky ones. Well, at least those rooting for the home team.

We headed to the car, down towards I-95, and up onto the highway northbound. At somewhere between Bridge Street and Academy Road, the Phillies scored a run. I told my daughter, who was flipping through her phone in the passenger seat, that we scored a run. “Yay” she said, with sarcastic feigned enthusiasm.

I dropped her off at her house, and continued on to home. On the way, my wife asked me to make a stop at Wawa. As I drew nearer to our neighborhood, the Phillies had put two runners on base with one out in the bottom of the 9th inning, still down 5-1.

I slipped through the dark and quiet streets of our neighborhood, my headlights streaming out and the street lamps helping light the way, and as I pulled into the Wawa parking lot a base hit by Brad Miller scored Cesar Hernandez to make it a 5-2 ball game.

Things were getting a little interesting. Roman Quinn, who has been hot for awhile now, was coming to the plate. He would be followed by Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper. Dare we dream?

As Cubs skipper Joe Maddon went to the mound to make a pitching change, I went into the Wawa.

Got myself a coffee, and the night manager, a nice guy who I’ve seen in there many times, saw my Phillies t-shirt and cap and said “I guess they lost, huh?

I told him that I had been down there, left when it was 5-0, but now they had a little rally going in the bottom of the 9th, down 5-2. He asked who was up, and I told him that it was Quinn. He kind of nodded with an “oh well” look on his face.

As I walked through the store to find an item for my wife, a notice came over my phone that Quinn had delivered an RBI single to make it a 5-3 game. I rushed back to Mr. Wawa Manager to let him know, and he said “guess I better find a place to listen.” I hope he did.

I got my items, paid, and left the store. Back in my car, I heard that Rhys Hoskins had somehow reached base – I just assumed a walk at that point – and that Bryce Harper was now up with the bases loaded.

Harper battled reliever Derek Holland during my four block drive home. I had just pulled in front of my house and was parking my car when…

You know the rest. Scott Franzke’s typically fantastic voice raised with the call “Swung on…hit high and deep…right field…and that…ball…is……goooooone!

Needless to say, finishing my parking job got a little bit tougher with that adrenalin jolt.

I got out of the car and hurried into my house. My wife, knowing that I was on my way and knowing her husband, had the game on, watched that ending, and had rewound it so that I could watch the end.

Watching it on TV was just as dramatic, even knowing how it ended. I rewound a little further so that I could enjoy the entire rally. When that TV coverage got to the home run, chills again thanks to John Kruk‘s now legendary “Oh my God!!” as soon as the ball left the bat.

So, I was there on Thursday night. I was at Citizens Bank Park for the game in which the Phillies rallied from down 5-0 in the 8th inning and 5-1 in the 9th to win on a walkoff grand slam by Bryce Harper.

I had a nice evening. My daughter and I ate and had a couple of beers before the game at Pass & Stow. We enjoyed each other’s company and chatted as we watched the game.

But we were not there at the end. We didn’t get to enjoy “the moment.”

You tell yourself a lot of things when you leave early, as I have done many times over the years. Gotta beat the crowd, the traffic being the main thing. I don’t believe that what happened last night has ever happened in a game that I left early before.

So, the question is – will I ever leave early again? Of course I will. Probably the very next game that I attend. And if the Phillies are losing, even losing big, I’ll hope and pray that I get to listen on the radio and/or watch on TV as they rally again.

 

Phillies continue to be stymied by failure to deliver in the clutch

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The Philadelphia Phillies just cannot seem to get on a true roll in this 2019 season. The last time that the club was 10 games above the .500 level was following a 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on June 8.
Since that time, the club has gone 22-27, and they have just two winning streaks of three or more games. Beginning on July 30, the Phillies began a streak, one that is still current, in which they have alternated a win with a loss.
Win. Loss. Win. Loss. Win. Loss. Win. Loss. Four times in a row now following Tuesday night’s 8-4 defeat to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix.
And yet, the Phillies remain in control of a National League Wildcard playoff berth. That position in the standings is thanks to two factors. One has been that all of the other Wildcard contenders have proven to be flawed as well, at least to this point.
Another is that, while not being able to assemble a big winning streak, the Phillies have not gone into a major losing skid either. The club has not lost as many as three in a row since the middle of June. In fact, since the start of July, the Phillies have only dropped back-to-back games on three occasions.
Frankly, this team has become exasperating to many fans. They can’t win consistently, and in fact have outright blown many more than their share of potential victories, continuing to frustrate everyone following the team. But that they also don’t lose consistently has kept them tantalizingly in the race.
Sure, the bullpen has blown a number of games. But if we are honest about that factor, the Phillies pen has been in shambles due to numerous key injuries, far more than could have been expected and planned for.
At present, the following relievers are on the Injured ListDavid RobertsonPat NeshekSeranthony DominguezTommy HunterEdubray RamosVictor Arano and Adam Morgan.
When the 2019 regular season opened, that was nearly the entire Phillies anticipated bullpen. Most of those relievers have missed most of the season. The problems stemming from trying to replace them on the fly, of leaning too much on arms who could not have been expected to pitch so often in the roles in which they have been used, should be expected. It may be a problem without a solution in the short term.
So, yes, while the bullpen has been a problem, and is likely to remain one for the rest of this season, there are other major contributors to the Phillies struggles. The starting rotation has also struggled, not so much with injuries, but with a failure to produce consistent outings.
But this club was put together in the off-season with an emphasis on upgrading the offensive production. Half of the starting lineup was overhauled with trades and free agent acquisitions. That offense has simply not stepped up and delivered in the way that it was assumed it would.
The Phillies inability to consistently drive in runners when they are in scoring position has been maddening, and it has cost them directly in the win column. It has kept the club’s average runs per game at a mediocre 4.78 mark, ranking them 16th of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball.
Last night in Arizona, the Phillies hitters were a sickening 2-17 with runners in scoring position (RISP) and left a dozen men on base. Even in their 7-3 win the previous night, the club went just 5-19 with RISP, and left nine men on base.
The Phillies average of 3.82 runners left in scoring position per game is the worst in all of baseball. Last year, the Phillies offense ranked seventh in that stat. The only player doing the job in 2019 has been Bryce Harper, whose .368 batting average with runners in scoring position ranks 6th in the National League and 9th in all of Major League Baseball.

While Rhys Hoskins leads all Phillies in overall rWC+, he needs to be more consistent. (Ian D’Andrea)
Since the MLB All-Star break in the second week of July, the Phillies are now just 44-207 for a .213 batting average as a team with runners in scoring position over the last 22 games. It is almost miraculous that the club has fashioned a winning 12-11 record since the break.
Here is the breakdown from each of those series: CWS: 5-26, SFG: 5-26, ATL: 7-26, DET: 3-19 (two games), PIT: 5-23, LAD: 8-29, WAS: 4-22, and these last two games in Arizona.
That is simply not going to cut it. There is no way that these Phillies will hold on to an NL Wildcard playoff spot, let alone make any kind of run at the division crown, without significant improvement in this area.
The Phillies are no offensive juggernaut, that much is a fact. However, their overall offense is no worse than middle of the pack. They put runners on base for the most part. They put pressure on the opposition. The Phillies should be scoring more runs. They simply do not kick in the door. Not nearly enough.
What is the answer? Pretty simple. The players who are hitting when there is no one on base need to hit when there are men in scoring position. Top to bottom, the Phillies hitters need to come through in the clutch and produce more runs.
In Fangraphs wRC+ (weighted runs created) rankings, Rhys Hoskins is the #24 ranked hitter in all of baseball. Harper comes in next at #62, with Jean Segura at #93 and J.T. Realmuto in the #98 slot. In order to score more, the Phillies are going to need to get more production from the rest of their lineup. And it wouldn’t hurt if Segura and Realmuto picked it up a bit as well. In fact, it’s hard to make the argument that both Hoskins and Harper don’t have a big run in them.
Would another big bat or two help, especially in the middle of the order? Sure. But almost every team can say that. For this 2019 Phillies team, the answer lies on the bats of the players who are already here to begin coming through when it matters on a far more frequent basis.

Nola gem, Harper and Hoskins homers leads Phils past Chisox

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Phillies fans left Citizens Bank Park happy on Saturday night

On a night when the Phillies honored turn-of-the-century All-Star outfielder Bobby Abreu with a place on the franchise Wall of Fame, the present-day Philadelphia Phillies (58-52) held on for a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox (47-61) at Citizens Bank Park.

The night was all about pitching at the start. Both Phillies ace Aaron Nola and White Sox starter Ross Detwiler went through their opposing lineups perfectly through the first three innings.
The visitors broke through first with a run in the top of the 4th inning. Leury Garcia led off with a walk, moved to second on a ground out, and scored on a two-out double off the bat of Jon Jay.
Bryce Harper’s game-tying upper decker was his 100th hit in a Phillies uniform.

 

 

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With two outs in the bottom of that same inning the Phillies finally got on the scoreboard in a big way. Bryce Harper crushed a 1-1, 89 mph, four-seam fastball from Detwiler into the right field upper deck. His 100th hit with the Phillies tied the game at 1-1. Rhys Hoskins followed by jumping on a first-pitch sinker, blasting it out to dead-center field to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.
Hoskins & Harper go back-to-back in the bottom of the 4th inning to put the Phillies on top.

 

 

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The score stood into the 7th inning when Chicago produced a major threat. With one out, Eloy Jimenez singled and Tim Anderson doubled. Yolmer Sanchez then bounced one to Hoskins, who shuffled the ball home to Andrew Knapp in time to get Jimenez at the plate. Nola then struck out Friday night hero Matt Skole as a pinch-hitter to end the threat and keep the Phillies on top by the 2-1 score.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Phillies took their turn presenting a big threat. A walk to Adam Haseley, single by Maikel Franco, and intentional walk to Andrew Knapp loaded the bases. Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler opted to pinch-hit for Nola, who was up to 94 pitches, with J.T. Realmuto.
The Phillies regular catcher flew out to center field for the first out. But then Cesar Hernandez hit into a 4-6 force, with Haseley rushing home with a run to push the Phillies lead out to 3-1. Jean Segura was hit by a pitch by new Chisox hurler Dylan Covey, loading the bases for Harper. But the right fielder grounded out, minimizing the damage.
Nick Pivetta came on for the Phillies in the top of the 8th and did the job in that inning, setting Chicago down in order. Kapler opted to bring him back out for the 9th inning with the score still 3-1, and things did not go as smoothly.
The inning began with Jose Abreu reaching on a throwing error by Segura. Jay followed with base hit, putting the tying run on base. Chicago skipper Rick Renteria then put Ryan Cordell in as a pinch-runner for Jay.
Pivetta then bore down and struck out Jimenez and Anderson, moving the Phillies within an out of a victory. But nothing is ever that easy for this 2019 Phillies ball club.
Yolmer Sanchez singled to score Abreu, making it 3-2, with Cordell rolling around to third base where he stood as the tying run just 90 feet away. Rather than blowing it as so often has happened in this hair-raising season, Pivetta then came through, striking out pinch-hitter Adam Engel swinging to end it and giving Nola his 10th win of the season.
The Phillies and White Sox will go at it one more time in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. Drew Smyly will make his third start since joining the Phillies, with right-hander Reynaldo Lopez taking the mound for Chicago.

SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING PERFORMANCE

Phillies – Aaron Nola: 7 IP, 3 hits, 1 earned, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts. 94 pitches, 66 for strikes.
White Sox – Ross Detwiler: 5.2 IP, 3 hits (2 HR), 2 earned, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts. 78 pitches, 54 for strikes.

PHILLIES NUGGETS PLAYER OF THE GAME: AARON NOLA

The back-to-back home runs from Harper and Hoskins provided the winning margin. But it was Nola’s outstanding pitching that was once again the real difference in this one for the Phillies.
Nola went seven strong innings, striking out 10 batters and allowing just three hits while walking two. Coming off a bit of a rough outing in two of his last three times on the mound, this was a good shot-in-the-arm for the Phillies ace right-hander.

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Boston Red Sox add former Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph

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Back from Korea, Tommy Joseph signs with Bosox

The Boston Red Sox have announced the signing of Tommy Joseph, the Phillies former first baseman. Joseph had played in Korea earlier this season with little success before receiving his release.

Joseph, who turned 28-years-old just three weeks ago, was a second round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants back in 2009 out of high school in his native Arizona.
At the July 2012 trade deadline, Joseph was sent to the Phillies along with pitching prospect Seth Rosin and outfielder Nate Schierholtz in exchange for outfielder Hunter Pence.
From a Phillies perspective, Joseph was the centerpiece of that deal. A catcher at the time of the trade, he never developed in the way they hoped.
Joseph finally reached Philadelphia in May 2016 as a first baseman. For most of that season as well as the 2017 campaign, he was the Phillies starter at the position. He appeared in 227 games at first base and another pair as a Designated Hitter.
After slashing just .247/.297/.460 with 43 home runs, 86 extra-base hits, and 116 RBIs, Joseph lost his playing time in September 2017 to Rhys Hoskins. When the Phillies signed Carlos Santana as a free agent that December, the writing was on the wall. Joseph was released during spring training of 2018.
The Texas Rangers picked him up off waivers, and Joseph spent last season split between the Double-A and Triple-A levels in the Texas farm system.

For this 2019 season, Joseph signed a $1 million deal with LG Twins of the KBO in Korea. However, he produced with just an OPS of .758 over 217 plate appearances, far below the league average of .866 for foreign players. The Twins replaced Joseph by signing Carlos Peguero, who had experience playing in both Major League Baseball and in Japan.

Joseph was released from his deal, and returned to the United States. The Red Sox have assigned him to Triple-A Pawtucket, and barring injuries he will likely remain there, possibly hoping for a September promotion when rosters are expanded.

Phillies will try to take series over Giants on Wednesday night

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Phillies welcome the Giants back in to Citizens Bank Park

The Philadelphia Phillies (56-50) and San Francisco Giants (54-53) continue their series on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park in South Philly.

As a result of their 4-2 victory in the series opener on Tuesday night, the Phillies have moved into a tie for the second National League Wildcard playoff berth with the Chicago Cubs, trailing the Washington Nationals by just a half-game and tied with the Nats in the loss column.
The loss dropped the Giants three games back in that loss column. San Francisco entered the series as the hottest team in Major League Baseball over the last six weeks, having won 23 of their previous 33 games to get back into the postseason picture.
Just prior to the MLB trade deadline, which passed at 4:00 pm this afternoon, both clubs swung deals. The Phillies added veteran outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Giants sent relievers Sam DysonDrew PomeranzMark Melancon and Ray Black away, with Melancon going to the Atlanta Braves. San Francisco also acquired second baseman Scooter Gennett from the Cincinnati Reds.
After coming with what appeared to be a very weak, inexperienced lineup on Tuesday night, Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who will be retiring after this season, has loaded the batting order with veterans for this Wednesday night tilt.
With scattered showers and thunderstorms in the forecast, tonight’s game could prove a challenge for the pitching staffs of both clubs. Storms have already been rolling through Philly on and off during the afternoon. There is a 60% chance at the scheduled first pitch, dropping to 40% throughout the remainder of the ball game.

WEDNESDAY STARTING LINEUPS

PHILLIES

  1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
  2. Jean Segura SS
  3. Rhys Hoskins 1B
  4. Bryce Harper RF
  5. J.T. Realmuto C
  6. Scott Kingery CF
  7. Adam Haseley LF
  8. Maikel Franco 3B
  9. Vince Velasquez P

GIANTS

  1. Brandon Belt 1B
  2. Buster Posey C
  3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
  4. Alex Dickerson LF
  5. Brandon Crawford SS
  6. Kevin Pillar CF
  7. Mike Yastrzemski RF
  8. Joe Panik 2B
  9. Jeff Samardzija P

SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP

Phillies – Vince Velasquez: 3-5, 4.46 ERA, 65 hits over 66.2 IP across 22 games (12 starts) with a 79/26 K:BB. Velasquez has made three career starts vs the Giants: 1-1, 3.12 ERA, 13 hits over 17.1 IP with a 27/5 K:BB
Giants – Jeff Samardzija (34/RH): 7-8, 3.95 ERA, 4.58 FIP, 1.178 WHIP, 105 hits over 116.1 IP across 21 starts with a 102/32 K:BB. Samardizja is in his 12th year in the big-leagues and is signed through the 2020 season.

PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES

  • Since their season-long seven-game losing streak ended on June 24, the Phillies have won 17 of their last 29 games and their .586 winning percentage in that stretch ranks tied for third among all National League teams.
  • After Tuesday night’s victory, the Phillies are now 35-13 when scoring first, 49-13 when scoring four or more runs, 45-6 when leading into the late innings (after six), 36-5 win outhitting their opposition, 50-27 when hitting at least one home run.
  • The Phillies have now won seven straight games against the Giants at Citizens Bank Park. It is the club’s longest win streak against San Francisco since winning eight in a row over the 1990-91 seasons at Veteran’s Stadium.
  • Since June 24, the Phillies are averaging 5.07 runs per game, nearly a half-run improvement over their performance across the season’s first 77 games.
  • Rhys Hoskins (79) and Bryce Harper (71) rank 1-2 in the National League in Walks. The Phillies have not had a pair of teammates lead the league at 1-2 in free passes since Gavvy Cravath and Dave Bancroft with the 1915 NL pennant winners.
  • Phillies three southpaw relievers have been hot. Adam Morgan has allowed 1 unearned run on 3 hits with 10 K’s in 8.2 IP during July and has held opponents to a .165/.259/.272 slash line this season, with lefty hitters just 2-30 (.067) with 11 SO against him since May 13. Jose Alvarez has not allowed a run in his last 10.1 IP across 9 appearances, has a 1.62 ERA over 33.1 IP since April 19, and lefty batters are hitting just 4-for-25 (.160) against him since June 22, including 1 for the last 15. Ranger Suarez had a 0.68 ERA for more than a month, allowing just 1 earned run over 13.1 IP across 10 appearances between June 23 and July 24.

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