Phillies fans have desperately needed something, anything to come along and make the end of the 2017 season relatively watchable.
The Phils are the worst team in baseball, some notable players have taken steps in the wrong direction, and the injury bug has caught up to some of the exciting, young players that we’d like to watch night in and night out.
But man oh man, thank goodness for Rhys Hoskins and the other rooks who are making this team pretty fun to watch.
As for tonight’s game... it was fun!
The 3rd installment of this Phils-Marlins 4-game series saw Mark Leiter on the hill for the good guys and Justin Nicolino toeing the rubber for the fish. Leiter, in his four previous starts this season, had a 4.22 ERA.
There wasn’t much time to get settled before the Phillies decided to put this game out of reach early on. It all started when Tommy Joseph rocketed an RBI double over the head of Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning. This would be the only run the Phils needed to actually win, but why not pile on, eh?
Leiter, at this point of the game, was carrying a no-hitter through 3 innings. The only baserunner he allowed was Ozuna via a walk and he had racked up 5 strikeouts.
No, that entire (small) paragraph was not a typo.
We’ll head to the 3rd inning where the offense decided to blow this game wide open. Freddy Galvis snapped an 0-for-13 stretch with an RBI single to left field to open the scoring in the inning. Mr. Hoskins then absolutely demolished a baseball to left field for a 3-run home run. This guy is (going to be? already?) good.
The greater Delaware Valley needs to take a cold shower. pic.twitter.com/oJkrzrQGCz— Ben Harris (@byBenHarris) August 24, 2017
Jorge Alfaro added to the pile by ripping his first career double down the left field line to knock in Maikel Franco. Alfaro’s double would be the finishing touch to a great 3rd inning in which the Phillies took a 6-0 lead.
Jorge Alfaro beats the crap out of the ball for his first major league double pic.twitter.com/8zVv7oFhNi— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) August 24, 2017
The 4th and 5th innings rolled by with Leiter continuing his bid at a no-no. He did lose it in the 6th, however, when Miguel Rojas doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning. Take a look at how much of a chance that two-bagger had at being a hit:
Rojas' double to break up Leiter's no-hitter had a hit probability of just four percent, according to Statcast.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 24, 2017
That would be the only hit Leiter would give up as well, so aside from a little misfortune it was a masterful outing out of the rookie. His final line is listed below.
The scoring was capped in the 6th inning when none other than Rhys Hoskins doubled to left field to knock in his 4th and 5th RBIs of the night and give the Phils an 8-0 lead.
Update after the double: .342/.468/.921— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) August 24, 2017
This ballgame was surely the best all-around victory for the Phils in a good while. Leiter, Luis Garcia, and Hector Neris combined for the shutout while all but one Phils starter picked up a base hit - ugh, it was Franco.
Some quick notes:
- Leiter’s final line: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 10 GB, 2 FB, 96 pitches (61 strikes)
- Alfaro has hit safely in all 9 games he has played with the Phillies this season and carries a 10-game hit streak dating back to the final game he played in 2016
- Hoskins has now played in 14 games and has 13 hits, 7 of which are home runs
- In August, Franco is hitting just .195 with 1 HR, 4 2B, 1 BB, and 14 K