It’s easy to see that Rhys Hoskins makes this team better. And today, it wasn’t even his 11th home run in 18 games that made the difference. It was the TRIPLE PLAY he started in the fifth inning.
Those are just a few highlights of today’s 6-3 Phillies win. For awhile it looked like it was going to be like so many other games we’ve seen, especially after Nick Pivetta and Future Non-Star Tommy Joseph gave up three runs in the first. I’m not saying it wasn’t Nick Pivetta’s fault — two of the three runs were charged to him — but Tommy Joseph made such a boneheaded throw early in the inning that it took me a good five minutes to fully recover from how bad it was. He threw the ball to nothing. Literally to nothing and no one. Maybe the ghost of his long lost fake grandfather Karl Malden suddenly appeared and Tommy wanted to throw the ball at him to make sure he wasn’t real. I don’t pretend to know what happened. But what I do know is that it was a bad throw.
Three runs would follow that lead-off fielding error, but those were the only runs he or any Phillies pitcher would give up. Pivetta battled back and lasted five innings, and then turned the game over to the bullpen. And they did some #work. Edubray Ramos, Hoby Milner, Luis Garcia, and Hector Neris all turned in scoreless appearances. Ramos even went two innings! And once Pivetta left, the bullpen gave up only one hit. You couldn’t really ask for more.
The fifth inning contained that triple play, and Pivetta really did a great job after the first inning, but I can’t skip this.
Nick Pivetta just attempted the world's least effective pickoff move pic.twitter.com/VTYNcAfJbs— Ben Harris (@byBenHarris) August 27, 2017
I find that so adorable, I can’t tell you why.
The fifth inning is where everything turned around. The triple play really invigorated the Phillies, and they came out for the bottom of the inning ready to score some runs off of John Lackey. And did they ever. A single from Pedro Florimon got things started, and then Cameron Rupp got on base thanks to a fielding error from Kris Bryant. After a lineout, Florimon scored on a wild pitch, and it was 3-1.
Cesar Hernandez followed that with a walk, and then there was another wild pitch from Lackey that moved Rupp to third and Hernandez to second. Freddy Galvis tied the game with a single, and then they went ahead for good when Nick Williams drilled a two-run home run. Hoskins’ eighth inning homer just gilded the lily.
After the game ended, Gregg Murphy was interviewing Rhys Hoskins. And as he spoke, Harry Kalas singing “High Hopes” played in the background. It just felt right.