Since his last home run on April 21, Rhys Hoskins came into Saturday’s game against the Nationals in Washington, DC in a serious funk.
In 48 plate appearances, Rhys was hitting .220 with a miniscule slugging percentage of .375. He had just two extra-base hits in his previous 11 games, with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored. He also had struck out in 35.4% of his plate appearances, and looked completely lost at the plate.
Which is what made Saturday’s first-inning two-run dinger the happiest news of the day in the Phils’ 3-1 triumph in the nation’s capital.
First came the bloop, then the blast. pic.twitter.com/zSY7qoKSI5— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) May 5, 2018
Hoskins finished the day 1-for-3 with two walks and just barely missed a grand slam in the 8th inning that would have made his Saturday even bigger.
The Phils didn’t do much offensively, amassing just seven hits, although they did accumulate six walks on the day. Carlos Santana, whose one-out triple in the 6th was his fourth extra-base hit in his fourth game this month, preceded an RBI single by Maikel Franco, who suddenly has seen his slugging percentage surge to an even .500 (he’s batting .271 with a .305 OBP as well).
Vince Velasquez wasn’t awesome, and his pitch economy wasn’t good, but he managed to hold the Nats’ offense to just two hits. After hitting two bombs on Friday night, Bryce Harper had a quieter afternoon, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Velasquez went five innings and gave up just one hit but surrendered four walks and hit a batter, leading to a pitch count that ran to 92 in just those five frames. Edubray Ramos, Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris ably shut the door over the last four innings.
The Phillies, who improved 18-14 with the win, will play the rubber match against the Nationals on Sunday afternoon.