With Aaron Nola on the mound and games against Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom looming, the Phillies desperately needed to win on Friday night. The only problem was that for the second straight start, Nola wasn’t at his best, and surrendered multiple home runs.
Jay Bruce was the first to take Nola deep with a solo shot in the second. After Carlos Santana put the Phillies back on top with a two-run blast in the third, Nola immediately lost the lead thanks to an RBI double by Jeff McNeil.
In the sixth, Asdrubal Cabrera put the Phillies back ahead with an RBI single, but once again, Nola could not hold the lead. Dominic Smith sent a Nola pitch over the wall in left field, and the game was tied after seven.
With their ace and most valuable player unable to carry them to victory, the Phillies desperately needed someone else to step into the hero role. And for the first time in quite a while, it was Rhys Hoskins who answered the call.
Hoskins is notoriously streaky, and unfortunately for the Phillies, his most recent streak hasn’t been a hot one. He was batting a meager .190 over the past two weeks, and was on an 0-14 slide heading into his at bat in the eighth inning. He had been missing a lot of pitches lately, but he certainly didn’t miss this one:
HECK YEAH HOSKINS.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 8, 2018
The lead is back in the Phillies favor after a blast from Rhys. It's 4-3, Phils. pic.twitter.com/V36xMYXyKC
Seranthony Dominguez and Tommy Hunter retired the final six batters to seal a narrow, but much-needed win.
It was nice to see Hoskins finally come through after weeks of struggling. As mentioned, he has shown himself to be a very streaky player over his first two major league seasons. If tonight’s heroics were a sign that a hot streak is about to start, then the final weeks of the season could prove quite interesting for the Phillies.