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The Rhys Hoskins Show: Phillies 13, Giants 6

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Pay no attention to the Nola behind the curtain

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants
“I came here to mash balls and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of gum.” - Rhys Hoskins, probably
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

As beautiful as that final score was, things didn’t start out quite as smoothly as we might have hoped. Today was Nola day, typically a day when Phillies fans can look to bounce back from any unfortunate loss(es) that may have preceded Nola day, though that has been somewhat less true this season. While, yes, this was a solid bounce back day, it wasn’t because of Aaron Nola.

Today was a day to celebrate the bats, which came alive in a big way to bail out Nola’s quite frankly terrible performance. The first three innings were a back and forth battle, with the Phillies taking the lead in the first on a Alec Bohm hit-by-pitch which scored the starting center fielder after he had singled and Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen had walked to load the bases.

That lead was extinguished two batters into the bottom of the first as LaMonte Wade singled and Carl Mike Yastrzemski, after a failed bunt attempt, crushed a ball out out to the cavernous center field area at Pacific Bell, SBC, uh, rather, AT&T Pa...oh, Oracle Park. I’ll link to it if you want to see it, but this isn’t McCovey’s Cove so I’m not embedding that nonsense.

Luckily, Sacramento born Rhys Hoskins has decided to take this trip back to his home state to emerge from the slump he was in the last few weeks like Khaleesi emerging from the fire with her dragons. With one man on due to a throwing error, he came up in the top of the second and reestablished the Phillies lead in no doubt fashion like so:

This 3-2 lead held for something like 15 minutes as the Giants mustered a single, a walk, and a sacrifice bunt to put two men on third before Wade doubled scoring two, and Yastrzemski drove in Wade with a single. 5-3 Giants through two innings.

Did I mention that bats picked up Nola today? Harper led off the third with a double, followed by a McCutchen single, an Alec Bohm RBI single, and a Ronald Torreyes double that scored Cutch and Bohm. 6-5 Phillies through two and a half.

As mentioned, Nola didn’t have his A-stuff today, and would not make it out of the third inning. Brandon Belt tied it back up with a leadoff home run that was crushed into McCovey Cove, and after a Brandon Crawford groundout Nola walked Donovan Solano to end his afternoon. Final line, 2.1 IP, 6 earned runs allowed on 6 hits, 3 walks, and one strikeout. Somewhat of a concerning outing for Nola, in what has become something of a concerning season.

Ranger Suarez relieved Nola and did an admirable job in long relief—as would the rest of the bulllpen in closing out the game—shutting down the Giants by retiring 8 and getting the Phillies to the 5th inning without any further damage against.

In the top of the 6th the offense came alive again, including some unexpected power from Torreyes as he led of the inning by getting ahold of one like so (and Jeff Z there with the accurate analysis):

Matt Vierling in his ML debut as the second member of the Phillies’ 2018 draft class to make the majors (Bohm was the first) singled as a pinch hitter, stole second base, and would come around to score on a Hoskins double. 8-6 Phillies.

The Phillies bullpen would close out the game with four shutout innings by Brogdon, Alvarado, Bradley and Hale in mopup duty in the 9th, allowing only one hit through those four innings while striking out 4.

The offense, as one might have noticed from the header of this article, was not finished. In the 7th inning Bohm and Luke Williams led off the inning, respectively, with singles, followed by a Torreyes walk to load the bases. After a Brad Miller pinch-hit strikeout, Bohm scored on a sacrifice fly to center. Two on for Rhys Hoskins. 435 feet later the Phillies led 12-6.

3 for 6, two home runs and a double for Rhys for a career high 6 RBI. Is that good? Well, kman2837 has some analysis:

Gotta love Philadelphia fans. We’ll see how that projection plays out over the next week. Personally, I’m taking the over.

The Phils would make it a bakers dozen in the 8th after McCutchen singled and Luke Williams, who is having a good first two weeks in the majors (.407/.407/.667), knocked him in with a double, his fourth in fewer than 30 major league at bats.

In Summary:

While shows of offense are fun to watch, and any time you double up an opponent that scores 6 runs is fun, especially so when you’re missing your starting shortstop, the fact that all six of those Giant runs came in 2+ innings of an Aaron Nola start isn’t the most comforting feeling. If this Phillies team is to put some wins together to make a run at the dreadful NL East they’re going to need more of vintage Nola and less of the version we’ve seen all too often this season.

If you were in either of the Philadelphia or San Francisco areas the only way to watch this game was on the Peacock streaming app, featuring a party-line of Phillies and Giants announcers. John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins provided color commentary for the Phillies, while the Giants’ John Miller provided play-by-play, with someone named Mike Krukow providing color behind him. There may be a conversation to be had about how Major League Baseball is looking to “eliminate redundancies” in their inevitable transition to a streaming revenue model, which is code for “fire half of the announcers in the league,” because why have two crews perform the same essential job for every game, or so goes that logic, but my larger takeaway was that I really miss Harry Kalas. Listening to Miller reminds me of what it’s like to have a Hall of Fame caliber announcer do your daily play-by-play and boy does it just improve the experience of watching a televised game. Rollins is also quite good in the color commentary role, though I feel he’s got enough money and other interests that it isn’t something we’ll ever see him do full time.

Tomorrow is the rubber game, pitting Spencer Howard (edit: Spencer Howard’s start will be skipped and Zach Efiln will start due to the upcoming 3 off days between the 17th and the 24th which will allow the Phillies to adjust their starting rotation) against Sammy Long (I assume no relation to Howie or Chris), who is making his major league debut, which of course means that the Phillies may well be flummoxed at the plate. Or not, that’s why they play the games, so we’ll see.