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That was close. Too close: Phillies 4, Pirates 2

They needed everything Rhys gave them tonight

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Rhys Hoskins is usually a good way to start a fight about the Phillies. There are those who believe he isn’t a good baseball player, those that think he is simply one dimensional and those that have an unabashed love for him that any negativity is greeted with great hostility. There are valid arguments for and against Hoskins, but tonight, there is no argument. He played the biggest role in an unusually tense game.

The Phillies were facing possible trade target Jose Quintana on the evening, who then proceeded to shut down the offense over the first five innings. Quintana was opposed by Bailey Falter, who, though he saw his first pitch crushed 400 plus feet for a ringing double, proceeded to settle himself down and pitch a really fine game for the Phillies. He had a hiccup in the second inning when he allowed another double to Kevin Newman and a single to Greg Allen to give the Pirates their first run. In the fifth, the Phillies tried answering that with offense of their own. Hoskins walked, Alec Bohm singled and J.T. Realmuto walked to load the bases and surprisingly end the night for Quintana, who had only thrown 83 pitches to that point. Yerry de los Santos came in to face Nick Castellanos, who proceeded to flail helplessly at three pitches and hit a measly pop to right field, ending the inning and the threat.

Falter stepped in in the bottom of the sixth and allowed a solo home run to Ke’Bryan Hayes that made it 2-0, but escaped the inning further unscathed. Despite that, it turned into a very good outing for Falter, who needed it if the team decides to keep him in the rotation in the near future. In the seventh, though, things got interesting for the Phillies.

Matt Vierling got it started with a single, then was followed by a fly ball by Bryson Stott. Manny Banuelos, a left handed reliever, came in, but walked Odubel Herrera put two men on. Johan Camargo struck out to make it two outs, bringing Kyle Schwarber to the plate. Schwarber hit a loud rocket to right field off the fence, scoring Vierling.....but not Herrrera.

Replays showed that Herrera was possibly going to be held at third by Dusty Wathan, but those same replays also showed Herrera deciding to take a break from sprinting halfway between second and third, even though there were two outs. It was a large blunder that could have cost the team big time had Hoskins not stepped up next and rip a ball into left field, scoring Herrera and tying the game at two.

It was a big hit for Hoskins, giving the bullpen a fresh game to keep rolling with their outings. They continued that tonight, dominating the Pirates at times, wiggling out of jams at times and just continuing to be a surprisingly good part of this team. They kept the game tied through nine, sending the game into extra innings where it was time for more heroics.

The tenth started with Garrett Stubbs on second, replacing Schwarber, who was the victim of a questionable strike call to end the ninth, but a runner in scoring position nonetheless. Up stepped Hoskins, and, well...

...he delivered.

Connor Brogdon shut down the Pirates in the tenth to give the Phillies another needed victory as they continue to march toward a playoff spot. Hoskins ended the night 4 for 4, the first time in his career he’s done that and boy, did they need all four hits.

They’ll go back at it tomorrow night.