The other night, the Phillies’ season looked bleak. You could argue that it started to look bad when the team got throttled by the Blue Jays, 18-11, but there is also the home run that Vlad Guerrero, Jr. hit that felt like a back breaker. Much of the fans voicing their opinions on social media, including this website’s main account, felt as though there were three main players to point at with criticism for how the offense had been performing lately - Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins. Taking a gander at their numbers of late, there was a point to be made.
While two of them are still in a bit of funk, one of them made a statement tonight that maybe, just maybe, Rhys Hoskins is ready to go on a heater.
Getting a second shot at Jake Odorizzi, the offense suddenly realized what kind of pitcher Odorizzi is. Backed by a stellar September outing from Aaron Nola, the hitters got things started early. In the second inning, the bases were loaded with no one out thanks to singles from Alec Bohm and Brandon Marsh, followed by a walk to Jean Segura. Bryson Stott got the ball rolling with a sacrifice fly that brought home Bohm for the first run, Marsh hot on his trail on a single by the red hot Matt Vierling. Kyle Schwarber would strike out for the second out, but Hoskins got his second hit of the night, ripping a double that scored two more.
The night's started very well for Rhys Hoskins. pic.twitter.com/RSDHsmRaaQ— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 24, 2022
In the fourth, Hoskins struck again. Following a walk to Schwarber, Hoskins strutted to the plate, eyed up a pitched from Odorizzi and hit one that touched God before landing in the left field stands for a two run home run.
The Phillies would get two more in the inning thanks to a “triple” from Bohm and a single by Marsh, then tacked on an extra run for good measure in the fifth to give them their ninth run of the game.
Oh, and Hoskins played a little defense tonight as well.
Heck of a snag by Rhys Hoskins pic.twitter.com/soGoyE5EUV— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 23, 2022
Lost in the shuffle was a sterling performance on the mound by Nola. He’s been criticized for years now about his Ant-Man impressions in September, but tonight against a lineup that was missing a few pieces, Nola put together a performance the team needed badly. Their bullpen has been very uneven of late, so getting a solid performance from him to go with a job by the offense that made using the trusted weapons at the end of the game a moot point felt pretty good. With Milwaukee winning their game tonight, the Phillies had to bank one themselves, dropping their magic number to nine on the season.