Rhys Hoskins’ hot streak carrying Phillies into postseason
By Matt Rappa
Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins is on a hot streak that could carry the team to its first postseason berth since 2011
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins had a disappointing start to his first 16 games of the shortened 2020 season. Spanning his 71 plate appearances, Hoskins had only seven singles, four doubles, five RBI, 16 walks, and 14 strikeouts, while slashing .208/.408/.283.
In the four-year veteran’s 13 games since, however, it would be difficult to find a player on a more impactful hot streak than Hoskins’. The Sacramento, California, native is slashing .319/.448/.787 with five singles, four doubles, six home runs, 13 RBI, eight walks, and 12 strikeouts spanning his last 58 plate appearances.
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That is an 111-point increase in batting average, 40-point increase in on-base percentage, and 504-point increase in slugging percentage.
Hoskins has turned his season around. And, with the 15-15 Phillies currently in the fifth of eight overall National League postseason spots — exactly midway through their 60-game schedule — a streaking Hoskins could very well carry the Phillies to their first postseason berth since their franchise-best 102-win season in 2011.
Hoskins’ hot streak has peaked in the last three days, too, which is only good news for manager Joe Girardi‘s squad — as it heads into a 30-game, 27-day stretch to finish the regular season. The first baseman has homered in three straight games (and in five of his last seven). Of those seven games, the Phillies are 6-1.
Also, according to 6ABC’s Jeff Skversky, Hoskins is the first Phillie in 120 years (Modern Era) with a home run and an additional extra-base hit (e.g., double) in three straight games. During this 13-plate appearance stretch, Hoskins is slashing .583/.615/1.583 with one single, three doubles, three home runs, eight RBI, one walk, and one strikeout; his RBI total leads the league.
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“Hopefully we can keep playing the way we are at home and try to separate ourselves,” Hoskins told reporters following the 8-6 series-opener victory on Monday, in which rookie RHP Spencer Howard earned his first career win and Hoskins went 2-for-4 with a home run, double, and three RBI.
Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto seemed to have carried the Phillies offense at the start of the season, but they have since cooled off. Now, Hoskins has picked up the slack; if he can continue his hot streak well into the final month of the season, the Phillies’ chances to make the postseason in an expanded 16-team format seem to be likely.